What Is A Sober Living Home?

Sober living homes, or halfway houses, are homes dedicated to integrating someone from rehab into an affordable and substance-free environment. They are available to a variety of ages, co-ed, parent and children, or separately for men and women. These homes were first recorded in 1830 (called lodging houses), focusing on alcohol abuse due to the Temperance Movement. They later became more popularized and commonplace in the 1970s, continuing to today.

Inpatient treatment includes various levels of care, including detox, activities, support groups, and counseling; however, patients may need support once they complete treatment. Challenges that stem from post-rehab treatment like drug-free living and unstable housing can create more difficulty for individuals. Furthermore, unstable housing could promote stress and feelings of isolation. Sober living homes are the next step one can take to be integrated into having responsibilities and organized schedules before going back to everyday life. The impact of these homes has resulted in accountability and commitment, decreased triggers and distractions, a sense of interdependence, a sense of community, and an increased ability for individuals to remain sober long-term.

What To Expect

A quality sober living home will be accredited and has standard guidelines for effectiveness. They maintain codes of conduct and maintain a sense of purpose for residents. They should be clean, and furnished, meeting health standards. All bedrooms and overall dwelling space has to align with the local city ordinances. If the home is co-ed, both genders would need their own bathrooms and living quarters. Access to bedrooms should only be available to the room’s residents, and parent/child sober living homes (women and children) “should not permit adult males to reside in the home.”

It’s important to note that not all facilities are the same, and they all have different levels of accountability, structure, responsibility, and services. Regular interviews occur at 6, 12, and 18 months for tracked progress, including reported measures of substance abuse and any mental health disturbances are tracked. Records of work, school, and job applications are often needed, and some residents may have to be mindful of group-specific rules for their safety. Fortunately, family members are encouraged to spend time with their loved ones, and many fun activities are encouraged.

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Rules And Guidelines

Sober living homes expect that all residents will remain accountable, such as following rules on the property. Noise, and smoking, “should be responsive to neighbors’ reasonable complaints.” It should be noted, each home’s guidelines may differ, and may include more guidelines to adhere. A few general and standard rules include:

  • All residents must remain alcohol and drug free.
  • All residents must submit to random urine drug screens and breathalyzers.
  • All residents are required to attend 12-step meetings regularly each week.
  • All residents are required to obtain a sponsor and work on twelve steps.

Types Of Homes

Sober living homes are available in varying housing forms. The most common is a home, however sober living apartments are available, giving individuals privacy and space. Lastly, sober living dorms are available for a variety of residents, and some colleges even offer sober living dorms. While all ages are welcome, college students who struggle with addiction may find it extremely helpful to avoid relapsing during one’s college experience.

Halfway Houses: Similarities And Differences

Although some consider halfway houses the same as sober living homes, they are small differences. Sober living homes and halfway houses provide housing for those recovering from substance use disorders (SUDs). They both also provide accountability for individuals in the houses. Halfway houses offer community support and daily chores. Some differences between sober living homes and halfway houses include sponsoring. Halfway houses are typically state-sponsored, while residents in sober living homes pay rent.

Historically, halfway house were known for providing housing for released with substance abuse issues and criminal issues. As a result of this, there are unique programs and care in sober living homes that differ in halfway homes. Another difference is the length of stay. Sober living homes provide specific care that may not be provided in halfway homes, such as 12-Step group meetings, respecting the rules of the house, and maintaining a drug-free environment.

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Oxford Homes: Similarities And Differences

Science Direct defines Oxford homes as, “a self-run, self-supporting recovery home”. The Oxford house is community based, and encourages interdependence with substance abuse survivors. Like the sober living home, individuals can have jobs, pay bills, and can be held accountable.

Like sober living homes, the Oxford Home provides stability and community connection post-treatment that establishes secure housing for individuals. The main goal of Oxford homes is to support individual’s who are committing to sustaining long-term recovery. Roughly 73% of those in Oxford homes were experiencing a SUD, with 27% of those experiencing alcoholism. The time of stay was less than a year for many, and many paid less than $100 weekly. A significant difference between Oxford Houses and Sober Living Houses is that an Oxford house does not include paid staff or supervisors. They are self-run by people who live there. These individuals are usually elected by the house members and have a six-month term.

Ready To Start Your Journey?

Sober living homes offer many benefits and allow people to feel fully integrated into everyday life. Explore concerns like finances, rules, activities, and success rates. If you or a loved one needs more information, contact a treatment provider today.

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