A sober housing environment, sometimes called a halfway house, offers a less structured facility with less intensive therapeutic treatments than a rehab environment; but insulates somewhat against the temptations and shock of renewed exposure to the triggers to abuse and the stresses in the environment that can lead to temptation. Sober housing can vary dramatically in the intensity of therapies offered, and some may offer only drug and alcohol free housing and demand only minimal rent and an agreement to abide by a strict code of conduct in return.
Whatever the level of involvement, all sober living facilities offer a number of very concrete benefits to recovering addicts rejoining the community.
1 Learning to have sober fun
Many people with lengthy addictions histories struggle with the idea of substance free fun. Sharing housing with a group of people in the same situation allows recovering addicts to relearn with others than fun doesn’t have to come out of a bottle or from a pipe.
2 Minimizing temptation
Although once again working and participating in society, temptations to abuse will abound; and just knowing that you have a sober environment to return home to can offer enough sanctuary from temptation to avoid relapse.
3 Staying in aftercare
People who transition in to sober housing are far more likely to maintain intensive participation in aftercare therapies…and are as a result far more likely to remain sober.
4 Reducing social isolation
It can be a very scary thing to sever all ties to the people you used to use with, and a lot of addicts have trouble interacting normally with people without the assistance of drugs or alcohol. Getting to know people in a sober and safe setting helps to reduce isolation, forms a lot of great friendships, and consolidates necessary social skills that reduce the likelihood of relapse.
5 Reducing stress
Some addicts emerge from residential rehab to a very stressful reality of questionable housing, non existent employment and the stress of temptation. Knowing that sober and safe housing has been arranged for the transition back into productive society removes a lot of stress, and allows for a more focused concentration on recovery. Sober living isn’t for everyone, but it is statistically proven to improve the odds of long term sobriety, and it does offer those that partake of it a number of benefits.
I transitioned out of rehab into the arms of a loving and supportive family, and although I needed to get away to get better, I couldn’t have stayed away for longer than I already had. I think that if I hadn’t had any family to return to, I would have eagerly considered a sober living environment.