Substance Use

The Problem With Sober Living Homes

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The Problem With Sober Living Homes

Finding the courage to seek help for your addiction is challenging. The last thing you want to do is choose a treatment program that cannot help you achieve and maintain a drug-free life. While substance use disorders can be treated in a variety of ways, the factors of success go beyond your living environment. Before you seek refuge from substance abuse in a sober living house, here’s what you need to know.

Are you or a loved one facing addiction? The caring staff at Zinnia Healing can help. Reach out to us today at our alcohol addiction hotline by calling (855) 430-9439.

What Is a Sober Living Home?

Sober-living homes are sometimes referred to as halfway houses. A halfway house is a transitional home for those who have just completed an addiction treatment program but aren’t ready to get out on their own. Halfway houses provide curfews and a support system to help people during that sensitive in-between period as they get used to living sober all on their own. In other words, halfway houses can be an invaluable part of the recovery process.

However, not all sober living homes have the same rules. For instance, it is not always a requirement for someone entering a sober living home to have completed an addiction treatment program. Instead, you’ll likely be expected to find and attend outpatient services on your own.

This means that, while sober living homes may try to offer safe, affordable communal living, they won’t necessarily help you recover from addiction since they don’t provide the one-on-one support that’s necessary for recovery.

Additionally, any peer support you may receive in a sober living home may not be a positive influence, especially if other sober living residents aren’t getting the help they need. These factors can put someone in a sober living home at a greater risk of relapse. 

Concerns With Sober Living Homes

The primary issues with sober living homes revolve around the lack of structured treatment services. Having a supportive environment simply isn’t enough to recover from addiction. True recovery programs will offer one-on-one assistance from a healthcare provider along with a variety of counseling and therapy programs.

  • Sober living homes lack the structured support and programs necessary to help a person recover from addiction
  • Even if there is a house manager, the lack of proper recovery programs can lead to drug use and relapse throughout the home
  • Informal support groups provided by the sober house can be valuable, but they aren’t a solution on their own
  • House rules vary from one place to another, and without formal protections in place, you could find yourself in recovery housing that holds you back
  • If you violate house rules, you may be removed from the home without any assistance or guidance for receiving treatment

If you need a safe, affordable place to live while being enrolled in an intensive outpatient treatment program, a sober living home might be a viable option. However, if you’re looking for addiction treatment, a sober living home shouldn’t be your first stop.

Overcoming addiction takes time and intensive support. If you’re ready to take the next step towards recovery, Zinnia Healing can help. Get answers to your questions by reaching out to our staff at (855) 430-9439.

How to Structure Your Addiction Treatment

There is no one-size-fits-all approach for recovering from drug and alcohol use. However, there are established best practices that have been shown to reduce the unpleasant symptoms of withdrawal, shorten the recovery timeframe, and ensure long-term success.

If you’re recovering from alcohol addiction, 12-step meetings might be the first program that comes to mind. However, they’re far from your only option. You may go through the initial detox period, which can last up to two weeks, at an inpatient facility. From there, you may choose to enroll in a residential treatment center or an outpatient program.

Residential treatment centers, sometimes known as “rehab centers,” are very different from recovery housing because they are staffed 24/7 by specialists and professionals. They also offer a variety of services right there on campus so that you don’t have to go anywhere.

On the other hand, recovery housing is simply a safe place to live while you attend services outside of the home. If you are in an outpatient program, you’ll likely be asked to regularly attend drug testing to ensure you’re staying on track. If you’re living in a sober living home, you may be required to show those results to the house manager to demonstrate that you are staying clean.

For drug and alcohol abuse, inpatient detox at a hospital or residential treatment facility is often the first step. From there, you can choose to remain in an inpatient program or receive 24/7 care or you can transition to an outpatient program where you get to choose where you live. At that point, a sober living home might be a consideration.

Ultimately, recovery housing may be a part of your treatment program, but it will never be the whole solution.

Before enrolling in a sober living home hoping that separating yourself from drugs will cure the problem, you should educate yourself on your options. The reality is that having a safe place to sleep is important, but you will also need additional services to help you get through the initial detox and withdrawal process and get on your feet so that you can achieve a sober life.

What Does Addiction Treatment Look Like?

No matter what type of program you choose, there are a variety of services that can be incorporated into your treatment plan, including:

  • Behavioral health care to help you understand the causes and triggers of addiction
  • Mental health care to help you through the psychological symptoms of addiction recovery
  • Treatment for co-occurring disorders, such as PTSD, depression, or anxiety
  • Individual and group counseling, including sessions with family members
  • Occupational therapy to help you transition into a fulfilling sober life

You’ll work with a healthcare provider to determine the services that best fit your needs and then structure them accordingly. Generally, as you reach the end of your treatment program, you’ll be receiving fewer hours of services each week so that you are better prepared to start living on your own.

Drug recovery is not something that you simply mark as complete. Ask your provider early in the process how they plan to continue supporting you after you leave the inpatient facility and/or complete the outpatient program. For instance, texting, helpline, and supportive social networks should be made available to you.

The Role of a Sober Living Home

There are times when recovery housing can be invaluable in the treatment process. First and foremost, if you have decided to participate in an outpatient addiction treatment program but your home is not safe or supportive, or you do not have a home to live in, recovery housing can be an affordable option.

If you have completed an inpatient program and you need somewhere to stay before going out on your own, recovery housing could be a wise choice.

With these aspects in mind, it’s important to remember that not all sober living homes or halfway houses have the same policies. In both of the above examples, you should seek out a halfway house where all residents are required to either actively participate in recovery or have already completed an inpatient recovery program.

In situations like these, halfway houses can be a valuable part of your treatment plan. 

Choosing a well-structured and managed sober living home that requires residents to pursue treatment can greatly reduce the chance of you or any other resident in the home bringing drugs into the environment.

The fact that everyone is actively working toward recovery creates a more positive and supportive environment, especially if peer support or group counseling is available as part of the home’s amenities. 

While highly rated sober living homes tend to have stricter rules — such as earlier curfews — these rules can help keep you on track during recovery. Additionally, as you advance through your recovery program, you’ll likely earn additional privileges, which will help make the transition to living on your own that much easier.

How Zinnia Healing Can Help With Sober Living Today

Coming to terms with all of the treatment options available to you can be difficult. That’s why it’s important to reach out to a facility that can provide you with reliable information about the programs available to you.

At Zinnia Healing, we strive to offer every individual the most information possible about addiction recovery so that they can make an informed decision.

Some of the options we can help you explore include:

  • Customized inpatient and outpatient treatment plans
  • Support for mental illness and disabilities
  • Nearby recovery housing to help you through the transition
  • Financing and payment options to cover the cost of your treatment
  • Additional support available from local governments

Are you looking for more information about addiction recovery? Speak to the experienced recovery specialists at Zinnia Healing. We believe in offering caring, personalized support in a judgment-free environment. Plus, our helpline is open 24/7. Just dial (855) 430-9439 to get started.

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