How Sober Living Supports Recovery

a woman smiling with her arms crossed

Recovering from a substance use disorder is challenging, but finding the right support and environment plays a critical role in fostering positive behaviors. Sober living homes are an excellent resource for individuals needing support to adjust to life after treatment. These facilities encourage clients to maintain sobriety and offer safe, supportive environments for people to seek guidance or assistance throughout their journey. Seeking support at a sober living home often provides more independence than some programs, such as inpatient treatment, giving clients more freedom and control over their actions and behaviors. 

What Are Sober Living Homes?

Living environments can significantly impact a person's substance use and recovery. Factors like substance exposure, family history, family attitudes, co-occurring mental health disorders, trauma and other environmental elements can increase risks of substance use disorders and make it more challenging for someone to recover. 

Sober living homes are safe spaces for individuals to find support when they are abstaining from using alcohol and other drugs. These facilities encourage clients to make meaningful connections and participate in treatment resources like mutual aid groups. Sober living facilities support individuals as they adjust to life post-treatment and ease the transition from treatment to everyday life. 

These facilities may not have a firm structure like some inpatient programs, but they will enforce guidelines with more independence. You can find several options for sober living with different environments. These facilities may be:

  • Peer-run: This environment typically offers single-family homes with a senior resident often holding others accountable. House meetings and drug screenings are common, and there are likely no paid positions.
  • Monitored: Single-family apartments or homes with a house manager or senior resident may be a monitored environment. In these facilities, screenings and meetings are typical, and there may also be house rules, peer groups or a paid position available. 
  • Supervised: Supervised facilities often feature administrative oversight and more strict procedures and policies. This type of sober living emphasizes skill development, and clients can find clinical services outside of the sober living services. Clients often undergo standard drug screens in this environment. 
  • Integrated: The last type of environment for sober living can be more institutional. Often, facilities will provide clinical services in-house and offer transitional services for individuals completing a treatment program. This environment emphasizes life skill development, and drug screenings are standard.  

Benefits of Sober Living Homes

Sober living facilities offer support, resources and a safe environment for individuals to sustain long-term sobriety. Although this is a significant advantage alone, these facilities also offer a mirage of other benefits that can have a lasting impact on clients. Each sober living home can offer unique services or resources, with some providing extra assistance and support. Regardless of the type of facility, clients can see several benefits of sober living options, including:

1. Mitigating Relapse Risks

One of the most significant advantages of sober living is mitigating the risks of relapses. These facilities eliminate the presence of drugs and alcohol and prohibit the use of them. For many individuals, reducing the accessibility to these substances is one of the biggest challenges. 

Alcohol and other drugs may be a socially acceptable way for some people to celebrate life moments and big events. For those with substance use disorders, these situations can be triggers that lead to potential relapses or substance misuse. By separating clients from these substances, sober living facilities encourage individuals to focus on recovery without environmental temptations and discover new and healthier ways to cope, celebrate or spend their time. 

2. Building Meaningful Relationships

Social support can drastically impact treatment outcomes, and loneliness can significantly increase the risk of relapsing. Within sober living facilities, clients can form meaningful connections with other sober individuals. Everyone in the home is committed to lifelong sobriety, and each person can support one another to continue down that path. Clients can offer positive affirmations, describe habits that help them cope or relax, discuss their unique journey challenges and otherwise encourage one another to be the best possible versions of themselves. By building these relationships, clients realize they are not alone on their journey and that there are many people ready and wanting to help them recover. 

Within sober living facilities, clients can form meaningful connections with other sober individuals

3. Fostering Independence

Individuals must take responsibility and develop a sense of independence to maintain lifelong sobriety. Sober living homes are an excellent space for clients to learn independence while having easy access to support or guidance when they need it. Residents in these facilities have the freedom to make choices in the home and can optimize their opportunities to make healthier and safer decisions. Clients can form strategies and create habits to utilize after they begin living on their own rather than relying on strict policies to guide them to sobriety. 

4. Assistance for Housing and Jobs

Substance use disorders can impact many facets of life, including jobs and living situations. Finding a stable home and job can be challenging without the right support or resources. Additionally, these locations are an excellent transitional space for those just starting their recovery journey. For example, an individual could be looking for a safe space to stay after leaving a long-term treatment facility or program or attempting to distance themselves from unsupportive family members, roommates or friends. 

Either way, sober living facilities offer an excellent solution for safe living options, and individuals can find additional help for when they move out. Counselors can aid in job hunting, support groups can offer advice and individuals can help each other find post-treatment housing options to ensure reduced substance exposure after leaving the facility. 

5. Understanding Life Post-Treatment

Very seldom is the journey to recovery an easy one. Life after treatment can seem daunting and challenging for many, especially if they don't have the support or resources to keep them on the right path. Sober living homes empower and encourage clients to seek long-term solutions and work to address lifelong concerns. The meaningful connections an individual makes in the facility, the ongoing support available and the new behaviors and strategies a client adopts help individuals understand and navigate life post-treatment.

Find a Personalized Approach to Recovery

The recovery process can be challenging, and no one should go through it alone. At Diamond House Detox, our goal is to create warm, safe environments where every client feels comfortable while participating in group discussions and social interactions. We understand that many factors contribute to substance use, and we want to help people improve their lives and regain independence. 

If you or someone you know needs support with substance recovery, we encourage you to connect with our passionate team. We can help on the journey to recovery and provide the support and space an individual needs to become their best self. 

Find a Personalized Approach to Recovery

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner at Diamond House Detox
Vicky is a board certified Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. She began her nursing career in healthcare by working in the intensive care unit, and then an inpatient psychiatric hospital. After realizing the mental health needs of both the patients and the families she served, she became a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. Throughout her experience working with clients, she has developed a passion for those with dual diagnoses and specializes in helping individuals recognize the issues driving their substance use. This recognition has been crucial to the individual’s success in treatment. Vicky opened Diamond House Detox so that she can address these issues early on in a therapeutic environment to allow clients to transition to the next level in their recovery.
Vicky Magobet
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