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Inpatient treatment programs for substance use and mental health disorders provide a structured, controlled environment where sound healing can take place. Eventually, after successfully completing inpatient treatment, you will transition into an outpatient program.

Part of going back out into the world after treatment involves rebuilding your life from the ground up. Transitioning to a new home out of the structured inpatient facility can be overwhelming. Since there are several different outpatient options, you might wonder which one will be best for you.

Sober living homes are a valuable residential option as you begin an independent outpatient program. These facilities provide an intermediate step as you receive treatment from an outpatient program. You are expected to pay rent and other bills, are encouraged to work and earn money, and are held accountable by staff and by other peers in the home.

Despite these responsibilities, you will find many benefits to choosing a sober living program during your transition.

What Is Sober Living?

After completing an inpatient treatment program, you may not yet be ready to live independently. Perhaps you may need additional assistance as you learn to prioritize your sobriety outside of treatment. 

Sober living facilities exist to take some of that burden off your shoulders. These houses provide you with a transitional living situation so you can learn how to navigate your sobriety independently as you complete your outpatient program.

At a sober living house, you will live with other people who are also in recovery. Together, you will hold each other accountable and provide peer support to one another as you work to maintain your sobriety.

Sober living facilities often have more amenities than inpatient facilities. These facilities are designed to be homes, not hospitals. They are warm and inviting homes that encourage you to want to spend time with your recovery peers.

Sober Living Homes vs. Halfway Houses

You may be wondering, what is the difference between a sober living house and a halfway house? The simple answer is that halfway houses only allow you to stay for a certain amount of time. On the other hand, sober living houses do not have as strict of time limits. This allows you to stay as long as you are in need of recovery.

A sober living house is a home that you live in while you recover and continue an outpatient program. It is a place where you commit to sobriety, but more independently than in inpatient programs. In sober living houses, you are subject to random drug and alcohol testing as your peers and the staff hold you accountable.

While in these facilities, you still have access to a professional staff dedicated to your recovery, just like you had in the inpatient program. But instead of a treatment facility, sober living homes offer a welcoming atmosphere where you can relax and feel at ease.

The Benefits of Sober Living Homes

Research shows that sober living houses increase the likelihood of success in recovery. In the past, halfway houses were the primary transitional environment for moving from an inpatient to an outpatient program. However, the benefits of sober living facilities are now being recognized by the addiction recovery community.

As stated previously, halfway houses have their limitations, including how long you can stay there. Unlike halfway houses, your treatment continues in the sober living house just like it did in your inpatient facility. In most sober houses, you commit to the same treatment and programs you did during your initial treatment.

Sober living houses also limit the number of people in a house, so you will never feel overcrowded. This is not just a facility. Instead, this is your home, and your fellow residents should feel like family as you all work toward a lifetime of recovery.

Sober living houses exist because you may not have a safe place to transition to once you have achieved sobriety in treatment. You need a place to live where you are free from dangerous influences so that you can build a positive, healthy, and sober life. 

Finding A Sober, Independent Future

According to one study, some of the first sober houses, dating back to the 1930s, were run by charitable organizations like the YMCA. They were originally intended to provide the same great community service that these facilities still provide today.

One of the best parts about a sober living house is the true independence you start to have as you are held accountable by the facility and your peers. Other residents can help you too, with contacts about where to find work or assistance programs to locate medical services and psychiatric help.

As a resident, you have a say in the house too. In an informal congress, you get to vote on issues that affect you all. Therefore, sober living lets you begin to be in control of your recovery by giving you the tools you need to build a new, sober life. 

Graduating from an inpatient treatment program for substance use and mental health is one of the most important milestones you can have for your recovery. But as you near the end of your program, you are probably wondering what comes next. You have a lot of options before you, and looking at them all might feel overwhelming. Sober living houses provide one of the best ways to move into a more independent living arrangement during your outpatient program while you continue treatment and learn how to navigate your sobriety independently. At the Lighthouse Recovery sober living house, you will find a caring, welcoming, home environment that will encourage your lifelong commitment to sobriety. We can connect you with additional treatment and life skills resources. Call us at (214) 717-5884 today and learn about our sober living houses and what we can do for you.