Sober living homes are structured homes for people who are addicted to drugs and want to only recover from their addiction. Some people think sober living homes are the same as a rehab center, which is not correct. Rehab centers generally have much strict environment and offer a more intensive recovery experience. However, residents of sober living homes can come and go as they please, but these homes do have some house rules that the residents has to follow like they have fixed timing to go for work during the day and has to return home by a specific time in the evening. People living in sober homes are also tested periodically to ensure they remain sober while they are out for work.
Mostly these homes are privately owned, but some of the sober homes are owned by charity organizations and businesses. Sober living homes are generally located in a quiet area to maintain a positive and peaceful environment for people in early recovery. Addicts who live in sober living facilities have to be responsible for themselves, which is essential for their recovery because people with addiction are likely to act in irresponsible ways. People who decide to live in sober living homes have to take all the financial responsibility of themselves like they would do if they had been living a healthy life. They have to pay their rent, buy their food and much more.
Every facility of sober living homes shares the same house rules, although some rules might be different from place to place. When people move in a sober living home, they agree to follow all the rules of the facility and agree to face the consequences in case of violation. However, penalties depend upon the severity of the violation. Residents may have to make amends to another resident, pay a fine, or write an essay about what they did. If violation of the rules is beyond limits, residents are asked to leave home.
The major rule of all sober facilities is to stay sober. Residents are not allowed to use any drugs or alcohol, not in a minor quantity as well. In fact, some addicts are restricted from cooking their meals in certain ingredients like vanilla and cannot use mouthwashes because these things contain the slightest amount of alcohol in them, which may result in false-positive into a drug test.
Many sober living programs are currently working, and many new sober homes are opening every other day. In order to decide which facility provides quality service, you can ask specific questions to the service provider to identify which facility is professional and following industry standards. A quality sober facility should have a limited turnaround. If the residents of a facility are leaving after a week or two, it might have relapse problems or unbearable conditions. Now let us discuss the most important questions to ask before joining a sober living program to ensure it has a decent structure:
What are the rules?
It is important to know about the rules you will have to follow when you consider a sober living home. Many sober homes have their own rules to provide structural support to their residents, although they all restrict the use of drugs. It is essential to read the rules carefully while deciding on a sober living home. These rules will give you an idea about the environment of the facility. Generally, rules may include meeting requirements, curfew, drug testing, phone limitations, and much more.
What services does it offer?
Many sober homes do not provide treatments for your addiction but do offer support services. Sober living homes are categorized into levels based on the type, support, and services by the National Alliance for Recovery Residences (NARR).
If the level is higher, more service and support is provided in that facility. NARR specified that all the levels work well; however, the level of support should be equal to the level of need. You can ask about services like recreational activities, peer counseling, assistance finding employment, educational groups, and connection to significant community and clinical resources. Ask to see residents calendar that has a list of all the activities.
What is the cost?
If you are going to pay for your rent at a facility, you should know if the cost fits with your budget. Generally, sober living homes at higher NARR levels charge more than the facilities at the lower end of the spectrum. So, you need to ask what is the fee of the support services apart from your rent. Do you have to pay further for drug testing or food supplies? What are the fines for breaking a house rule? Are utilities separate or included? You need to be aware of all possible expenses to calculate the total amount.
What is there staff ratio?
Staff ratio is also essential because, from this, you will know how much care and attention you will get. Ask if the house manager or other staff is 24/7 on-site. It is better if a staff member is always available to deal with potential disagreements and other intoxicated residents. Know about the certification, degrees, and training of the staff because, as greater your needs are, more qualified staff will be required.