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What is an Oxford House?

Humans are complex organisms that constantly find something new for themselves. At first, it seems so harmless and even fun, but a little later, the boundless joy of a new hobby gives way to a series of ongoing depression and troubles. This hobby is an addiction to alcohol, drugs, and games. There are many people suffering from addiction around the world, and, sadly, this number is only increasing. 

These people found help in Oxford houses. The first such house was open relatively not so long ago, in 1975. It was established by recovering alcoholics that wanted to create a house for people like them. They wanted to offer these people a place they could call home. The house was funded by residents who paid a modest rent. Thus, these houses are run democratically, and the residents take responsibility for their maintenance and everyday chores. 

The goal of Oxford houses is to provide housing and rehabilitative support for a drug addict and alcoholic who wants to get free from his or her addiction and stay free. They encourage healthy emotional growth and help to prevent relapses. Most current and former members of the Oxford house say that it played a major role in their life and often was a decisive factor between death/jail and new life. 

Who is an Oxford House Designed for?

Oxford houses are intended for people who have fallen and hit their bottom. It is for people who want to start a new life and realize their full potential, but need a helping hand, structure, and support. The majority of the Oxford house residents have previously spent some time in jail, which is not surprising because many people in jail/prison have a drug or alcohol addiction. 

Oxford houses are also meant for people who have already taken some steps to treat their addiction and either completed detoxification, rehabilitation, or other treatment program and/or have stayed sober for a period of time (e.g., one month). They should also be willing to take necessary steps in the recovery, follow house rules, and pay for staying there. 

Most houses have only male or female members, although some houses accept parents with their children, and others are opened only to recovering gays or lesbians. Deaf people might also find Oxford houses for just deaf people or a combination of deaf and hearing individuals. 

To become an Oxford house member, one should find an Oxford house she or he is looking into and applies. Then, the residents of this house interview the individual, and if a majority approves, this person can move in and find his or her home there.

Is Oxford House participation helpful?

Oxford House is believed to be one of the most successful recovery programs ever. Studies found that members had greater increases in self-regulation over time and better outcomes over time across all measurements, especially for younger participants. In fact, as several studies demonstrate, the Oxford House outperformed usual care regardless of age or diagnostic status. They provide a caring community that helps to achieve long-term sobriety.

They encourage active participation in organizations such as Alcoholics Anonymous and/or Narcotics Anonymous as an additional support resource for staying sober. Oxford house members who were able to stay sober on a long-term basis often offer their friendship, experience, and support to people who are just at the beginning of this journey. 

This is a place where people understand that they can fall again at any time and that only with the support of each other, they can stand stronger. These people are able to make new friends, new hobbies, and become part of a community that truly cares about their wellbeing. They begin to believe in themselves, understand the direction they are going, learn how to live their lives, and create a fulfilling future. 

What are the Benefits of Oxford House?

Oxford house can offer consistency and a safe and sober environment that serve as a strong foundation for making life-changing steps. This truly makes all the difference between being able to stick to the new goal and going back to an old way of life. No matter what is going on in their life, there will always be someone there to listen and help them through it.

Oxford houses keep residents accountable for their actions, and if their behavior is disruptive and/or they start using drugs and drinking again, then they are asked to leave. Although the residents of the Oxford house realize that the person who relapsed is kicked out into a world he or she might have a hard time dealing with, this rule is in place to prevent relapses of all residents, and they cannot risk that. If that person stays clean for several months, they are usually allowed to apply to return. 

Oxford houses do not limit the time a person can stay there and do not pressure one to leave it. This is very beneficial to individuals who need a little more time to stabilize their behavior and form new habits. Actually, studies show that it can make all the difference. Individuals who stay at sober houses for longer than half a year have better abstinence rates (84% compared to 54%) and found it easier to get a job. 

These houses are also less expensive than renting your own apartment, which is a great plus for people who might be struggling to find a well-paid job and have little or no savings. The rent also covers basic expenses, such as utilities. Besides staying sober, residents learn to manage money, pay bills, and take care of themselves.

Oxford House and Sober House: What is the Difference?

What makes an Oxford house different from a Sober house is that Oxford house members are not limited to just one, three, or six months of stay there – they can live there for a year or more, as long as they follow the rules and pay the rent. Many members stay there for two, three, and even five years. 

Another major difference – Sober houses usually have more structure and control, which is beneficial to those who need more support and continuous monitoring. Oxford houses, in contrast, allow residents to keep each other accountable. They are usually monitored by an elected resident, an alumnus, or a house owner.

Although it is not suitable for everyone, this setting better mimics the real world structure and make the transition very smooth, but it is not suitable for everyone. It teaches these individuals responsibility and makes a safe and supportive environment that promotes recovery very affordable. 

Ready to make a change? Take the first Astep and start your recovery today.

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