If you are struggling with substance use disorder (SUD), you’re not alone. Unfortunately, 1 in 10 Americans will experience SUD at some point in their lives, making it one of the most common conditions in the US.
The good news is that it isn’t a death sentence. Most people who seek treatment go on to live successful and fulfilling lives, and one of the best forms of treatment is a sober living facility. Let’s talk about some reasons to check yourself into one.
What Is a Sober Living Facility?
Before we start, let’s quickly identify what sober living means. To clarify, this is different from an inpatient rehab facility or an outpatient program. That’s why they’re commonly called “transitional housing” or “halfway houses”.
However, we like to avoid these terms as they can carry a negative connotation often used for convicted criminals. Instead, sober living facilities are a great way for patients who want a safe transition into their sober life.
Nobody can assume that they stay in rehab for 30 to 60 days and then that’s it. No more challenges to overcome, no more temptation, they’re just cured. Unfortunately, recovery does not work that way at all.
People in recovery have a lifetime of challenges ahead of them. While detoxing is the most intense part of recovery, and while a rehab program can give someone a lot of important tools for success, such a dramatic lifestyle change requires time, patience, persistence, and skill. Therefore, every patient needs to learn how to live a sober, happy, healthy, and productive life on their own time.
Consequently, sober living facilities attempt to give them the freedom they need to rebuild their lives. Residents will still pay rent, do chores, go to work, and live normally. The only difference is that they have the opportunity to do so in a controlled, substance-free environment.
Now that you understand what it is, let’s talk about the reasons to sign up.
1. Unlimited Time
Again, everybody is different. We all go at our own pace for learning any new skill. When it comes to learning all of the skills necessary for a sober, productive life, you can’t expect to cram it all into a 30-day “course”.
Fortunately, you can live in a sober living facility indefinitely. It’s the exact same as renting an apartment month-to-month. It has roughly the same prices, the same responsibilities, and mostly the same freedoms.
As a result, this gives you the freedom to go at your own pace. You’ll have the resources you need for success available to you, and you’ll get to live free of temptation in your substance-free home for as long as you want. Having this extra time to heal and work on yourself can make a huge difference in your recovery.
When there’s no rush, there’s no stress. If the idea of a designated 30-day or 60-day stay in rehab scares you, then choose a setting that meets your needs and preferences. Don’t let the structure of a program deter you from finding help.
2. A Sense of Normalcy
Let’s be honest. Rehab is entirely necessary, but it can feel daunting. It doesn’t exactly feel like “home”.
During recovery, it can be very difficult for people to feel “normal” in their living situations. Sober living is entirely different.
Again, it’s exactly like sharing an apartment with roommates. You’ll each have your own set of chores, your own share of the rent, and your own spaces. The only difference is your access to helpful resources and remaining substance-free.
For these reasons, many patients find success beyond what they would have imagined in these facilities. You will live with new friends who share similar goals and ambitions as you, you’ll get to learn from them, and you’ll get to retreat to your own space when you want. Overall, sober living carries a much greater sense of home than rehab.
3. Sober Living Is Affordable
Did you know that 90% of people with SUD never receive treatment for it? One of the biggest barriers is the cost.
If anything, you may not even notice the extra expense of a sober living facility. Can you say that about any other treatment plan?
Well, that’s because rates for sober living homes are almost identical to market rates in your city or town. In some cases, they can be even cheaper, especially since you’re sharing the costs with others. Also, your insurance may even cover some of your expenses, especially at an accredited facility.
Again, this can allow you to live in these facilities for as long as you need. You’re encouraged to get to work and build an income while in these programs, so why not take the time to work on yourself until you’re ready to be on your own? It’s essentially a free pass to do just that!
4. You Can Have Fun
Who says treatment can’t be fun? In most facilities, you’ll have scheduled meetings, 12-step programs, and other mandatory events. However, on the weekends, you still need to enjoy your life and stay busy.
Consequently, most sober living facilities plan for recreational activities every week. This could include hiking, bowling, paintball, or just watching some movies. Regardless of the specific activity, you’ll be in great company and having fun!
Also, being in a setting with other people in a similar situation will help you build connections. You’ll make lasting memories with these people and have fun in your free time, whether you’re just sitting at home or playing games with each other on the weekends.
Don’t underestimate the value of this, either. Sobriety doesn’t have to be boring, and the sooner you learn that, the better!
5. You Can Build Lasting Relationships
One of the greatest challenges with living sober is finding other sober companions. Ridding yourself of toxic relationships is a critical component of recovery. A sober living facility is a great place to meet like-minded individuals who are trying to rebuild their lives in the same way.
They may have similar experiences to you. They may have entirely different experiences from you. Either way, you’ll learn something from each and every person you meet.
During the week, you’ll have regular meetings, work the steps, and you’ll likely have spiritual sessions or group therapy most days of the week. Of course, that’s on top of the weekend recreational activities.
Moreover, this will encourage you to interact with one another. Making friends as an adult is hard enough, but making sober friends who understand your struggles is even harder. A sober living facility is a perfect place to do it.
6. Having Space to Rebuild
Everybody in recovery needs time and space to rebuild their lives. This could include healing broken relationships, saving money, or focusing on your physical health. Regardless, you need to dedicate a lot of attention to rebuilding your life.
From there, you can work on building a career or learning new skills if you want to change careers. Sober living can help give you the mental clarity needed to be successful in your job.
Moreover, rebuilding your mental and physical wellness is an essential component of sobriety that isn’t easy to manage on your own. Having extra help and time dedicated to it each day is a gift in itself.
Don’t underestimate the significance of this freedom. Rebuilding a life and living sober requires determination and dedication. If you’re too busy worrying about staying sober today, then these goals are nearly impossible to achieve.
7. Increased Motivation
We’ve all had experiences where we feel extremely motivated and believe that nothing will ever deter us from our goals. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always last. Once that motivation is no longer fresh in our minds and we start facing challenges or too much-delayed gratification, our motivation can dwindle.
Consequently, it’s no surprise that’s a serious problem with living on your own after rehab. If you aren’t motivated to follow through on your treatment plan, it can dwindle over time.
Fortunately, sober living can help keep that motivation fresh in your mind. Having daily reminders of why you’re doing what you’re doing can make a world of difference in your life. There’s no substitute for daily meetings and readily available support during this stage of recovery.
8. Increased Accountability
Sure, you could live on your own and take the 12 steps yourself. You just have to be sure that you’ll show up all the time and avoid temptation on your own.
Unless you’re 100% confident you can manage that and show up to every meeting on your own, why risk it? With something as serious as your health and sobriety, you don’t want to gamble.
All of us have missed an event due to scheduling conflicts, fatigue, fading interest, or simply not feeling up to it. Having a little extra accountability can go a long way. Meetings in your own home don’t just offer more accountability, but also more convenient.
Think about how many times a lack of convenience has prevented you from doing something. We’re all guilty of it. Often, it isn’t the task itself (meetings in this case) that we don’t want to do, but rather the additional challenges or steps that come with the task.
For example, you may want to learn how to play guitar. If you’re on the couch and the guitar is in your closet, but the remote is right next to you, then you may just choose to watch television instead of playing. The same logic applies to having your meetings readily available.
9. Gaining More Tools
Again, you can only learn so much in a 30-day or 60-day program. Even associate’s degrees last for a full two years, and no degree can teach you all of the skills you need to live a successful life.
For this reason, why would you not want to give yourself more time to learn and gain more tools and skills needed for a lifetime of sobriety? Sober living is an effective and affordable mode for ongoing treatment and sobriety education.
On top of that, it will help reinforce what you’ve already learned. How much do you remember from high school math class? Do you think you’d remember more if you continued taking refresher courses throughout your life?
Again, the same logic applies. The more tools and skills you continue to develop, the more successful you’ll be in the long run.
10. An Easier Start
In many cases, the biggest barrier to treatment is a person’s unwillingness to disrupt their life in the way that rehab calls for. It’s daunting to think about living in a dorm room and having an entirely regimented schedule, revoking your freedom entirely. If this is preventing you from getting treatment, then you need to find alternatives.
Without treatment, addiction only becomes more dangerous as it persists. The risks of long-term health complications and overdose increase dramatically over time. Therefore, finding treatment is critical.
If you’re worried about treatment having too much of an impact on your life, check this recovery program to learn more. For many, sober living is a much easier way to start.
Find the Right Home For You Today
Now that you know some key reasons to enroll in a sober living facility don’t put it off any longer. Finding help is critical, and time is of the essence. The sooner you find help, the sooner you can build the life you want to live with the friends you want in your life.
Get the help you need today, and keep reading our blog for our latest wellness tips!