What is Structured Sober Living?

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Structured sober living falls under the same category as a sober living environment or a halfway house. But what sets structured sober living apart when there are so many recovery and aftercare options?

How Does Structured Sober Living work?

There are a few components that set structured sober living facilities apart from their competitors. They typically have a rigorous schedule that every resident has to abide by, and hold each other accountable for. This may include attending AA meetings a few times a week, showing up to weekly groups, and submitting to drug tests.

But structured sober livings provide something even more than that. They provide a community that the individual can connect with, usually filled with peers of their own age and gender. This allows them to build healthy friendships and the foundations of a new life that they can be proud of.

The goal of a structured sober living, or any good aftercare program, is to help the individual succeed in recovery and become adjusted to living a normal daily life. After treatment has been sought and carried out, aftercare is recommended as part of the treatment plan and a structured sober living can be a key component in that process.

It is important to consider the level of structure you are seeking from aftercare. Facilities that allow too much freedom can promote a severe lack of accountability. Structured sober livings help keep the individual focused on their recovery.

What to Look for in a Structured Sober Living

There is a variety of specific features and modalities you should look for when choosing a structured sober living environment or halfway house for yourself or your loved one. Some of these features include:

  • Accountability – There should be a level of checks and balances when it comes not only to hold the house members accountable, but ways that they have to hold themselves accountable as well.
  • Curfew – Having a set structure when it comes to when and where house members go when they leave the premises is important. Residents as well as management should know where every person is at all times so that there are no secrets.
  • Rules & Regulations – Some young people may have held a reign of chaos when living alone or in parents’ homes over the years. Having rules and regulations about how to act and present yourself and your personal areas is extremely important.
  • House Groups – In order to keep management and over members of the community on the same page, having regular meetings to find out where everyone is and what they want to discuss is integral to learning accountability.
  • Outside Meetings – Attending 12-Step or other recovery-related meetings is vital to getting clean. No one plans to reside in sober living the rest of their life. Having an outside support network to continue the recovery process outside is necessary to achieve long-term recovery.

FAQ: Questions to Ask When Looking for a Structured Sober Living

There are various questions you may wish to ask the management or intake team when looking at a structured sober living. Use this quick checklist of questions to help in your search:

  • Community – What type of community do they have? Are parents and family members involved in the recovery process? Are alumni involved after they graduate and leave the house?
  • Length of Stay – How long is the typical length of stay? (A strong structured sober living will be no less than six months, and ideally more than a year. Recovery does not happen overnight!)
  • Insulation – How protected are the house members from the outside environment? How strict are the zero-tolerance policies? Are there regular spot-checks for prohibited substances and items?
  • Age or Gender Specific – Is the house for men or women only? What is the age range? What is their policy on these matters?

Why is Structured Sober Living Beneficial?

It is important to remember that detox and drug treatment is just the first step in the process of achieving long-term and sustained recovery. Once you or your loved one has been medically weaned off drugs, they are left with the process of reintegrating back into society without their addiction.

A Structured Sober Living House provides the perfect environment for this to be done. Residents are surrounded by a culture of accountability and learning from mistakes, allowing them a safe environment to do so. This is vital before going out and tackling sober life.

Why is Structured Sober Living Great for Young Adults and Adolescents?

The benefit of structured sober living for adolescents and young adults is mainly that they are involved in a community of their own peers. Much of what can be difficult for young people after they get sober is going back to their old “playmates and playgrounds”. This can easily end up in them falling into old patterns.

Structured sober livings help break these patterns. It does this by having a long-term program that allows residents to take the time to make new and beneficial relationships with other people their own age. Programs are designed for peers to keep each other accountable for their own sobriety and celebrate each other’s successes as they achieve recovery.

How Do I Find the Right Structured Sober Living For My Child?

Looking for the right structured sober living for yourself or your loved one is an important part of the aftercare process. It is important to bear in mind that even though structured sober living might not be the comfortable choice, it is almost always the right one.

It is difficult, especially for a young person, to choose structure over softer outpatient programs – but the reward is worth it. For more information about structured sober living call New Life House at (888) 357-7577.

New Life House is the Best Choice for Structured Sober Living

New Life House has been helping young men stay sober for over 30 years. We have been recognized nationally by professionals in recovery as a model for structured sober living. We have a stellar reputation for providing young men with the tools for success and community support they need in order to live a productive and happy life in sobriety.

We are available 7 days a week to receive your phone call. Call us today at (888) 357-7577.


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    Call Us Now: (888) 357-7577

    Call Us Now: (888) 357-7577