When seeking recovery, finding a good sober living house is an imperative part of the process. Not all sober livings are the same, they range in structure, location, levels of supervision, and degrees of support. Aside from being at a good sober living, being part of a recovery-based community (such as Alcoholics Anonymous) is an essential component to achieving and maintaining sobriety. Southern California has one of the strongest recovery communities in the United States for younger individuals. Los Angeles alone has over 3,000 different Alcoholics Anonymous meetings every week, many of them specifically geared towards young adults. We believe that it is best when young men participate in a recovery community composed of other peers their age. Unfortunately, this type of peer-orientated recovery isn’t available across the country; in fact it seems to be relatively unique to Southern California. We have worked with many families across the country, restoring the family dynamic while their sons achieve sobriety in our houses; we have several young men in our houses from Illinois. It has become clear that there is not enough peer-grouped, young adult oriented, long term treatment in our nation. We have found that there are several facets particular to New Life that set us apart from other treatment centers and sober living rehab aftercare centers throughout the United States.
Sober living houses in Evanston, Illinois, and the surrounding neighborhoods are open to anyone 18 and older, which leads to a wide variety in the ages of the residents. There may be a 19 year old and a 56 year old in a treatment group at the same time. In the New Life Houses, residents are grouped by age, making peer connection much easier. New Life House South Bay is geared towards young men 18-22 years old and Miracle House towards men 23-32 giving residents the chance to bond with others who have had similar life experiences.
As the birthplace of Ray Charles, the Arlington Heights neighborhood in Illinois has a rich history. Though this area boasts a diverse population, finding a sober living home in Arlington Heights is quite challenging, if not impossible, as there are no long-term rehab centers or sober livings in the area. To remain sober for the long haul, experts suggest that addicts attend long term sober livings at rehab aftercare centers before reentering into “real life”. As there are no long term options available in most parts of Illinois, we have seen a dramatic influx in the number of clients coming to us from that particular state. New Life House’s sober living homes are long term sober livings, structured around the 12 Step program. With a sobriety success rate of over 80 percent (the rate of individuals who have stayed sober for five years or longer), we are confidant that we offer authentic, quality care and sobriety.
It is often nearly impossible for an addict to break the cycle of addiction without leaving behind their old environment: friends who may have been poor influences, old behaviors, places where they used to use. It is so difficult to stay sober without a change of scenery, surrounded by old friends and connections. Sober living homes in neighborhoods such as Glenview and Northbrook simply can not offer enough distance from an addict’s past for them to get and stay clean. New Life Houses allow house members the chance to form new connections that will encourage them on their journey to sobriety. By building self-esteem and a sense of self-worth, individuals at New Life House learn to value a life without substance abuse.
Structure within sober livings is imperative if the house members are going to maintain sobriety. Many sober living homes in areas such as Palatine and North Field offer inadequate treatment that lacks structure and peer support. New Life House focuses on timeliness, accountability, and requires that their house members adhere to set schedules, obtain jobs, and follow the rules set forth. The young men clean the houses, do chores, and cook together, attending daily AA meetings and groups within the houses. This structure encourages house members to become responsible, successful members of society. Responsibility and accountability are cornerstones of the philosophy at New Life House.
The high crime rate in Cook County makes it a poor environment for addicts in need of recovery. With few options for rehab centers and subsequently, sober living homes, living sober in Cook County can be quite the uphill battle. The New Life Houses accept prospective house members regardless of their past, even those with criminal records are welcomed. While other rehab aftercare centers turn away such individuals, the addiction specialists at New Life House understand that it is never too late for an addict to be freed from their addiction, regardless of what or who they may have been.