After treatment, staying in a sober environment is critical for building long-term sobriety. For this reason, many people with successful sobriety choose to reside in a sober living environment for an extended period following treatment.
Though generally meant only for a period of transitional living, sober living residences can provide significant benefits that are helpful in building a strong foundation of sobriety. Here are seven benefits you stand to gain when you transition from rehab to a sober living home.
1. You retain the benefits of rehab treatment.
For many in recovery, reentering society on their own immediately following rehab is not advisable or desirable. Leaving the secure and comfortable setting of a rehab treatment facility and the real world can be a challenging transition to make.
By entering a sober living program, many individuals can successfully bridge the gap between treatment and independent living in recovery through continued engagement with their original treatment center. In many cases, the rehab facility itself frequently offers off-site transitional sober housing, which makes the process easy and comfortable for patients.
Moreover, many of the same residents from your prior rehab facility will also go into a sober living home, which only serves to continue your involvement and engagement with the knowledge and insights gained in treatment.
2. You stay close to a sober network.
The sober living environment allows you to develop your sobriety from a comfortable, safe environment. What this generally means is that the resident is encouraged to find a support system, a schedule of meetings, and practice the process of recovery while residing at the sober house with individuals from the program.
Upon leaving the sober house, the individual will ideally cultivate a network of sober friends, sponsors, and meetings that serve as replacements for the sober connections made in treatment and the sober house itself, as the individual transitions into independent living.
Being around people that understand you, your current situation, and your desire for sobriety makes life much more manageable during a period of your life where stress is less than desirable.
3. You have low-cost and low-hassle housing.
For many, the prospect of setting up an entirely new life immediately following treatment is an impossible task. Fortunately, most sober housing programs allow payments to be made weekly, with some even featuring grace periods on payment until the patient has found employment.
Additionally, sober housing rarely requires anything, but a minimal amount of paperwork to move in. Finally, the residences themselves are usually furnished and other ancillary concerns regarding housing, such as maintenance, insurance, utilities, and taxes are handled by the sober housing facility itself, leaving the resident to focus primarily on obtaining employment and maintaining sobriety.
4. You have a 24/7 sober support system.
Understandably, individuals fresh out of treatment still require a large amount of support, which may be needed at any time. By residing with other sober individuals in the same phase of their recovery, a mutual support system encouraging sobriety, sober habits, and above all, talking through the challenges of early sobriety can and frequently does occur. For many individuals, simply knowing that support is there if needed, is all that is required sometimes.
5. You relearn accountability and responsibility.
By residing in a sober housing environment, individuals are forced to relearn how to be accountable to others, as well as responsible for themselves as well as to others. By using this transitional period to form these habits, the newly sober individual can spend time developing and practicing habits that reflect personal development and growth in sobriety. Becoming self-supporting financially is often a prime concern, but realistically, accountability and responsibility is more about your relationship and responsibilities to others, which then reflects upon your views of yourself and your recovery.
6. You foster engagement with the program.
While sober housing is intended to be temporary, the engagement with the local recovery program and community developed during this time is intended to be permanent and serve as a bedrock foundation of the individual’s long-term sobriety. At first, the individual acquaints him or herself with the other residents, who are also involved in the program. Later, by attending meetings and living amongst sober people, the individual in recovery can quickly develop a strong and wide network in sobriety that produces a wide range of benefits, including most importantly, the development of their own sobriety.
7. You gradually reclaim your future.
For many exiting rehab, there exists the desire to rectify the wrongs of the past immediately, while working manically towards rebuilding their lives from scratch. While this is admirable, the reality is that sobriety must be placed prior to any of these goals.
In sober living, the individual is forced to consider his or her sobriety primarily, and only then gradually begin to consider rectifying the wrongs of the past, while reclaiming his or her future goals and ambitions over time.
Eventually, those who live in sober housing realize that without the prioritized and foundational aspect of transitional living in their lives, their long-term recovery would have been at grave risk. By placing the past and the future on hold and focusing exclusively on one’s present needs for recovery in a nurturing environment like sober housing, the individual stands a far greater chance at developing a strong and longstanding sober life.