What Is Sober Living?
Sober living homes do not offer treatment. They offer support after treatment and before returning to a less structured home life. They give you a place to live, often in the company of other recovering individuals. So much of addiction is environmental. Sober living houses ensure you have a safe, structured, and supportive place to live in early recovery.
As the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs explains, “Lack of a stable, alcohol and drug free living environment can be a serious obstacle to sustained abstinence. Destructive living environments can derail recovery for even highly motivated individuals.”
Sober living gives you a safe place to practice recovery skills. No matter how strong you feel in recovery, a stable, transitional place to live will never hurt your chances at long-term success.
Sober living often looks like any other living. You rent a room in a house or community, you go to work, you spend time with friends. The only difference is that sober living comes with a few more rules and a lot more support and understanding. Drugs and alcohol are not allowed on site, and the people you live with and around will have similar recovery goals and personal values. Sober living rarely costs more than you would pay for rent anywhere else. Some houses may even be supported by non-profit groups and offer reduced rates. If you choose a licensed facility, insurance may cover some of your costs of living. Licensed facilities may have on-site or on-call recovery professionals.
Any sober living home should keep you connected with your treatment plan. This plan must include ongoing therapy and aftercare. It may also include 12-Step meeting attendance or other options for social and group support. When you live in a home with other recovering addicts, attending meetings can become a group activity. This makes it harder to skip meetings or otherwise lapse in your recovery practices. Sober living homes help you create healthy routine and structure. They offer immediate, accessible peer support.
How Do I find Sober Living in California?
Begin by asking about licensing and professional supervision. The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) explains, “There are some residential facilities that do not provide alcohol or other drug services and do not require licensure by DHCS. These include cooperative living arrangements with a commitment or requirement to be free from alcohol and other drugs. These cooperative living arrangements may be referred to as sober living environments, sober living homes, transitional housing, or alcohol and drug free housing.” Sober living houses have to comply with local zoning restrictions. These are the only publicly-imposed regulations.
Make sure you are choosing a sober living home that will offer real support for sobriety. Your choice for transitional living should integrate support for a healthy home life, healthy work life, and strong recovery. Your best choice is often finding resources through your primary treatment provider. Ask which sober living homes are best, which homes your provider works with or is willing to work with regularly. Find resources through professional channels rather than through Internet searches or word of mouth. This ensures that even if a facility is not licensed, it has a high standing in the medical and recovery community. It will deliver on its promise of a sober, supportive, and safe place to live. It will integrate continued treatment as you transition from rehab to regular life.
Michael’s House offers high-quality, innovative drug rehab. The Palm Springs location puts you in the heart of the recovery community and gives you options for continuing your recovery with sober living. Call us to learn more about our unique, evidence-based treatment. Call to learn more about rehab and aftercare.
1 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/the-fix/california-law-attacks-re_b_9742994.html. “California Law Attacks Rehab Facilities.” The Huffington Post. 21 Apr 2016. Web. 9 May 2017.
2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3057870/. “What Did We Learn from Our Study on Sober Living Houses and Where Do We Go from Here?” Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. 15 Mar 2011. Web. 9 May 2017.
3 http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-rehab22jan22-story.html. “It’s Surf, Sun, Sand–and Sobriety?” LA Times. 22 Jan 2008. Web. 9 May 2017.
4 http://www.dhcs.ca.gov/provgovpart/Pages/Licensing-and-Certification-Facility-Licensing.aspx. “Facility Licensing.” California Department of Health Care Services. Web. 9 May 2017.
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