Sober livings have not always been around and neither were drug rehabs. But when the recovery industry started getting larger and larger over the past few decades, the need for an interim environment between the rehab and a patient returning to their former lives grew to be more of a necessity.
How can a sober living be a bad thing?
Just because sober living environments were needed does not mean that all of them were created equal. Sober livings vary in cost, structure, requirements, rules and living arrangements.
Less structured sober living environments may be a good option for some who need to return to occupational/academic settings immediately. However, less structure and supervision in sober living environments may also increase the chances of drugs/alcohol being brought onto the premises and make for a relapse-prone environment. This lack of a stable, alcohol and drug free environment can be a serious obstacle to sustaining abstinence.
Why is structure important?
Over the years, ‘structured’ sober livings have come to the forefront of aftercare. Sober living environments that provide a daily schedule, have requirements for 12 step meeting attendance and provide a level of accountability have proven far more successful than their less structured counterparts.
Structured sober livings give an individual who is serious about recovery a more stable foundation for long term recovery, providing individuals with the ability to connect with a group of other motivated sober people and get them involved in sober activities.
How do I pick the right sober living?
Finding a correct sober living for yourself or a loved one is an important process. Keep structure and accountability in mind, they are key elements in the process of picking a sober living environment. Also, if it is a viable option for you, finding a sober living that caters to a specific age range can also be extremely beneficial, but not necessary.
Thirty years ago it was near impossible to find an age-specific sober living. Today, though they are not extremely prevalent, they are much more common. Finding a place where recovering addicts and alcoholics can relate to a group of their own peers can be important to building a foundation in sobriety.
Remember, do your research! Your sobriety is important and your search for a sober living should be just as important!