If you’ve been struggling with addiction, you may have considered sober living as an option for treatment. But what is sober living? Sober living houses are structured sober living environments that support and provide accountability for residents committed to sobriety. To keep their spot in the home, residents of sober living homes must adhere to strict rules and regulations. While this may sound daunting, the truth is, structure and rules can be beneficial for those in recovery. We’ll talk about the benefits of those rules in a moment, but first, let’s talk more about the components of structured sober living.
Common Components of a Structured Sober Living Programs
While structured sober living programs may vary slightly from house to house, most of them have some standard components. These components include:
- House meetings: Residents of sober living homes typically participate in regular house meetings. This is a time for everyone to check in, share any concerns they may have, and offer support to one another.
- Curfew: Most structured sober living homes have a curfew in place. This helps ensure residents are getting enough rest and avoiding potential triggers that could lead to relapse.
- Chores: Residents of sober living homes are usually responsible for completing daily chores. This not only helps to keep the house clean and tidy but also gives residents a sense of responsibility and purpose.
- Drug testing: Most structured sober living homes require residents to submit to regular drug testing. This helps ensure residents remain abstinent from drugs and alcohol and keeps them accountable.
- Career and academic guidance: Many structured sober living homes offer career and educational guidance to residents. This can help residents develop a plan for their future and set themselves up for success.
- Community and networking events: Some structured sober living homes offer community and networking events for residents. This is a great way for residents to meet new people and get involved in the sober community.
Now that we’ve discussed some of the common components of structured sober living, let’s discuss the benefits of rules and regulations.
Benefits of Structured Sober Living
Here’s a closer look at how rules can help residents of sober living homes stay on the path to recovery.
Rules keep residents accountable
One of the most essential functions of rules in sober living is keeping residents accountable. When residents are held accountable for their actions, they are less likely to relapse or engage in other destructive behaviors. For example, if a resident knows he will be kicked out of the sober living home if he uses drugs or alcohol, he is much less likely to use substances. The threat of losing his housing and being forced to leave the program will deter drug use. This can be a powerful motivator for residents to stay sober.
Rules provide structure and stability
Another benefit of rules in sober living is they provide structure and stability. For many residents, the structured environment of a sober living home is a welcome change from the chaotic lifestyle they were previously leading. The stability of having set rules and routines can be beneficial in early recovery when everything feels new and uncertain. Having structured activities and scheduled meal times can help residents feel more grounded and give them a sense of purpose.
Rules promote healthy behaviors
In addition to keeping residents accountable and providing structure, rules also promote healthy behaviors. Sober living homes typically have rules about curfew, bedtime, meals, housekeeping, and other everyday activities. These rules are designed to promote healthy behaviors and help residents develop good habits. For example, a rule that requires residents to be in bed by 10 p.m. promotes healthy sleep habits. In addition, a rule that requires residents to eat three meals a day supports healthy eating habits. By promoting healthy behaviors, rules can help residents establish a foundation for a healthy lifestyle in recovery.
Structured sober living creates a community of support
Structured sober living also helps create a community of support in structured sober living. With all house members following the same rules and regulations, those on sober journeys feel less alone. In addition, knowing there are others in the same situation can provide critical comfort and support during the most challenging times in their lives.
It can improve sobriety rates
When sober living residents follow the program’s rules and regulations, it can positively impact sobriety rates. Studies have shown sober living can help residents maintain abstinence from drugs and alcohol and improve long-term outcomes. For example, in one study, structured sober living was found to be associated with decreased substance use and increased employment and housing stability. The study also found structured sober living was associated with a lower risk of criminal activity.
While many associate structure and rules with a loss of independence, structured sober living can help residents restore their independence. By providing structure and support, structured sober living can help residents develop the skills they need to live independently. In addition, structured sober living can help residents transition back into the community after treatment. For example, many sober living homes require residents to find employment and pay rent. This can help residents learn how to budget their money and manage their finances.
Structured Sober Living versus a Halfway House
Understanding the difference between structured sober living and a halfway house is also important. Structured sober living is a type of housing that is typically used for people in early recovery. Halfway houses are usually used for people who are transitioning out of treatment or who have been in recovery for some time. Unlike sober living, halfway houses typically don’t have as many rules and regulations or structures.
While both types of housing can be beneficial, sober living may be a better option for people who are in early recovery. This is because the rules and structure of sober living can help residents stay on track in their sobriety journey. In addition, the community of support created by sober living can be very helpful for residents.
FAQs About Structured Sober Living and Other Recovery Tools
Now, let’s go over structured sober living and how it can help people in recovery.
What is structured sober living?
Structured sober living is a type of housing that is typically used for people in early recovery. Sober living homes usually have rules about curfew, bedtime, meals, housekeeping, and other everyday activities. These rules are designed to promote healthy behaviors and help residents develop good habits.
Why is structured sobriety important?
There are a few reasons why structured sobriety is important.
- First, sober living can help residents establish a foundation for a healthy lifestyle in recovery.
- Second, structured sober living creates a community of support. When everyone is following the same rules and regulations, it fosters a sense of unity and camaraderie among residents. This can be extremely helpful for residents who are trying to stay sober. This camaraderie can provide comfort and support during times of struggle.
- Finally, structured sober living can improve sobriety rates. As discussed earlier in this article, studies have shown sober living can help residents maintain abstinence from drugs and alcohol and improve long-term outcomes.
What does it mean to live a sober lifestyle?
A sober lifestyle abstains from drugs and alcohol. A sober lifestyle can also involve making other positive changes, such as eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep. Sober living typically refers to housing arrangements that support a sober lifestyle.
What other tools are available to help me in my recovery?
There are many other tools available to help you in your recovery. Some alternatives include:
- Sober coaching: Sober coaching is a type of support that’s incredibly beneficial in early recovery. A sober coach can help you develop healthy coping skills, set goals, and stay accountable in your sobriety journey. At Elysian Sober Services, our sober coaches act as mentors to clients, helping to guide them in decisions and integrating them into the recovery community.
- Outpatient treatment: Outpatient treatment is a type of care that allows you to live at home while receiving addiction treatment. Outpatient treatment can benefit people who are in early recovery and need extra support to stay on track.
- Sober companions: Sober companions are similar to sober coaches but provide more hands-on support. Sober companions typically live with their clients and help them with everyday tasks like grocery shopping, cooking, and transportation.
- 12-step programs: 12-step programs are groups that offer support and fellowship for people in recovery. Some popular 12-step programs include Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA).
You can also read why a sober buddy is essential next.
If you or someone you care about is struggling with addiction, structured sober living may be a good option to consider. Structured sober living can help residents stay on track in their sobriety journey and improve long-term outcomes. Many other tools are available to help you in your recovery, such as sober coaching, outpatient treatment, sober companions, and 12-step programs.
If you are seeking sober services for you or someone you love in South Florida, contact Elysian Sober Services today so we can help.