Should You Consider Sober Living?

Sober living is not for everyone, and weighing the pros and cons is necessary for deciding if it is the appropriate option for you. Perhaps you associate sober living with standard treatment methods for addiction recovery. You might think that clients will automatically enter into a 12-Step program in a sober living community or fitted with a one size fits all approach. 

In some cases, this can be true but also further from the truth in other circumstances. Sometimes sober living is a fantastic option for those in post-treatment. Being able to continue in a sober living community provides extra support, which can be highly effective if you are newly out of treatment. Relapse can be highly prevalent when newly out of treatment for addiction and substance use disorders (SUD). 

We understand this at The Lakehouse Recovery Center, which is why we emphasize the importance of our relapse prevention programs. They are designated to be specific to your short-term goals in treatment, long-term goals in recovery, and focus on specific areas you fear you will struggle with post-treatment

However, relapse rates are still high, which is why you may consider recovery-oriented housing among peers. In combination with program offerings the Lakehouse can provide, including our outpatient, virtual outpatient, and evening intensive outpatient programs, you will have no trouble finding extra support while trying to maintain your recovery and provide the same support to others as well. 

Potential Cons of Sober Living

Determining whether sober living is a pro or con often differs from person to person. It is also dependent on each sober living facility. For example, some sober living homes may come with many rigid rules. While it is understandable why rules might be in place, we believe that rigidity can hinder instead of help recovery at The Lakehouse Recovery Center. You should be cautious in your journey post-treatment, but you also need the freedom to make the decisions you think are suitable for your recovery.

Some sober living communities may also enforce the participation of 12-Step programs, which we at the Lakehouse do not necessarily believe are always an ideal approach for recovery. The 12-Steps can often be a one size fits all approach, and we at the Lakehouse do not think one type of treatment does indeed fit all. 

Admittedly, many examples of sober living homes call into question both affordability and livability. Some homes may be affordable but not meet all the necessities you need. Others may meet those needs but may not be reasonable regarding price. These are essential factors to consider when deciding if sober living is right for you.

The Pros of Sober Living

A study from Taylor and Francis Online examined sober living houses and their effectiveness in SUD recovery. They defined the lack of stable, alcohol and drug-free spaces as extreme barriers to abstaining from substances. Individuals are often forced to return to the living environments they inhabited before treatment, which can be counterproductive and even destructive to their recovery. 

Sober living provides an alcohol and drug-free space that can help individuals continue abstaining from alcohol and drugs. The above study examined 300 individuals entering two different sober living homes over 18 months. From it, they learned that these residents “reduced or stopped their substance use between baseline and six months follow up and then maintained those improvements at 12 and 18 months.” Some results showed improvements in employment, psychiatric conditions, and arrests, all of which continually improved as time went on in those 18 months.

Like any study, there is much more research that could be conducted and factors that could be considered to improve the understanding of the benefits of a sober living community. Yet, study aside, what a sober living home provides at the end of the day is a safe place for you to feel accepted and understood. Despite the many risks associated with sober living — rigid rules and conditions, generic program implementation, potentially high cost or low living standard accommodations — the potential for a community of support may be exceptionally helpful to maintain your recovery long-term. 

If you are surrounded by peers who are just as motivated to maintain sobriety as you, having a support system right next door can be convenient and even life-saving in some instances. If you are first looking to enter into a treatment program or are debating the potential risks and benefits of sober living, we encourage you to find resources today. 

The Lakehouse Recovery Center has several program offerings regarding addiction and substance use disorder treatment. Our outpatient, virtual outpatient, and evening intensive outpatient programs can all guide you towards your path to recovery today. However, if you have found yourself in a place or environment that is threatening your treatment or recovery, you may want to consider a sober living community. While the pros and cons vary, some studies have shown the outcome for individuals trying to abstain from drugs and alcohol to be very successful. It can be overwhelming to consider all the options and potential risks in front of you, so consider running your choices by your primary medical professionals or even the professionals at the Lakehouse. Someone you love may be struggling to maintain recovery due to their current environment. Perhaps the prospect of entering treatment and recovery alone is overwhelming. Please call us at (877) 762-3707 today. Let us help you on your path to recovery.