Sober Living: How it Works
What Is Sober Living?
Sober living can be a crucial part of any person’s recovery journey. Due to the nature of addiction, it is not always easy to maintain a sober lifestyle long-term. Addiction is a chronic disease that changes the brain’s structure, so without consistent work and management, it can be easy to relapse after rehab. In fact, statistics tell us that between 20 and 60 percent of recovering addicts will relapse within the first year of sobriety.
This does not mean that it is hopeless, all it means is that you may need a little extra help, especially directly after leaving an inpatient rehab program or while you are in an outpatient rehab program. Many triggers and temptations that cause relapse can be found in the home, especially if you live with people who are using drugs or alcohol, keep drugs and alcohol in the house, or do not understand or support your sober journey. It can also be difficult if you do not have a stable living situation or are experiencing homelessness, as turbulence in your life can cause additional stress that can be hard to deal with and may trigger a relapse.
A sober living home is a good solution for many people. It is a middle ground between inpatient rehab and home-based outpatient treatment. Sober living homes are substance-free environments, usually group homes, designed to support and maintain sobriety for people who are working on addiction management. You will usually pay rent to stay there, along with several other sober roommates.
Each home has its own unique philosophy and approach, but many will have rules like:
- Mandatory drug testing, with consequences if you fail the test
- Zero tolerance for drugs or alcohol on the premises
- Necessary involvement in addiction treatment or 12-step programs
- Attending all house meetings
- Mandatory curfews and rules about having guests in the home
- Helping around the house and doing chores like cooking and cleaning
- Respecting other people staying in the home
Even if you are in an outpatient treatment plan or getting regular therapy and keeping busy, there are still many moments of downtime spent at home. A sober living environment free from substances with strong structure and accountability may be the thing that stops you from using when you are having a difficult moment. When you live in a sober living home, you can reconnect with work, school, family, and friends and then come “home” to a safe, clean, and sober environment.
Staying in a sober living home is important to recovery, as it reduces overall stress levels, provides recovery resources and connections to a strong sober community, and gives you the freedom to gradually return to your normal life while providing a supportive and substance-free environment.
Is Inpatient Drug and Alcohol Treatment Sober Living?
Inpatient drug and alcohol rehab differs from your typical sober living home in that you stay inside the facility 24 hours a day. Typically, you will move into sober living housing after inpatient rehab, as it acts as a transitional place to live between residential rehab and living on your own or moving back home. When in a sober living facility, you will have much more freedom, as you can generally come and go as you wish, visit with friends and family, and even work a full-time or part-time job.
Like sober living homes, inpatient rehab is also a 100% sober environment, but you do everything inside the treatment center. You will need to take time off from work or school, usually for a minimum of 30 days. Every day is very structured and planned out for you, filled with individual and group therapy, health care, nutrition and exercise programs, and other treatments that are designed to help you overcome addiction, heal underlying emotional pain, gain new recovery skills, and learn how to prevent relapse. Many inpatient rehab programs also include holistic treatments, allowing you to heal your spirit alongside your body and mind.
At Muse, our inpatient programs are run by highly credentialed and experienced doctors, therapists, counselors, and addiction professionals who can help you stay safe and comfortable as you detox and who are dedicated to helping you regain your strength and heal your body, mind, and spirit through comprehensive, integrated care. You will live in our inpatient rehab program for 30 to 90 days, with approximately 6 hours per day of treatment sessions and group therapy. You will stay inside a comfortable room with a full-sized bed (not a hospital bed) and a TV. The food we serve is fresh, healthy, and delicious and is designed to stave off cravings, with fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, chicken, and fish. You will have customized exercise programs, and in your free time, you can rest and recuperate or enjoy entertainment options like books, games, and movies.
Learn how to deal with a relapse of a recovering alcoholic here:
Who Should Consider Sober Living?
Sober living homes are ideal for people who:
- Have completed an inpatient rehab program who have enrolled in outpatient rehab or are involved in a 12-step program
- Do not have supportive people at home, or do not have a sober-friendly and stable place to live
- Feel they require additional support and structure in their lives to be able to stay sober
Get Help with Addiction and Sober Living at Muse
Muse is a rehab center that can provide all the care, therapy, and treatments you need for your journey toward sobriety. We have the full continuum of care, including:
- Medical detox programs help your body detox safely, providing 24-hour medical care, therapy, and support including prescription medications as needed to ensure you do not suffer painful, distressing, or dangerous withdrawal symptoms
- Medication-assisted treatment programs, with long-term medication management to help those addicted to drugs like opioids or benzodiazepines slowly taper off for a safer detoxification
- Short-term inpatient rehab (30 days) for those with milder addictions, providing 24-hour support and fully structured days for a full month of intensive inpatient care
- Long-term inpatient rehab (60-90 days) for people with more severe addictions and for those dealing with a co-occurring mental health issue, medical issue, or anybody who is not ready to leave inpatient rehab after 30 days
- Partial hospitalization programs (day programs), outpatient rehab that allows you to live at home or in a sober living environment, coming in for full days of treatment 5 to 7 days a week
- Intensive outpatient programs (IOP), outpatient rehab that is usually more flexible and customizable than the PHP, provide therapy, medical care, support groups, and more during hours that will work around your work or school schedule. Many people in the IOP will live in a sober living home, work full-time or part-time, and attend therapy and other treatments in the mornings or the evenings a few days per week
- Continuing care programs are programs that keep you connected to your therapist and medical team, with long-term peer support, connections to 12-step groups in your area, and sustained connections to a sober and supportive community. Because addiction is a chronic disease, maintaining these contacts after rehab, and living in sober housing, can help prevent relapse months or years after rehab.
Muse offers customizable treatment programs that work with your individual needs, with therapies available including:
- Behavioral therapy and other one-on-one therapy
- Group therapy and family therapy
- Nutrition and physical fitness counseling
- Educational programs and lectures on addiction
- Dual diagnosis treatments
- Art therapy
- Relapse prevention training
- Life skills and vocational skills programs
Inpatient rehab may not be right for everybody, and at Muse Addiction Treatment Center, along with offering outpatient treatment options, we can connect you to sober homes in your area, and with our continuing care programs, you will never be alone in your sobriety. Don’t hesitate to contact the Muse Addiction Treatment Center team at (800) 426-1818 today to learn more about sober homes and outpatient rehab. Our addiction experts can work with you to create a recovery plan that will work for your needs and your lifestyle.