Sober living is a form of transitional housing provided for those who have completed a residential addiction treatment program. It is designed to provide a stepping stone to returning home, allowing for a slow and smooth transition back into everyday life.
Sober living homes offer social support for remaining abstinent from drugs and alcohol. While most do not require individuals to attend any kind of formal treatment programs during residence, the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs reports that participation in a 12-Step group or peer-support group is highly encouraged. Social support is a vital part of addiction recovery.
The Journal of Addictive Disorders publishes that, per one study, individuals who regularly participated in Alcoholics Anonymous (a 12-Step support group program) were twice as likely to remain abstinent than those who did not.
Sober living homes are generally residences that are self-sustaining, meaning that individuals living there are responsible for sharing the cost of living. This can make them cheaper than residing alone, as the costs are split between all residents. For example, if the rent is $1,200 a month for a four-bedroom residence, this breaks down to around $300 per person, plus utilities. Sober living homes can vary in cost depending on where they are located, and monthly costs often range from $450 to $800 a month total, not counting incidentals. Most have private pay type arrangements, although some may be connected to state resources or charitable foundations. An addiction treatment center can often provide referrals and information on local sober living homes and their specific costs.
In Oxford, Mississippi, the cost of living is generally lower than in many other parts of the country, making a sober living home potentially even more affordable than other places of residence.
Addiction is an isolating disease with many social ramifications that may even include homelessness. Some in recovery may discover they live in an environment that is not conducive to remaining abstinent from substances of abuse. As a result, sober living homes can provide a vital need for successful recovery: a safe and stable place to live surrounded by others who have similar goals and expectations of sobriety.
Sober Living Specifics
Sober living homes are typically privately owned group homes, and they are generally in quiet neighborhoods, offering peace and serenity. They usually only have a small group of people residing in them, and numbers are often fixed.
While residing in a sober living home, individuals are expected to adhere to a set of “house rules,” which may include curfews, rules about visitors, chore expectations, and, in many cases, drug testing to ensure continued abstinence. The people living in the home may come up with the rules together, but homes often have a kind of house “leader” who ensures the rules are being followed. Residents usually divide the housework and chores up amongst themselves, which helps to build self-reliance and independence among residents. These transitional residences can provide solace from the chaos of the “real world” while also surrounding residents with ongoing support, encouragement, and positive social interactions.
People living in sober living homes are often at different points in their sobriety, and they are able to offer hope and tips to prevent relapse, or a return to drug (and/or alcohol) abuse. This kind of social support can be invaluable to sustained sobriety.
Individuals may return to work while residing in a sober living home and attend support group meetings, therapy, and counseling sessions, educational, aftercare, and alumni programs as well. Many sober living homes allow residents to live there as long as they feel they need to before they are ready to return home and fully integrate back into society while others may have set limits on the length of stay.
Sober living homes can provide individuals with a supportive network and stable living environment. This allows them to build on the foundation established during an addiction treatment program, thus enhancing the chances of sustained recovery.