Is a Sober Home Like a Transitional Living Center?
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Sober houses are transitional living centers in that they are places where individuals in transition between one stage of recovery and another are able to stay. Sometimes, people transitioning out of prison or from homelessness stay in a transitional living center, but sober homes are particularly beneficial to individuals who need a safe place to stay that does not allow the use of any mind-altering substances, including drugs or alcohol.
What Makes a Sober Home a TLC?
One way sober homes are similar to traditional transitional living centers is that they help acclimate residents to a new environment after they have been in treatment but still allow them to stay in a somewhat controlled setting. According to a study from the NCBI, sober homes are working to “decrease the stigma” residents experience in their day-to-day lives by “orchestrat[ing] interaction between stigmatized groups and others in the community.”
Both types of properties attempt to achieve this for the individuals who rely on them. In a sober home, residents often receive help with applying for jobs, joining drug-free activities, and being able to slowly become a part of their community again. The same approach is taken by most transitional living centers where there is a desire to facilitate a resident’s move back to society. While different residents may need help with different aspects of their recovery, both sober homes and transitional living centers work to make the individual’s passage back to regular society a smooth one.
Other ways in which sober homes are similar to other transitional living centers are:
- Residents must adhere to a strict set of rules.
- Facilities do not provide constant, 24-hour care and/or surveillance.
- Residents must be ready to make a change in their lives in order for the program to work.
- The facilities themselves are not considered traditional treatment centers but more a step between that and a person’s full integration into normal society.
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What Makes a Sober Home Different?
Sober homes are somewhat different from other transitional living centers. Although they are a type of transitional living center, they also have several rules for residents that other centers do not. For example, they ask that residents pay rent in order to stay at the facility. This helps with maintenance and upkeep as well as allowing residents to slowly move back into the responsibility of living outside of treatment. Most other transitional living centers (halfway houses, for example) do not require this type of payment, often because residents are not in a situation where they can afford it.
Another way sober houses are fundamentally different from most transitional living centers is that the former usually allow residents to stay as long as they like. Most other centers allow residents to stay for a fixed amount of time, like the Transitional Living Program for Homeless Youth for example, which “provides” residents “with stable, safe living accommodations for up to 21 months.”
And of course, sober homes are particularly focused on the issues of addiction, recovery, and relapse prevention. This is why someone leaving treatment for these issues (or looking for an alternative to treatment) may want to choose a sober home in particular instead of another type of transitional living center.