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What to Look For in a Sober Living Home

Sober living homes prove to be a vital part of the recovery process. Those who have entered treatment for addiction to alcohol or drugs often start with intensive programs. These can include detoxification, partial hospitalization, and residential programs. Once an individual completes these types of programs, they often benefit from moving into a sober living home. 

A sober living home provides a valuable step-down process for people in recovery. It provides the bridge between a heavily supervised program and returning to their homes. A person’s options can seem overwhelming, leading them to ask what to look for in a sober living home. 

Mental Health Counseling Partners Well With Addiction Recover

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports that mental health disorders commonly accompany addiction to alcohol and drugs. People who have a substance abuse disorder are more likely to also deal with mental health diagnoses. As well, those with mental health issues are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol. One condition often impacts the other. 

This reality makes factoring in mental health assistance to a list of what to look for in a sober living home imperative. Search for sober living homes that offer their clients the opportunity to address their mental health along with their sobriety. 

Consider a Gender-Specific Sober Living Home

Many people prefer a gender-specific sober living house. Some of the advantages of a men-only or women-only environment help residents feel more comfortable. They report feeling less pressure to worry about their appearance, allowing them to dress for comfort. Not worrying about daily make-up, shaving, and formal type clothing adds to a resident’s ability to relax and focus on their recovery.

Most treatment professionals strongly advise those in the first stages of recovery to avoid getting involved in a romantic or sexual relationship. Gender-specific housing greatly reduces the chances of residents being tempted to hook up or start a relationship. 

Sober Living Homes Should Help Teach Life Skills

Intensive programs like detox and residential treatment naturally focus on helping a person begin the process of stopping drug and alcohol usage. Once sobriety has been established, the need to develop basic life skills enters the room. Many people who have lost years or decades of their lives to addiction find they lack some basic abilities required for daily living. 

A well-rounded sober living home may offer guidance in some of the following areas:

  • Grocery shopping and meal planning
  • Preparing healthy meals
  • Creating a budget
  • Performing routine household chores
  • Preparing for job searches and interviews
  • Weighing options for furthering their education

Residents who learn and put into practice these types of life skills return to their homes with an advantage. They do not find themselves floundering in the newness of needing to learn these practical ways of living. Instead, they often enjoy confidence in their abilities, making recovery that much easier. 

Good House Management Makes a Difference

What to look for in a sober living home includes the details of house management. Ask if the home includes onsite management or offsite managers that are available 24/7. Find out what role the managers play in the lives of the residents. 

They may help them create a schedule and access outside treatment. Managers can help hold residents accountable for their actions. They also can offer support, guidance, and advice on how to get the most out of their stay.

The Length of Stay Matters

Another important thing to consider in what to look for in a sober living home centers on the length of stay. Many experts recommend a ninety-day minimum stay. Three or more months of sober house living allows residents plenty of time to adjust to living without alcohol and drugs.

Sobriety, mental health monitoring, and developing life skills over a long period of time help a healthy life become the new normal. Residents often return home feeling they have become accustomed to predictable schedules and healthy daily living. They may be less susceptible to returning to the daily chaos of the life of an addict. 

Will The House Provide Transportation?

What to look for in a sober living home may include the need for transportation. Many sober living homes require that their residents attend individual therapy and group support meetings outside of the home. They also may need to leave the house for things like doctor’s appointments, volunteer work, or employment opportunities. Even trips to the grocery store likely require transportation. 

Unless a sober living home is located in a large city with excellent nearby public transportation, personalized transport may be a necessity. Be sure to inquire about the specifics of transportation offered by any sober living home.

Sober Living in Southern California

Riviera Recovery offers a transitional program that helps ease people into their newly sober lives. Our gender-specific housing gives young people a safe, structured place to go after completing the first steps of entering recovery.

If you or someone you love is ready to seek treatment for a substance abuse disorder, we are happy to answer any questions you have. Contact us at Riviera Recovery today to get started on the road to a healthy new life.

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