Living sober is a practice and a philosophy that is developed over time. After just a few months in treatment, going out into the world to live sober presents challenges. Staying sober and achieving life long recovery is accomplished one day at a time. In early days, one whole day can be challenging without the guidance, support, and accountability of being in treatment. Sober living programs and/or homes are designed to offer that extra support while integrating into life outside of treatment.
What is Sober Living?
Treatment facilities have their own sober living homes. After graduation from the program, individuals can move into a home with recent peers and program alumni. Other sober living facilities are independent, supporting local treatment centers, or acting as a stand alone option for recovery. People in sober living may be attending IOP (intensive outpatient programs) or PHP (partial hospitalization programs).
Why Sober Living?
Sober living is a metaphor for recovery. In a sober living home are peers in recovery, offering one another support and guidance as they travel through their respective journeys. A living opportunity to practice principles of the program, sober living is a chance to use what is learned during treatment.
Learning to get along with multiple personalities in treatment was a challenge. Adjusting to existing without drugs and alcohol was the beginning when coexisting with peers in treatment. Now, back in the ‘real world’ everyone is adjusting to living life again.
What happens in Sober Living?
Structure is a main part of sober living. Routine drug tests will be administered to maintain accountability for sobriety. Daily breathalyzer tests may be given as well. More structure might include daily and weekly chores, participating in house meetings, and enjoying house outings or volunteer days. Most sober livings require a weekly amount of 12 step or other support group meetings. Meeting slips will be given out to be signed by meeting secretaries. Requiring meetings encourages fellowship and taking action toward one’s recovery.
Being of service is a continuous opportunity in sober living. Gaining time in recovery is valuable to oneself and to others. As new people come in, fresh out of treatment, someone who has been in sober living already provides tremendous example for living sober. Through guidance, friendship, mentorship and support, one has a chance to carry the message every day.