Sober living homes help people transition from the safe and highly structured environment of a treatment program back to regular life, where things aren’t always easy. They provide a safe, sober place to live while you work on developing and honing the skills you need to stay sober for the long-term.
But sober living homes will typically cost a little more than renting an apartment or paying a mortgage. That’s because it often includes a small staff and some programming. So is paying a little more for living expenses worth the benefits of sober living?
What Is Sober Living Like?
Not all sober living homes are alike. Some offer more structure than others, and some require more participation in on-site and off-site programming than others. Sober living homes can be large or small and may be based in a house or apartment building. Programming and rules vary among facilities.
In general, a sober home will have house rules that include helping out with chores, such as cooking and cleaning. It will require attendance at house meetings and support group meetings both on-site and in the community. It may require drug testing one or more times a week, and a curfew may be in place to ensure everyone’s home by a certain time at night.
The Benefits of Sober Living
Sober living offers real, tangible benefits to people in early recovery. According to a study published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, a sober living situation after treatment promotes long-term abstinence, reduces arrests, improves employment and reduces symptoms of mental illness.1
Health, home, purpose and community are the four dimensions that support a life in recovery, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.2 A sober living facility embraces these pillars of recovery and promotes successful recovery in a number of ways:
It offers a high level of support. Living with others in various stages of recovery and attending regular support group meetings provides strong support in early recovery, which is crucial for success.
It provides some structure. Many sober living homes have a prescribed bed time and wake time and conduct morning exercise or meditation rituals, group meals and mandatory meetings, which provide structure and purpose for the day.
It helps you stay accountable. Regular drug testing and support group meetings help you accept responsibility for your thoughts and actions and help keep you accountable to yourself and your peers.
It gives you a safe place to hone your coping skills. Learning to manage a household—including cooking, cleaning, shopping, laundry and paying bills—is crucial for the high level of self-care needed for successful recovery. You’ll also have the opportunity to work on coping skills for dealing with stress, cravings and other triggers.
It helps you learn to have fun and relax in a life of sobriety. A healthy social life with plenty of opportunities for fun and relaxation is critical for successful recovery. Sober living homes offer lots of opportunities for recreation with other non-users.
The Cost of Sober Living
The cost of sober living depends on the facility, the type of program, the length of stay, the location and other factors. In some cases, sober living may cost a little more—or a lot more—than standard living facilities. But the extra cost is worth the support and other benefits of sober living.
Insurance may cover some or all of the cost of sober living. Additionally, many sober living facilities, including Real Recovery, offer financing or other financial assistance to ensure you can afford sober living if you need it.
Sober living can make a huge difference in your quality of life, sense of well-being and success in recovery. Real Recovery can help you decide if a sober living home is right for you.