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Recovery from a substance use disorder is an ongoing process that often presents a number of challenges. Individuals who have completed an inpatient program may need to find a safe and sober place to live post treatment that allows them to transition from a residential treatment program to life back in the outside world. Oftentimes, sober living homes are the answer.
Sober living homes are group homes that offer structure and housing for people who are in the early stages of recovery. Most often, the residents of sober living homes have been released from an inpatient rehabilitation program, such as a withdrawal management program or a comprehensive addiction treatment program, and need to get a strong foothold in their new lifestyle. Many of these facilities are referred to as halfway houses, three-quarter houses, sober living homes, etc.
The National Alliance of Recovery Residences (NARR) is a national nonprofit organization that attempts to set the standards for these facilities. It was founded in 2011 and has adopted the collective term recovery residences to describe all of these types of facilities.
The majority of these residences do not offer formal treatment programs on site, although some may have 12-Step group meetings on site. This may vary from state to state and residence to residence, as more recovery residences attempt to accept insurance payments from residents. A recovery residence differs from a rehabilitation program in that a rehabilitation program has a licensed and trained therapy program as the main portion of its services, whereas a traditional recovery residence is simply a place for a recovering individual to stay as they transition from inpatient treatment to independent living. Therefore, in the traditional sense, sober living homes are not treatment programs but actual living quarters.
The second major expectation that a resident of a recovery residence should have is that they will be required to maintain their sobriety during their stay and will most likely be required to offer physical proof of abstinence in the form of scheduled or random drug and/or alcohol testing. The major goal of these residences is to provide their inhabitants with safe and comfortable living quarters while they begin to focus on their long-term recovery.
If the resident is not able to maintain sobriety, the individual needs more intensive inpatient treatment or some other form of intervention.
More On Sober Living:Length Of StayBenefits
Residents at sober living homes are expected to follow the rules and regulations associated with the specific facility. The first two rules involve the aforementioned issues with maintaining sobriety and being checked for that sobriety. While different recovery residences will have different rules, the majority of these facilities have the same core requirements that one should expect to adhere to:
In general, there are some expectations the resident should have regarding the facility and staff. These include:
The residents of these facilities should expect to receive support from the staff and other residents in recovery. They should also expect to be asked to support other residents and staff members in making the facility run according to its principles and rules. Finally, the residents of these facilities should expect to be responsible for their behavior and to be held accountable for their behavior while they are staying at the home.