SOBER LIVING VS. HALFWAY HOMES
According to the Massachusetts Alliance of Sober Housing “Sober Home is a broad term describing a sober, safe and healthy living environment that promotes recovery from alcohol and other drug use and associated problems. They are sober living environments, meaning that residents are expected to abstain from alcohol and illegal drug use.”
Many studies have shown (and many people’s sobriety have confirmed) that maintaining abstinence is difficult without a stable, drug and alcohol-free environment following treatment. So, sober living environments provide a safe and supportive place for recovering addicts to live during their first months sober and often times much longer, should they so choose.
By most definitions “sober living” or sober homes are more focused on recovery from addiction as opposed to criminal or mental health issues. As the definition of Halfway House by Miriam Webster Dictionary is: “a residence for individuals after release from institutionalization (as for mental illness, drug addiction, or criminal activity) that is designed to facilitate their readjustment to private life.”
Sure, some people in recovery may have baggage or legal incidents in their past but in a sober home, this is not the primary purpose for their participation in the residence. As a result, the stigma associated with sober living is far less negative than is associated with halfway house.
In addition, halfway houses usually have limitations on how long a resident can stay. They are also characteristically dependent on government funding and control, and as such vulnerable to funding cuts.
In many Sober homes there is no requirement for the resident to have just completed or currently be enrolled in a structured rehab program. Though at Sober Surroundings we know that maintaining a sober lifestyle requires not only a safe environment with sober housemates, but also continued effort toward sobriety. And, to make sure that we are maintaining a sober environment our guests are all required to attend at least three outside AA/NA or similar meetings per week. We steer them to obtain an AA/NA sponsor within the first four weeks of residence, if they don’t already have one, insist they call the sponsor regularly.
In addition, a sober home provides a lot more than a transitional living environment; many are focused on sound, well accepted recovery methodology and sobriety or 12-step programs. Many sober homes require residents to take random or scheduled drug tests and demonstrate that they are taking the actions that are known to help achieve long-term sobriety.
For recovering addicts and alcoholics, striving to live a sober lifestyle in a sober home or in a halfway house, success is much more likely (almost exclusively) when one has a plan in place for how you will live in recovery. Browse though our Sober Living Blog and check back frequently for tips and best practices for building and sticking to your sober living plan.