Recovery and sober living can be extremely stressful. You are fresh in the recovery process and still have a lot of kinks to work out. Your outlook on life may be a positive one, but you are still not steady on your sober feet. That is why most people tend to first seek out shelter in a sober living facility.
These homes provide a lot more freedom and real-life experiences than, say, a treatment facility. On the other hand, they provide more structure and restrictions than you have at home. By beginning your recovery journey with a wide-open ticket to freedom, you may find yourself on a slippery slope. You are likely not as strong as you think you are – yet.
Sober homes will provide you everything you need to succeed and gain this strength. And, to provide this safe place, there are certain characteristics that a good sober home will have.
House Location Is Key
First and foremost, logic will tell you that you want to make sure the sober living home is not located in an area of temptation, such as those areas that are known for having a drug issue. Entering recovery will already place a great deal of pressure on you. So, removing this giant temptation factor is a great idea.
A couple things to keep in mind when it comes to location:
- Choose a sober living home that is located outside of areas that you used to frequent.
- Look at the surrounding area, what do you see? Being in close proximity to bars, pubs, liquor stores, clubs, etc. often means an increased chance for access to those very substances you are trying to stay free of.
Drugs and alcohol are found everywhere – every addict knows this. Therefore, changing a location is not necessarily going to make you stay sober. However, attempting to place some distance between you and the problem can help as you strengthen in your recovery.
Strict Sober Living House Rules
Every good – and safe – sober living facility will come with a set of rules. These rules may vary from place to place, but the idea behind them is the same. They will you to move into recovery step by step. Rather than have all the freedom to do as you please and rely on yourself to be strong enough to stay sober, the rules allow you bits of freedom as you grow. In addition, these rules are also there to provide you with accountability, responsibility, teamwork skills, coping skills, and daily living skills.
A few of the most common house rules include:
- Curfews – you will have a lights-out time and, likely, a wake-up.
- Employment and education – you will be required to seek one or the other.
- Cleaning – you will be responsible for certain chores to maintain the home, including meal prep.
- Internet and phone – these may be restricted to certain lengths of time and during certain hours.
- Therapy – group sessions are very common and are usually mandatory.
- Goal setting – you will likely create a personal plan for yourself and steps to achieve these goals.
The rules are designed to keep you safe and focused and, most often, lead to consequences for those who choose not to follow them.
Safe Environment & Drama-Free Living
Sober living homes help maintain a good rapport throughout the home. Finding one that makes this a priority – taking respect for each other seriously – can make the home safe. When you place recovering addicts in a home together, each with a different background, but moving toward a common goal, you are bound to encounter drama.
The idea is to create a safe and peaceful space that strives to provide a wholesome environment, and works through any issues between residents in a healthy, productive, and positive manner.
Always-Present Recovery Professionals
A safe sober home is one that has professionals on-site always. Various issues and situations can arise at the drop of a dime and your recovery is fragile – especially at this stage. You chose not to go home and try your hand at sobriety alone. So, why would you want to do it alone in a sober home?
Having guidance from a professional at any time you need it is a huge benefit to a safe place.
- As your sober support system and team, they can provide a sense of security and knowledge that other systems in your life cannot.
- When faced with temptation early on in recovery, these professionals can help reinforce the tools you have been taught for dealing with it.
- The struggles you face as you reintegrate back into society as a sober individual are not understood by everyone. Knowing that you have an experienced person to turn to during your times of need is comforting – and may even help you take bigger steps outside of your comfort zone.
- These professionals help enforce the rules so that you can get the most out of your sober living experience in the safest manner possible.
- They can train you in the daily living skills that you may be missing, as well as assist in seeking employment or applying for entrance into an educational setting.
Never underestimate the need for those who oversee sober homes. Let these individuals safely guide you to getting back on your feet – all while maintaining your sobriety.
Daily Practice & Commitment of Living Sober
Everyone can work hard to alleviate the burdens of sobriety, but it ultimately falls back on your shoulders. After all, you are the one who is in recovery and you are the one who is learning to live a new way of life.
Your team of professionals – doctors, therapists, nurses – all see that you are taken care of as they are supposed to. But, their job is dependent on your desire maintain your sobriety. If you don’t want it or you don’t remain strong, then there is nothing anyone else can do to keep you safe and sober.
A safe place for sober living will teach you this. And will help you to use the tools you have learned and seek the help from those who are so willing to give it.
You have sobriety at your fingertips – don’t let it slip away.