7 Benefits of Sober Living After Treatment

people at a sober living house
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If you’re going to rehab, intend to soon, or are recently graduating from a rehab program, leaving it can be intimidating. Addiction can leave many of us with tenuous living situations, you might have spent a large part of your time in your current home addicted, and you might be afraid to go home where you’ll be left alone to relapse. Sober living homes provide an answer, where you can join a community living in recovery, to get the support you need to stay sober over the first 3, 6, 9, or more months of your recovery. Here, sober living homes are intended to offer an intermediate step in the journey from rehab to recovery – giving you a transition space where you can start going back to work, work on yourself, and build life skills in an environment where you still have accountability, social support, and guidance.

Sober living is a great transition step because it means you can walk out of rehab and into an environment with the support you need to stay in recovery. That comes with the following 7 benefits.

1. Accountability

A sober living home means you’ll be staying with a group of peers. Here, you’ll share meals, have the same bedtime and wakeup routine, and often have opportunities for exercise and activities together. You’ll also be asked to talk to each other, to take part in group sessions, and to engage with counselors on-site. In each case, you’ll have people who are looking to you to stay sober. And, all of those people will have gone through the same things you have – they’re struggling with the same issues of addiction and cravings.

That accountability and having someone to go home to who knows how hard it is to resist cravings but who expect you to put in the work for yourself can be a powerful part of recovery. Social accountability can give you motivation to actually say no when you have the opportunity to drink or use. That’s so much true that it’s one of the largest reasons programs like Alcoholics Anonymous work is that they create a significant amount of social accountability. If you relapse, you have to get up and tell the people who are relying on you to stay clean and sober that you did – and you know that won’t feel good.

2. Structured Living

Rehab is a highly structured living environment where you wake up, join activities, stay in activities all day, and mostly spend your time in a very structured way. Going home and back to the unstructured environment of your old home can be a shock. And, most of us don’t have the discipline or the tools to create that structure for ourselves. An intermediate environment can ensure you retain the structure that helps you to stay sober – with set bedtime and wakeup times, set meals, set times to clean your spaces, help with chores that you aren’t good at or struggle with, and time set aside for exercise and activity.

That structured living can also extend long enough that you build those routines for yourself. And, once they’re habitual, you’ll have a much easier time maintaining workout, healthy eating, and healthy bedtime routines when you live by yourself.

3. Ongoing Treatment

Many sober living facilities offer access to counselors and therapists, meaning it’s relatively easy to continue treatment. Many people also use a combination of sober living facilities and outpatient treatment as ongoing treatment after an intensive inpatient rehab program. This gives you a steppingstone back to everyday life – while giving you the full hands-on support of ongoing care with therapy and counseling to help you tackle the obstacles and issues that come up while you go back to your life.

4. Social Support

Living with a group of 4-10 peers means more than having social accountability. It also means making friends, getting support from your group, and having people to talk to. That social support can be an extremely important part of finding a social life again, because you’ll get to be part of a group that has the same issues as you – they have to rebuild their social life without substances, which they used to rely on. All of you will need new friends, new experiences, and new hobbies – and you’ll get to do that together, where everyone is at a point of learning something for the first time. That support can be impactful, not only on getting support, but also on your ability to view yourself and your struggles with compassion, because everyone around you is going through the same things.

social support, guidance and care

5. An Easier Transition

The transition between inpatient rehab and living on your own can be significant. One day you’re living in a facility with nurses, peers, and friends, the next you’re sent out into the world to do whatever you want. That can be a shock, especially if you have to go home to an apartment where you used to drink, if you don’t have an apartment and have to go crash on someone’s couch, etc. Going home to strained family relationships can also be traumatizing.

Sober living facilities give you the opportunity to ease that transition, so you have a stepping stone to get your life together before you have to live on your own. That can be extremely important, whether you have to find a job and an apartment, have to improve relationships with friends and family, or have to adjust to going back to work and life without drugs and alcohol.

6. Guidance and Care

Most sober living centers will offer guidance and counseling as part of care, although it won’t be available to the full extent as it is in a recovery center. This means you can get ongoing support from counselors, you can ask for help, and you can possibly get guidance on your living conditions, building habits, building life skills, etc. That can help you to make better decisions and to transition to where you want to be, with ongoing help.

7. Reducing Risks of Relapse

The largest benefit of sober living homes is that they reduce the risk of relapse. In fact, one study showed that staying at a sober living facility for 250 days reduces relapse rates from 89% to just 20% over 6 months and to just 40% at 18 months after leaving the sober living facility. That improvement is consistent across different types of sober living, however, the same study found that you have to stay for at least 90 days to start seeing benefits and that stays of 6-12 months are ideal. However, having that support and structured living can reduce your risk of relapse over 18 months by more than half.

If you or a loved one is getting treatment, sober living facilities are a good follow-up. Stepping out of rehab and into a structured environment, where you have time to learn life skills and habits, to learn to take care of yourself, and to bridge the gap between autonomy and structured living will help you to stay sober and it will help you recover.

Stairway Recovery Homes has multiple sober living homes located in Los Angeles, CA. We provide quality recovery homes for both men’s sober living and women’s sober living

About Jim Sugel

SEO and Digital Marketing Expert Jim Sugel is an SEO and Digital Marketing Expert in addition to having achieved the coveted Google Partner status for PPC expertise. Prior to focusing on Digital Marketing, Jim worked in Information Technology roles at a variety of national firms as a software engineer and consultant, resulting in many years of professional coding and consulting experience. Jim holds a Bachelor of Science, cum laude in Computer Science and Psychology from Loyola University Chicago. After relocating to Southern California from his native Chicago, he became involved in the recovery industry here, discovering a natural niche in helping treatment centers with Digital Marketing and other technology projects. Jim is the Founder and CEO of Airtight Digital, a firm that specializes in digital marketing for the behavioral health industry. His other interests include hiking, canyoneering, urban exploration, and screenwriting. Jim now lives in beautiful and sunny Orange County, California.