Considered one of the most effective steps after inpatient treatment, the sober living home provides a safe, comfortable place for individuals to stay as they relearn to navigate the ‘outside world.’ Here, they’re surrounded by like-minded individuals with similar stories, and they get the perfect balance of support and independence.
But no one really lives in a sober living home forever. While some stays may extend for years, tenants soon find themselves ready to spread their wings and explore their horizons especially if they feel that they’ve learned everything they can from the sober living environment. So, what happens after that?
How Long Should You Stay in Sober Living?
Generally speaking, there is no limit to how long you can stay in a sober living home. Some individuals can spend years in a sober living environment, while others last just a few months until they find more suitable living conditions. Plus, because no one really ‘measures progress’ in a sober living home, there’s no benchmark or sign that tells you when it’s time to leave.
That means it’s entirely up to you. However, it’s equally important to remember that some individuals may end up leaving the sober living home prematurely if they break certain rules, or if they don’t get along with others in the home. Of course, rental payments also play a role in whether an individual can continue their stay.
What To Expect During Your Stay
So, what is a sober living program? This unique environment provides individuals a safe place to exercise their independence without totally abandoning the structure they might have gotten used to during their inpatient treatment at drug and alcohol rehab centers in Dallas.
These homes are typically occupied by clients going through similar experiences, with one or two counselors available on-site to maintain house rules and oversee the activities in the home.
One unique characteristic of the sober living home is that to some extent, chores and household responsibilities will be shared by those living in the space. So that means cleaning common areas like living rooms, shared bathrooms, and kitchens among others will be the responsibility of all.
Organized homes may place tenants on a rotating schedule of cleaning and cooking so that everyone gets a turn. Then there are others that implement a more individualized routine that allows tenants to cook and eat on their own time, given that they clean up after themselves.
Productivity and Work
The main difference between sober living homes and any other kind of rehab treatment program is that they encourage individuals to seek work opportunities. The sober living home is essentially a ‘training ground’, providing tenants the chance to exercise their freedom and independence while still touching base with their basic rehab roots.
Money that they make from their job can be used to pay their rent, bills, groceries, and may even be used to purchase a car if the home allows tenants to have their own vehicle. The purpose of this is to help them learn how to manage their own finances and budgeting.
Counseling and group therapy sessions don’t end at the sober living home. Instead, members of the home are encouraged to come up with their own schedules for meetings and other recovery related activities.
Some homes have a counselor that provides in-house group talk sessions, while others have their own 12-step program. They also hold routine meetings to update each other on domestic concerns, allowing tenants to review rules, regulations, events, and other particulars relating to their stay at the home.
What Happens After Sober Living?
This is a pretty big question on the minds of those who enter into and get comfortable in a sober living home. Once you get accustomed to routines, it can definitely be tough to picture out your life any other way. But there are loads of reasons why you might want to consider moving out, including:
- Work opportunities – Maybe you’ve just been promoted and can now afford to rent out your own space. Or maybe your job calls for a move. Whatever the case, career opportunities are typically some of the most common reasons why people move on.
- Outgrew the structure – If you feel that you’re more capable of even more independence and you just don’t feel like you’re learning anymore, then it may be time to move and spread your wings even more.
- Family unit – It’s definitely a possibility to find or rekindle love and move on with your own family. In that case, leaving a sober living home becomes an inevitable part of the process of growth.
While there are no guidelines as to what you should do once you leave, experts do have a few recommendations to limit the risk of relapse. Again, decisions depend solely on what each individual might think is best for their own health and wellness, so none of these are set in stone:
- Stay somewhere near your sober living home to reduce the stress of learning how to get around an entirely new place
- Avoid going back to your hometown where you might be exposed to triggers that could remind you of substance use
- Live somewhere you can regularly touch base with supportive family and friends
- Choose a place that’s both comfortable and conducive for lasting recovery
- Make sure to consider your budget and don’t spend on a rental or a home that’s beyond your financial capability
- Consider a place that’s both close to nature and accessible to key areas of your community like grocery stores, pharmacies, and others
The Future Looks Bright
Sober living programs blend together independence and structure to challenge your new skills without cutting away your support. And because they’ve become quite popular, there are more than a handful of providers offering the sober living environment.
When it comes to choosing the right sober living, Dallas TX provides a wide range of choices for every preference and need. Make sure you scout your options and choose wisely to guarantee a seamless transition and sustain your recovery momentum.