- They are all in bad neighborhoods
While sober living homes can range in locations usually matching an individuals budget, they are not all in bad neighborhoods. Some do resemble the dark and dilapidated areas addicts turn to when they are getting high but the majority are in stable and comfortable areas. People may be surprised when driving through nicer communities in their local town to learn that the well kept home down the street actually houses a group of men or women looking to better their lives.
- The homes are run down and poorly kept
This goes hand-in-hand with the idea that the homes are in questionable neighborhoods. The aim of any reputable sober living home is to provide the same or better quality and comfort than the addict had at home. Imagine trying to begin a new chapter in your life and better yourself only to call a place home that resembles the condemned house that you used to pick up your drugs at. For this reason and many more, sober living homes make it a special point to provide homes with amenities and creature comforts found in higher end homes today. It is not uncommon to be greeted by hardwood floors, Travertine tile, marble counter tops, and plush leather furnishings.
- Sober Living is not necessary after treatment
On the contrary, sober living is one of the few ways to set up an individual in recovery for success. It is still up to the individual to do the leg work but sober living homes provide the stable and structured environment one needs to successfully transition back into their day-to-day life. While a 30, 60, or 90 inpatient program would represent the triage and emergency services a patient would receive after a horrible accident. Sober living is akin to the follow up visits and continuing care after a patient has been stabilized. A sober living home allows men and women who are still in a critical early point of recovery to rejoin life while still having the accountability needed for long term success.
- They are unregulated
Many people believe that sober living homes are unregulated, or even worse, fraudulent money making schemes. While a simple Google search can reveal the dark side of “sober living homes”, it is important to remember that the true facilities are operating to help those suffering from addiction. Yes, they are businesses and need to make a profit to continue to help the future recovering alcoholics and addicts, but they do not do so at the sake of their current clients. Sober living homes, depending upon the state they lie in, are subject to regulation through zoning laws, state housing departments, state and municipal healthcare regulations and regulation specific to sober living communities and homes. While it would be nice to say every home is operating for benevolent reasons, it is important to research the home your loved one chooses to continue their journey in sobriety. The best place to start is the inpatient treatment facility your loved one is currently undergoing treatment at; the counselors and staff will know which places have good or poor reputations.
- They are havens for continued drug use.
Like most things in life you get what you pay for. If it is cheap, it is cheap for a reason. A sober living home is exactly that; a home where each of clients is guaranteed to be able to come home and not be tempted by the same environment they had just left. Each home has their own rules for what happens in the event of relapse and be sure to discuss this with the director of the home. Rules can vary from speaking with their counselor to ensure it does not happen again, to being asked to leave the home temporarily until the individual is able to test clean of all drugs, to asking any individual to leave the home in the event of any drug use. Companies that have been in business even for a short time will have seen cases of relapse and will have plans to handle each case accordingly.
More importantly, if a sober living has a good reputation, it enjoys it for a reason. They have built it over time and through the ability to foster success stories. They work with people from all socioeconomic backgrounds in the toughest and most mentally challenging moments of their lives to show them a better way to live. One of the reason they are so successful is because the best homes are truly that, a safe home for your loved one.