Many people who enter a drug rehab program for addiction count down the days until they can be back with their families and return to their homes, schools, and jobs. It can be difficult to even think about staying away for 60 days or even 90 days. As the drug rehab and sober houses recovery program progresses, however, many people view the approaching release date with anxiety and fear.
Sober house living facilities in Connecticut can provide a safe place for people to continue the addiction recovery process. While many may desperately want to go home again, they may not be ready to return to their old environments so early in their newly found recovery. Their sobriety is new and fragile, and they may feel that going back home might mean going back to their old ways. For these individuals, a sober house living community in Connecticut might provide the assistance they need in order to develop a sustainable sober lifestyle .
What is Sober House Living?
Connecticut sober house living communities are often compared to halfway houses. There are some striking similarities between the two different types of facilities. Both are designed to help people transition from the highly structured environment of drug rehab to independent living . And, both use a form of positive peer pressure to help residents internalize the important lessons they’ll need to understand in order to succeed.
Sober house living communities are often independently owned and define the rules and regulations that will govern the behavior of the residents. Sober house communities generally run on a step-down system, where residents who have lived in the sober house for the longest period of time are afforded greater autonomy and those new to the community have the least amount of freedom.
Sober house living communities are often highly structured, with a long list of rules that residents must adhere to. Sober house residents must agree that they will maintain sobriety, and if they do not, will face expulsion. In addition, residents must also agree to continue their addiction treatment by attending intensive outpatient programs (IOP), individual counseling sessions, and participating in support group meetings. Regular drug testing and 12-step meeting attendance will also be required in most cases. Some Connecticut sober house living communities also hold in-house support group meetings that all residents must attend.
More upscale (and pricier) sober living facilities in Connecticut may also include employment services, educational consulting, meals, transportation, and case management services.
Creating a Sober Lifestyle
Sober house living communities do more than encourage addiction treatment and healthy living. Many of the rules in sober house living communities are designed to help people create a sober lifestyle by learning how to create consistency and meet the expectations that society places upon them. Most sober house living communities in Connecticut require residents to eventually hold some sort of job. If residents cannot find work, they’re expected to volunteer in community, and/or around the sober living house. This helps to fill up the time the they might have formerly used looking for and using drugs, but they also help the residents learn to structure their days around work and meaningful activities. Sober house living facilities might also require residents to handle cleaning and cooking tasks in addition to their employment. Again, these tasks can help people fill their time, but they also help people to develop useful habits and skills they’ll need when they live on their own.
As long as residents comply with the rules, they are often allowed to stay for as long as they’d like. One study found that 76 percent of residents in one sober house living community had lived in the house for at least five months, indicating that turnover of residents is quite low. It’s not uncommon for people to live in these sober house living communities for up to a year.
Benefits of Sober House Living
Some of the benefits of sober house living can be hard to discern. It’s not easy to measure how much more someone is able to manage emotions or identify with other people at the end of drug rehab. There are some indicators that organizations use to measure the overall benefit of sober house living, however, and studies seem to indicate that sober house living communities have the potential to provide a real benefit.
In many cases, people who live in sober house living communities develop tight friendships and strong bonds. The communities tend to foster and support relationships with others in recovery, as residents are sharing the intimacy of a sober living environment. They learn to support, listen, and lean upon each other. These are the sorts of activities that healthy families do regularly, and it’s no surprise that many residents realize these same benefits in a sober house living community.
Residents of sober houses sometimes feel that their new families are more supportive and helpful than their own families. This is a real benefit of sober house living, and it can help to maintain sobriety when they move out of the sober house living community.
Some residents worry that they’ll be stigmatized by neighbors who live near the sober house living community. They may fear that they will judge them. While this is a normal fear, studies suggest that communities are generally supportive of sober house living facilities. According to another study, of 68 residents studied in 35 communities, few residents reported backlash by neighbors. Instead, residents reported that they advised neighbors who had questions about drug rehab and the benefits of sober living. This is a real benefit as it helps the residents learn how to give back to the community and be good neighbors.
Admission Requirements for Sober House Living
Most sober house living communities have admission requirements, including:
- Completed an inpatient or outpatient treatment program
- Have a specified number of days clean
- Over the age of 18
- No history of violence, sexual crimes, fire setting, or suicide attempts
Some sober houses will waive certain requirements depending on the needs of the individual, but others may not. Those interested in the admission requirements for sober house living should contact several sober houses to determine the best fit for them.
Here at Westport House, we provide an upscale residential sober house living facility for young men who have completed a drug rehab program. Our expectations and rules are straightforward, and we’d love to talk with you about our sober living program. Please call us today to speak with a representative.