Living in a controlled atmosphere where alcohol and drugs are not permitted is certainly helpful to recovery, but it’s an entirely different story once you leave. On your own, you’ll be faced with many of the same issues you had before you went into rehab.
As you think about your options, start by first identifying whether or not the living situation you’re considering will help with your recovery. If your previous home was filled with chaos, drug and alcohol use, or people who are negative and abusive, it would be best not to return to that atmosphere. After all, sobriety is your number one priority now.
If you decide not to go back home, here are a few important steps you can take in order to successfully transition from rehab into a place of your own.
1. Get your finances in order.
Moving into a new apartment or home will require you to have adequate money, so be sure that you have taken this into consideration. You may need a security deposit and first month’s rent, along with fees for connecting the power or gas. In addition, anticipate other monthly bills that you may have such as cable, internet, water, garbage disposal and more. Do your best to save as much money as you can before embarking on this new venture.
2. Secure a job.
Getting yourself a job with consistent hours is necessary in order to continue to pay rent for your new home. Even if you have to take a job that you don’t really love for a while, go ahead and do so, as you continue to seek employment in a field that you prefer. The truth is that in order to make money, you’ve got to work hard and manage your money wisely. If you need help securing a job, reach out for help via your local Employment Security Commission.
3. Reach out to social services.
It may serve you well to reach out to your local mental health center as they may have programs that help men and women get adequate housing. Give them a call and ask them what community services they offer and how to qualify. They may be able to bring you in for an assessment and assign a support worker to assist you in crafting a housing plan.
4. Consider renting a room.
If you’re not quite ready to rent an apartment or house by yourself, consider renting a room from someone you know or someone who has excellent references. You have to be careful here because you don’t want to rent a room from someone who parties, is not trustworthy, or is just plain creepy. Perhaps you know someone who has a room available and would allow you to stay for a short period of time for reasonable rent until you are ready to get a place on your own. You can also check local listings for those who want roommates. Just be sure to do your homework on the landlord as well as the home itself.
5. Look into sober living houses.
If you’re coming out of rehab and you’re open to living at a sober living house for a while, there are a number of resources available to assist you. There are local organization that offer free help in locating sober housing. You can also check out our directory of sober living homes.
When you’re in an atmosphere where using substances seems OK, it’s difficult to say no. That’s why where you live after rehab matters. Do your best to choose a housing arrangement that is safe, sober and pleasant—even if it involves avoiding people, places or things you once held close to your heart when you were still in addiction.