Why Sober Living is so Important
Sober living homes are by definition a form of transitional housing. Sober living homes can vary; some offer single rooms, others shared rooms. Some are conventional houses, others can span into entire campuses. Residents in sober living homes share not only in a past of substance abuse (drug addiction and alcoholism), but also the road to recovery. The effects of prolonged substance abuse can be devastating to alcoholics and addicts in their recovery process--sharing living quarters with others combating similar burdens can result in amazing peer support and aid in achieving long term sobriety.
Good sober living homes often employ their own unique sober living programs. These programs can consist of required meetings (both in-house meetings and outside 12-step meetings), and accountabilities, which can include and range from: designated chores/commitments, adhering to a curfew, fulfilling agreed upon employment, the timely paying of rent/treatment, and of course abstaining from drugs and alcohol in any form. Those sober living houses that implement a program for its residents provide many much-needed outlets and a much-needed structure. Having an orderly direction from staff, management, and fellow residents can truly enrich the lives of the recovering alcoholic and addict.
Being a recovering alcoholic myself, I can wholly attest to the value a good sober living house had in my early recovery. The rules on the surface of the house I stayed were very simple: make your bed, be out-of-the-house between 9AM-3PM, honor the house curfew, be gainfully employed for 35+ hours a week, perform all rotating chores for the house, attend three meetings a week (minimum (and actively participate in said meetings)), and to stay sober. During my stay in my sober living house, I slowly began to gain a better design for living. During my stay, I soon began to accrue true friends. Fellowship was the bedrock of my early recovery. Being in such close proximity to others, who themselves too were early in their recovery, allowed a camaraderie greater than any other place at that time could offer. We’d go to outside 12-step meetings, movies, ball games, restaurants, and even concerts; I learned that I could live every day without taking a drink or a drug if I didn’t want to--I learned that I didn’t have to do it alone. A sober living house showed me that if I got out-of-my-own-way and followed some direction I would enjoy a comfortable and even fun sobriety.
What To Do If You Can’t Commit To A Sober Living Environment:
Not everyone new in their recovery is going to be able to reside in a sober living environment. Meeting the demands of sober house requirements can be out-of-reach for a recovering alcoholic or addict for a number of reasons. Be it family, commitments to employers, scheduling conflicts with a curfew, income, or even the absence of actual sober living homes; these can play a real barrier for those in early recovery seeking such a service. Luckily, there is a wealth of resources for those outside of a sober living environment that assist in sustained recovery.
Regularly attending proven twelve-step programs can be paramount in maintaining sobriety. Whether the person is a recovering alcoholic or addict, programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are widespread in every community, and in most countries worldwide. Tailoring a program of recovery is unique and differs according to those working such programs. The phrase “90 in 90” is common throughout meetings of both Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous; “90 in 90” means attending 90 meetings in 90 days time. Inside of that time routine attendance can birth a number of opportunities for the recovering alcoholic or addict: meeting other people in the recovery community, finding out what type(s) of meetings are available, finding out what type(s) of meetings the attendant likes, chances to participate in service work (setting up chairs, preparing coffee, greeting other meeting attendees etc.), taking a more formal commitment (becoming a meeting secretary, meeting treasurer, or meeting literature person), and of course finding out what events and gatherings are happening throughout the recovery community.
There are other avenues and options for those in recovery who cannot commit to a residence in sober living. Addiction treatment specialists, therapists, psychiatrists, and intensive outpatient programs (IOP’s) are all versed and familiar with the struggle of those afflicted with the disease of alcoholism and drug addiction. Such professionals and facilities can offer high levels of care and often work into the schedule of those seeking their services.
In short, the vast network of sober living homes in the US can placate to a recovering alcoholic or addict regardless of their level of sobriety. There is an ever-present and growing need for sober living homes and communities. The amount of value a sober living house can add to the lives of recovering addicts and alcoholics seeking quality sobriety is immeasurable.
Coastal Addiction Center
527 S Archer St
Anaheim, CA 92804