Sober living is a lifestyle, but it’s not only that. It’s a place for individuals to go and live in a community of like-minded individuals and live their lives free of what used to chain them. People can choose to live in a sober living facility for a myriad of reasons. Maybe they were addicts before and want to get and remain clean, and maybe they know how tempting alcohol or drugs are for them and want to stay as far away as they can from them.
Whatever the reason, sober living is a great way to live and build a solid community of like-minded people. Though you may not have made the decision yourself to join a sober living community, it’s still yours to stay in one. These decisions can be difficult, but they remain some of the most important decisions one can make. You take the first step, and you will continue to take each subsequent step in turn.
Sober living is a different type of lifestyle – you might at first find yourself rather outcast from the circles that you used to call home and places that you wouldn’t expect to be treated differently you might be treated differently. Unfortunately, this is all part of the process, and it comes with deciding to live a sober life. When facing problems like this – remember your goals. Remember the kind of person you want to be and the specific steps you have been taking to get there.
One way to get introduced to sober living is through sober houses. These houses can be a multitude of things, but they are pretty self-explanatory in their name.
Sober Houses Vs. Rehab
Sober living facilities are starting to show up everywhere in the states. These are great communities of people that are trying their best to get and stay clean, but they can be confusing places for those who aren’t familiar with them. What makes them different from traditional rehab, and why would I be interested in going to one?
Traditional rehab is a place for an addict to go and safely go through the withdrawal process. The courts or other places can mandate rehab facilities, and the people inside the rehab places might not be there at their own will. These places are largely for the individual’s recovery, and after that, the addicted person can choose to continue their journey, or they can leave.
Sober houses are different. They are the step after rehab for some, and they’re the step before it for others. Sober houses are all voluntary, however, and there are strict rules surrounding the house and how they need to behave to continue living in the sober living community.
To sum up, sober houses are closer to halfway houses but are slightly more organized. Rehab is where one goes to withdrawal and detox.
The Differences Between Sober Houses and Rehab
Sober houses aren’t rehab. They aren’t facilities, and while they could have people that are trained for rehab, they often don’t. Sober houses are communities that individuals join that also have a bed and somewhere to cook their own food. These differences are major, but if one isn’t familiar with the process, then it’s not crazy to see how they could be confused.
John is an addict. He wants to leave his old life behind but knows that the effects of withdrawal are too much to deal with alone. He knows that he can’t do it on his own, so reaches out for help at a rehab facility to really kick his addiction.
John goes to rehab then and kicks his addiction. After this, he decides it’s time to get back into real life. But where does John go? He has been an addict for so long; he doesn’t know anyone that doesn’t know him as an addict or isn’t addicted themselves. So what does John do?
John might look for somewhere to live, somewhere that’s distinct from his old life but not stuck in a rehab facility. John finds a sober house. These places are made for someone like John. Sober houses are intended for those who want to turn their life around and want to see what life is like, free from drugs, alcohol, and the like.
With time, John will become more ready to really integrate back into real life. He makes new friends, gets connected to his city, and sees his life from a completely new perspective.
While the functions of these places might seem similar, they still do distinct things. Neither are supposed to be used as permanent residences, but they both exist as places for one to go and change their life for the better. They both serve as a place for one to learn what it’s like to live without drugs, alcohol, etc.
In rehab, John would be more isolated from the real world. He would receive specific treatments, including those that specifically help with withdrawal.
In a sober house, John maintains all of the progress that he made in rehab, but he also learns what it’s like to live life outside of drugs and alcohol.
Rehab is where people start; a sober house is where someone goes to figure out what their life is like outside rehab. Sober houses can function as rehab for some, but they generally don’t.
Cost of Sober Houses vs. Rehab
Sober houses are generally less expensive than rehab, and that is why they’re such a popular option for those who are looking for something like an alternative to rehab once they’re clean. Rehab facilities often have lots of different services inside of the center, while sober houses are just like long-term hostels where you get your own bed, own place, and have a specific set of rules to follow.
Along with rehab facilities, there is something called halfway houses. These are similar to sober houses but sober houses are usually more organized, clean, and have specific expectations for guests.
Some states allow court mandates to cover the cost of rehab or sober houses. If this is the case, then it really doesn’t matter where the person goes, so long as they get the help that they are ordered to get. In any case, sober houses are still a good pick and are generally less expensive than rehab.
What to Expect in a Sober House
Sober houses function differently than rehab facilities. They don’t host counseling sessions, though they do encourage them. They don’t create organized events, though being in a house with others that have similar mindsets allows more opportunities for those to happen organically. Rehab is where one goes to detox, not sober houses. If you go to a sober house, you might be with one or two roommates in a house full of people that all have the same goal.
Living in a sober house is just a different experience. Not only do you get the chance to live there for longer, but you also get the tools to figure out how you want to live life outside of rehab and outside of addiction. On top of that, you will live with a group of individuals who are also pursuing the same goal and will be able to (hopefully) prop you up and help you out when you need it as well.
Life without addiction isn’t easy. Doing it alone is even more difficult. This is what these sober living facilities seek to create. They want to create a place where the pressure from outside life is minimized, and the old habits that you have are replaced with new, better ones.
Addiction is usually a second-rate problem – which means that it usually comes from something different than just getting addicted. These problems will persist even after someone has gotten clean; sober houses allow for those individuals to try to figure out what they need to figure out without the influence of alcohol ever-present.
Taking Sober Living Outside of the House
Sober living does not only exist in the house that you’ve chosen. It is a way of life that you need to adopt permanently. The houses are meant for a longer stay, but they exist for people to get a handle on how they should live their lives outside of the facility.
Alone, in your own home, you might be tempted to relapse. After a longer stay in a sober house, you will have methods prepared to fight the urges when you get them. You will likely know what life is like without your substance, hopefully, have a community of people that you can keep leaning on even after you move out, and have things to do when you’re bored.
Temptation is at its strongest when you are isolated. This is a big strength that sober houses have, but it’s the one thing that they can’t prepare you for back in the real world. Prepare for this and be ready for unique challenges when you move on from the sober living facility.
What Sober Living Means for Your Community
Sober living might mean a change of scenery when it comes to your smaller group of people. This should come as no shock to someone who has spent any time in recovery. As people are social creatures – we tend to mimic the things that the other people around us do.
Knowing this, it’s all the more important to put yourself in a community that not only cares about you but truly wants what’s best for you and to see you succeed in the biggest of ways.
Hopefully, you have already found your community when exiting your stay at a sober living facility. Hopefully, you can carry that group of people with you into your normal life. These are the people that will likely stay by your side in your quest to actually enter the world as a new person, someone who has overcome their addiction and is ready to face the challenges that come with doing life more on their own.
If you move far away from your community, it can be easy to lose yourself in the move. Remember who you are, where you’ve come from, your morals, convictions, who you want to be. All of these must be at the forefront of your mind when selecting the people that you want to be in your community. These decisions truly matter – don’t take them lightly.
Knowing that your community will be one of the biggest indicators of your success or failure rate when it comes to sobriety is important and will help you make these decisions in the best way possible.
Sober living communities aren’t all “no’s” however, it’s full of so many different things that you can do. You just need to open yourself up for the opportunity and give yourself the chance to see all of the fun you can have in your community.
If you or a family member is struggling with addiction, reach out to us at ecosoberhouse.com. We are ready and available to help.