Health Care

The Five Keys To Successful Sober Living Houses

It can be difficult for people recovering from problems with drug or alcohol abuse to avoid relapses if they don’t live in a stable, drug and alcohol-free environment. When people are released from inpatient programs to battle addiction, their return to the same destructive environment that led to their problems with addiction is a recipe for relapse. 

That’s why the sober living approach to dependency is growing in popularity in cities like Los Angeles that have a lot of people trying to cope with drug and alcohol abuse. Sober living has been shown to have better results with fewer relapses than other approaches, and it’s also less expensive than hospital and outpatient treatment programs conducted through government agencies.

In order for sober living houses to have the most beneficial effect, they have to include the following five keys to success:

Absolutely No Drugs or Alcohol

Of course all sober living houses have rules against the use of drugs and alcohol, but simply placing a sign on the wall is not enough. Unless the entire staff and all the residents are completely committed to avoiding relapses, the chances that residents will sneak in forbidden substance is high. One way the best houses enforce the rules is by involving the residents in discipline for people that break their pledge to stay sober. The purpose of communal living while recovering from alcohol and drug addiction is to increase the feeling of support you receive. Other residents will be instrumental in guiding relapsing residents back to sobriety than other approaches that rely solely on outside pressure.

Attendance in Self Help Sessions

Sober house like in Los Angeles don’t have formal on-site treatment services in the same way inpatient hospital facilities do. Instead, residents are strongly urged to attend 12-step programs and other self-help classes to aid in their recovery. Most residents do better in sober houses than in halfway houses or inpatient programs because the treatment plans are less rigid, but still an integral part of the recovery process.

Strict Compliance With House Rules

In any communal living arrangement, it’s important for everyone to respect the rights of others. That’s especially true of sober houses where backsliding on a sobriety pledge can tempt others to go along. Sobriety is just one of many house rules that must be obeyed, and if residents want to prepare themselves for integration into regular society, they need to learn to follow rules and get along with others.

Open-Ended Residential Periods

Unlike government programs, sober living houses don’t set a time limit on your stay. This allows everyone to proceed at their own pace, no matter whether it’s faster or slower than others. The pressure to leave treatment centers before full recovery is often blamed for relapse. Sober housing is available until the resident feels ready for re-integration into regular society.

Individual Responsibility for Rent

In Sober houses, every resident is required to pay their own rent and other expenses. While there are programs that will fund sober housing for the truly indigent, the requirement that residents pay their own way encourages people to acquire useful life skills and earn money to pay for their stay. This increases the chances of success in life after leaving the facility.

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