‘How long?’ — that’s often one of the most common questions on the minds of individuals considering drug recovery treatment. No doubt, the idea of entering a facility can be daunting and stressful, especially when it feels like you’re giving up your freedom, but there’s a lot more to gain than to lose. The sober living house is one of the most effective phases of drug treatment recovery, offering much needed support and guidance for an extended period of time. If you’re wondering how long you can stay in a sober living house, the answer is simple — it depends.
What Are Sober Living Homes Like?
A sober living house is a shared home space that provides safe, affordable housing for those recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. They’re often the next step after residential treatment, providing slightly more freedom than inpatient rehab without completely pulling support from under its members’ feet. One of the reasons why sober living homes are so effective is because individuals who become a part of the home are treated as stakeholders and not merely tenants. They have a say as to how household duties and obligations are performed, and as to who does what. Everyone has a role to play in a sober living home — from cooking, to cleaning, to coming up with rules and regulations. This gives its members a feeling of responsibility and accountability, aside from the shared management which has been found to be therapeutic in its own respects. Another thing that sets the sober living home apart from residential treatment is that members are allowed to leave, find work, and engage in recreational activities outside of the home. Newer members will often be assigned a senior member to accompany them on their trips. Rules change from home to home, but some will allow pets, visitors, and will even let members buy their own cars, appliances, and other essentials. Independence is definitely improved compared to residential treatment, but not without certain limitations.
Rules in a Sober Living Home
Again, no two sober living homes are ever the same, and tenants may even play a role in the development of some regulations. In general, however, sober living homes tend to abide by the following rules:
- Curfew hours – Members are required to return home at a certain time throughout the day. Morning routines might also be limited by curfew hours that extend into the early hours of morning. Violation of curfew hours may result to penalties like fines or chores, depending on what tenants agree to.
- Visitation hours – Sober living homes often impose strict rules when it comes to visiting hours. Given a window to entertain guests, members are also discouraged from keeping guests in private spaces like bedrooms. Overnight guests are almost always strictly prohibited.
- Zero tolerance – It’s common for sober living homes to impose a zero-tolerance rule. This means that if a member returns a positive drug or alcohol test result, they can be kicked out of the house with no questions asked.
How Long Can You Stay in a Sober Living House?
Just like every other phase of treatment, sober living homes are outcomes based and do not rely on a time frame. That means members can leave when they feel like they’re ready to adapt to a more independent lifestyle. With that, sober living homes rarely impose a specific length of stay for their members as long as they follow the rules. On average, individuals who enter sober living homes stay for as much as 256 days according to statistics. Studies have also found that those who stay longer tend to curb the chances of relapse, stay out of criminal activity, find stable jobs, and found better housing arrangements than those who stayed for a shorter time. All of that said, there are a few factors that may affect the length of a person’s stay in a sober living home. These include:
- Recovery progress – Those who feel like they’re ready to take on more independent living might find it necessary to leave the structure of a sober living home behind. These individuals may start living on their own but still participate in outpatient programs and aftercare groups to support their sobriety.
- House rules – Some individuals might find the rules of a sober living home to be too restrictive over time. This is especially true for those who decide to take on jobs that require more hours that could interfere with curfews. That said, there are some people who choose to leave a sober living home to find more flexible housing arrangements that accommodate their schedules.
- House mates – Unfortunately, personalities can clash in a sober living home. If an individual has to live in the house with other members who they struggle to get along with, then it may prove to be good enough reason for them to opt out.
- Financial considerations – While sober living homes tend to be much more affordable than traditional rental arrangements, some members who manage to earn more may opt to find housing that better suits their budget, their preference for privacy, and their improved financial capacity.
How Do You Get into a Sober Living Home?
If you’re coming from a residential treatment program, then your facility might have a sober living home that you can join. The successful completion of a residential program is often one of the requirements for joining a sober living environment. Any fees and expenses (like rent, utilities, and food) are self-pay which means members have to be somewhat stable to become part of the home. Others may get into a sober living home as part of legal requirements for probation or parole.
A Vital Step to Recovery
Sober living homes are an important step of the recovery process, but they could also become a comfortable living arrangement for the year to come. With studies revealing that longer stays in sober living homes produce better long-term recovery results, there’s really no reason to rush yourself through the process. So, if you’re looking for a suitable home for sober living Dallas offers a number of choices to support your recovery in comfort and class