The Importance of Relationships While Living in Sober Housing

Maybe you can relate to the thousands of people who finish treatment and aren’t comfortable returning to their living situations. Some of them are afraid to place themselves in an environment with other current drug users. Others can’t cope with the family turmoil at their place of residence. Still others simply don’t feel prepared to deal with the everyday stressors of living independently from regular, on-going treatment.

If you have looked into sober living housing, you may be dealing with one of the issues or you may have your own, entirely individual reason for postponing your return to your previous routine.

Whatever your reason, the choice to enter a sober living facility is a wise and brave one.

Relapse is more likely when people have to return to unstable living situations that lack freedom from drugs and alcohol. Even the most motivated person can fail in their attempt to remain sober. Studies demonstrate attendance in a 12 step program and the presence of a social network are great predictors of a person’s outcome in a sober living house.

If you are considering becoming a resident in a sober living house and would like more information about how they work and how they can benefit your sobriety, contact our helpline at 800-953-3913 (Who Answers?) and speak with an expert. We can direct you to resources, answer questions, and connect you with a housing situation. Call today!


Importance of Relationships

Building relationships with other sober people encourages abstinence.

Because addiction is defined as a chronic brain disease, it needs to be compared to any other chronic disease, like hypertension or diabetes, even asthma. You know that all of these conditions can relapse.

Perhaps, a lack of regular medication can make blood pressure increase or asthma attacks to increase in severity. Stress can cause unhealthy eating, which can upset insulin levels.

These things happen because chronic diseases need constant care and call for people who suffer from them to changes deeply ingrained behaviors that are counter-productive.

The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) draws the following conclusion based on data from the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA). “Relapse is common and similar across these illnesses [chronic ones] (as is adherence/non-adherence to medication). Thus, drug addiction should be treated like any other chronic illness; relapse serves as a trigger for renewed intervention.”

Relapse possibilities increase in the absence of a stable living environment free of drugs and alcohol. To lessen the chance of relapse, many people choose enter sober living houses.

Sober Living Houses

During the 1960s and 70s, the role of environment in sobriety became a real focus and, as a result, sober living houses boomed. In an attempt to remove residents from living situations that threatened sobriety, programs created halfway houses, which proved in studies to improve outcomes.

Sober Living Housing has Six Main Characteristics:

  1. They are all drug and alcohol free residences designed for individuals working to abstain from substance use.
  2. They do not supply formal treatment services.
  3. They encourage or mandate participation in a 12 step program.
  4. Residents must comply with house rules—paying rent, attending house meetings, remaining sober, etc.
  5. Residents are responsible for all financial obligations associated with residency. There are no funded sober living houses.
  6. Residents may stay as long as they comply with house rules.

Some houses operate with a central manager who establishes and enforces rules, while others use a social model, where residents govern the household.

Can I Make Friends in My Sober House?

12 Step Groups

Research illustrates the positive impact of a strong social network on efforts to abstain from drug and alcohol use. These studies primarily address the role of 12 step programs as ways to establish a sober network, but sober family and friends can enhance that.

Involvement in a 12 step program is more than simple attendance. For the benefits to be maximized, participants have to commit fully, meaning getting a sponsor, serving as a sponsor for others, and volunteering for service work. Individuals who do so are half as likely to become members of a high use group (those who used 2-6 months out of a 6-month study).

If you are prepared to commit to a 12 step program and would like to do so in conjunction with residence in a sober living house, you should call Our helpline at 800-953-3913 (Who Answers?) and speak with someone who can help you start the process.

Where do calls go?

Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Calls to any general helpline will be answered or returned by one of the treatment providers listed, each of which is a paid advertiser: Rehab Media Group, Recovery Helpline, Alli Addiction Services.

By calling the helpline you agree to the terms of use. We do not receive any commission or fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a caller chooses. There is no obligation to enter treatment.

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