Whether you’ve completed an addiction treatment program or are about to go to rehab, you might be wondering whether or not you should go to sober living after rehab. Sometimes referred to as halfway houses, sober living homes are a great option for people in early recovery. These structured environments help keep residents accountable and involved in their recovery.
Returning home after rehab isn’t always easy. Some people don’t have a supportive home environment while others don’t feel completely secure in going home and maintaining their sobriety without extra support. On the other hand, some people go to treatment without anywhere to go home to – and these individuals often choose to live in a sober home until they get back on their feet.
Whatever your situation is, there are many benefits of living in transitional housing after rehab. Ultimately, you should talk with your therapist to discuss what’s best for your sobriety.
What are Sober Living Homes?
Sober living homes serve as transitional housing to help ease the bridge from inpatient addiction treatment to living independently in sobriety. Leaving a residential facility isn’t always easy – especially if you’ve been admitted to a long-term program. Even though you’re sober, early recovery is an adjustment period that’s full of ups and downs. Although many people participate in outpatient treatment, these programs are typically accompanied by sober living environments and further aftercare support.
This type of aftercare helps people with various aspects of their recovery, including:
- Enforcing the importance of community and support
- Separating people from drugs and alcohol
- Providing a sense of accountability
- Helping people find jobs
- Teaching people to adjust to living sober
- Reinforcing healthy habits learned in rehab
Some sober living homes accept insurance while others are self-pay. Whether you go to sober living after drug or alcohol rehab or you go there right after detox, this type of transitional housing helps pave the way for lifelong sobriety.
What is Transitional Housing Like?
Sober living homes vary depending on the house, the owner, and state and local regulations. However, sober homes are drug and alcohol-free living environments that bring people in recovery together. These homes are usually scattered in neighborhoods or urban areas that provide easy access to public transportation and other goods that people may need. Depending on the size of the home, you may have one or two roommates or a room all to yourself.
While sober living homes aren’t as strict as rehab facilities, most homes require residents to abide by a curfew and a set of rules. This can include:
- Chore assignments
- Regular attendance to 12-step meetings
- Regular participation in house meetings
- Have proof of income, a job, or searching for a job
- Regular drug testing
- Random breathalyzer tests
Furthermore, many sober living homes are managed by a house manager who keeps up with the progress of each member of the household. This helps promote accountability and routine, which helps keep people on the road to recovery.
Depending on the home, the length of time people stay varies. For example, some homes only allow patients to stay there for three to six months, while others allow residents to live there for a year or more. However, your place at the sober living heavily depends on your adherence to the rules and whether or not you’ve managed to stay sober.
The Benefits of Going to Sober Living After Rehab
When people live in sober homes, they are encouraged to provide support to one another. This helps combat the isolation that is sometimes so triggering to people in early recovery. Since halfway houses provide structured, supportive environments, they make it a lot easy to stay sober after treatment.
The Journal of Psychoactive Drugs explains that “lack of a stable, alcohol and drug-free living environment can be a serious obstacle to sustained abstinence.” By utilizing peer support groups and encouraging 12-step group attendance, sober living homes have proved to be a valuable asset to people looking to stay sober. Studies comparing people who attending sober living versus people who did not found that people who went to sober living after rehab:
- Experience lower rates of arrests
- Are less likely to relapse
- Have an easier time finding employment
- Experience less psychiatric symptoms (or less severe symptoms)
- Have more involvement in 12-step meetings
- Have higher outpatient retention rates
Overall, sober living communities help patients stick to their recovery goals, enforce good behavior, and promote relationship building. For many people, going to sober living after rehab is an integral part of the recovery process. Not only does it provide a sense of community, but transitional housing can help lay the foundation of support, fellowship, and responsibility that’s needed to remain vigilant in your recovery.
Deciding Whether or Not Sober Living is Right For You
When you approach the end of your addiction treatment program, your therapist should discuss your aftercare options with you. If they think you’re a good fit for sober living, the treatment center should refer you to a trusted sober home. However, you can also do your own research and consult with other treatment providers to see whether or not you should go to sober living after rehab.
If you’re ready to get started on your road to recovery or are looking for aftercare support, contact our addiction specialists in South Bend, Indiana today.
Medically Reviewed: September 25, 2019
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.