Sober living homes, commonly known as halfway houses, serve as a crucial final step for those recovering from addictions. While some communities worry that featuring sober living homes could bring down their town’s value, in reality it reflects the progress and new lifestyle that is being supported by the residents.
As the name suggests, a sober living home is a “residential” environment that is free of drugs, alcohol, and other substances that can be abused. Each house is able to hold multiple people who are all new to an addiction-free life. Housemates serve as both a support system and accountability partners to ensure they all stay the course of sobriety.
One or more professional staff members live at each home to act as an overseer to help those in recovery from relapsing. While not as strict as an actual medical facility, rules and regulations are created to keep things running smoothly for everyone involved.
Residents must never bring drugs or alcohol into the home, or use any substances while away from the premises. Random drug-screenings can occur at any time, and those that fail may be removed from the home. The point of a sober living home is not to punish or push away anyone, but these rules must be followed to prevent other residents from being brought down by the relapse of their housemates. Curfews are also commonly used to help those enrolled stay away from late night activities that will tempt them to indulge.
Sober living staff are there to help residents get back into the working world, and want them to fully succeed. Some halfway homes require members to attend job interviews or enroll in an educational program such as a community college. This serves as a great way for recovering addicts to ease into the “real” world while having the support and encouragement from others in their same position. Pursuing a job search or education also provides an outlet to focus on instead of feeling trapped in an addiction’s power.
Many sober living homes require that residents attend and complete a 12-step program while, or prior to, living in the house. Most residents will stay at least 3 months while making the jump away from addiction, but some will stay in a halfway house between 12 to 18 months depending on the program.
Halfway houses do charge “rent” to stay there. This will range from a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars per month depending on the facility a member chooses. Celebrities and other big names in the business or political worlds will often shell out big bucks to keep their location and addiction secret. If only more cultural icons owned up to their addictions and struggles, a different light could be cast on those who have fallen to their own addictions.
Another great benefit of a recovering addict living in a sober living home is that it gives space and time to their friends or family who may feel “burnt out” from dealing with them. It can be exhausting and scary trying to care for a loved one who is struggling with a serious addiction. By living in a halfway house, residents can mend bridges with their loved ones from a distance and slowly ease back into their lives as new people once they have recovered.
Residents can choose when to leave their sober living program at any time, unless they were medically placed in one, or living there under a court order. Halfway homes usually accept insurance, and they try to be as open and accessible as possible for people from all walks of life.
If you are in search of a sober living home for yourself or someone you know, the National Alliance for Recovery Residences is a great place to start. If the NARR isn’t located in your state, there are a multitude of other organization that can be contacted online to find a location in your area.
Check out the NARR website to get started: http://narronline.org/
We wish you and your loved ones the best of luck while overcoming this addiction, and welcome you to your sober life ahead!