There’s countless medical studies that have shown a strong correlation between length of addiction treatment and length of ensuing sobriety. For decades, men and women who had completed a 28 day treatment program at an inpatient facility were typically sent back to the same environment that they lived in prior to treatment and the result was typically an ensuing relapse.
That is why addiction treatment community now will always recommend that a you “step down” in your level of care after completing a residential treatment program and reside in a recovery residence to acclimate back into more normal routines of life. The benefits of this are numerous:
- You will not be returning to the environment in which you most recently were actively using drugs or alcohol
- You can be surrounded by recovering peers who are invested in their recovery and can act as a support system
- There should be a house manager who is typically in recovery and can provide guidance
- You should be drug tested to act as a motivating factor for your sobriety (and to protect the well-being of the house)
- You may be able to continue outpatient treatment where you completed your residential program (depending on the location)
Most Important factor: Safety and Structure
Depending on what geographical area you are looking in, there are probably many choices when it comes to choosing a sober living home. Our SOARR website, for instance, will show you many sober homes with a wide variety of prices in the greater San Diego area (search here). It’s very important that the facilitators of the sober living environment (SLE) have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to drug and alcohol abuse. The reasons for this are self-evident. It’s also important that the recovery residence is safe, secure, and in a neighborhood where you will be able to come to and from the house in safety.
There should also be requirements that residents are ‘active in their recovery’ when they are living at the house. You may be put off that the cost of a sober living home is much more than a typical apartment rental that you are used to and they require you to be “out and about” pursuing work, volunteer, educational, or recovery related endeavors during the day. This type of policy is actually for the greater good of the house and your recovery as well as it makes it so that residents are not sleeping or watching TV all day which doesn’t lend itself to positive growth in recovery.
A House Manager that is Invested in the Recovery of the Residents
There is usually someone living on site at a recovery residence, or at least someone who is frequently on hand to make sure that chores are being done, conduct drug tests, etc. This person is typically in recovery and can be very helpful and influential to your own recovery. For many who have lived in a sober living home, the house manager is someone who they count among their inner support system, and someone who has greatly supported their recovery.
Good Value for the Price
It’s obviously important to stay within your budget when it comes to choosing a sober living environment, but shopping based on price alone is not recommended. There’s a wide variety of potential services and amenities that a sober living home can offer and your recovery might be bolstered by things like ‘in-house’ 12-step meetings and group activities that can build camaraderie and strengthen your recovery. Obviously the usual amenities that you look for when searching for a place to live (laundry, parking, etc) may influence the price as well.
It’s typically recommended that men and women reside in gender specific housing when they are in the first year of recovery. Some sober living homes house both genders and there’s also a wide variety of unique layouts and living formations where both genders can reside with separate entrances and private living areas that are adjacent to the other gender while not sharing common areas like bathrooms, etc.
Depending on what your goals are in recovery, the location of the sober living home should support them. If you are looking to resume work or volunteer, the location should be a reasonable distance to these opportunities (or public transportation to these opportunities if you are without a car). The same goes for whatever educational institution you are planning on attending to further your academic career.As mentioned above, if you want to stay “plugged in” to your recovery support network from residential treatment, you may choose to reside near that facility so the same counselors and support staff you have gotten to know there can still be available to you.
Find Sober Living in San Diego
At SOARR, we partner with NARR and CCAPP to make sure that our facilities are providing the best care possible. You can be assured that listings you find on our website are run by providers who are going above and beyond to make sure their recovery residences are above par. Find your sober living home in San Diego by searching here.