People who enroll in sober living programs come from all walks of life. Whether they’ve just finished rehab or they recently relapsed after several months of sobriety, sober living homes are extremely advantageous and beneficial for people of all ages and in all stages of addiction recovery.
If you or a loved one is considering enrolling in a transitional housing program, it’s normal to wonder about the effectiveness of a sober living program and if it could potentially harm or help a person in recovery.
In addressing the question, “Are sober living homes effective?” the short answer is yes, very much so! But let’s dive a little deeper to find out why they are effective and explore the specific ways in which sober living homes support individuals in recovery.
Primary Goals of Sober Living Homes
To understand the effectiveness of a transitional housing program, we should first look at the various ways in which it supports ongoing sobriety. Although sober living homes (also sometimes called halfway houses or ¾ houses) are an important part of the addiction treatment process like rehab, they serve a very different purpose.
- Provide a safe, sober living environment – The primary purpose of a sober living home is to provide a safe, sober, and supportive living environment.1 If a person’s home environment is chaotic, unstable, or promotes substance abuse, they are much more likely to fall back into a lifestyle of drug and alcohol abuse. Sober living homes provide supportive and structured living spaces that limit the number of high-risk situations and triggers people encounter. This gives residents in recovery the time they need to practice living sober independently and decreases their risk of relapse during this transitional time.
- Help residents maintain their sobriety – Sober living homes are also designed to help people in recovery maintain their sobriety. Addiction recovery is a lifelong process that comes with many challenges and obstacles. If a person in recovery has very little experience staying sober, is going through a difficult or transitional phase of life, or is struggling with cravings, triggers, and stress, a sober living home can serve as a haven of support in a time when it’s needed most.
- Help residents establish a stable lifestyle and healthy habits – It takes some time to adjust to a whole new lifestyle and after rehab, many people will need support working through this process. Transitional housing programs and sober living homes give people in recovery the opportunity to establish healthy routines that do not involve substance abuse as they gradually assimilate into a new lifestyle of sobriety.
- Give residents the chance to gain life skills – Many drug addicts don’t have the basic life skills they need to be successful, such as budgeting finances, planning and cooking nutritious meals, managing time wisely, regularly exercising, or having a regular sleep schedule. These things are all necessary for physical, mental, and social well-being. Sober living programs provide the structure residents need to develop these skills so they can learn how to live life as a healthy and sober individual.
- Encourage relationship-building within a sober network of peers – Most people begin establishing a support network of sober peers in rehab but enrolling in a sober living program can help to continue this process. Residents live with their peers, attend weekly 12-step support group meetings and resident house meetings, and receive one-on-one mentorship with sober coaches while living at a sober home, so they have plenty of opportunities to build healthy relationships with other people who support their sobriety and can understand the struggles of sobriety maintenance.
- Help residents become contributing and productive members of society – Finding a job and getting connected with community activities and organizations can be daunting tasks in early recovery. While enrolled in a sober living program, residents will receive employment and volunteer assistance to help them become active and contributing members of society. This not only helps financially and socially, but it can also improve self-efficacy and self-esteem in recovery.
The Proof Is in the Pudding
Research shows that healthy social and environmental factors reinforced by high-quality sober living homes are very effective at providing support and improving sobriety maintenance among people in recovery.
One 2011 study published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs observed the effects of sober living programs on 300 individuals who were recovering from addiction. The study found that those that were involved in 12-step recovery programs, living in a sober environment, and had a supportive network of sober peers were much more likely to achieve sustained sobriety with few or no relapses.2
Even though the research supports the benefits and efficacy of high-quality sober living programs, the proof is in the pudding. In other words, you can experience the effectiveness of a great sober living program by experiencing it for yourself. Just as with detox and rehab, the results of any treatment program will vary based on the amount of effort and dedication that is put into it, but many of our sober living alumni have gone on to live happy and successful sober lives after leaving a Eudaimonia sober living home.
Is a Sober Living Program Necessary After Rehab?
Although not all people who complete drug rehab enroll in a transitional housing program afterward, many people do. It’s not a requirement for clients to complete sober living programs after rehab, but sober living houses provide many distinct advantages for people who are recovering from addiction.
Just as each client’s needs vary during drug rehab, recovery support services and sober living can be tailored to the needs of the resident. Sober living homes come in all shapes and sizes with varying levels of support and structure.
For example, Eudaimonia offers several different types of sober living apartments in Austin, Texas. Residents can choose to live in a single apartment on their own, or if they need more support, they can live in a shared apartment with two or more roommates. Eudaimonia also offers three different support options within our peer recovery support program so residents receive the most appropriate level of care based on their needs and circumstances.
Enroll in a Eudaimonia Sober Living Program Today
The type of living environment a person returns to after rehab has a huge effect on their ability to succeed in sobriety. While an unstable living environment can derail even the most motivated and determined of individuals, a supportive, safe, and sober living environment can greatly decrease the risk of relapse and improve a person’s overall quality of life.
If you’re ready to give sober living a try, enrolling in our transitional housing program, call (512) 363-5914 to complete the booking process over the phone.