For many people that have struggled with drug addiction and abuse, an inpatient rehabilitation facility is their first step to recovery. But when their primary treatment ends, they face the prospect of returning to the same world that fostered their addiction in the first place. And that’s where a sober living home can make a real difference in their lives.
A sober living home – which is similar to a halfway house – serves as a safe and nurturing environment for a recovering addict to reenter the world. They offer support and structure to help their residents stay clean and readjust to living without strict supervision. In many cases, they are all that stands between a recovering addict and a dangerous, painful relapse.
How Does a Sober Living Home Aid in Recovery?
When a recovering addict leaves an inpatient facility and moves into a sober living home, they agree to abide by the home’s rules and requirements. Those rules and requirements vary depending on the facility, but most include:
- Sleeping in the home for at least five nights each week
- Adhering to a curfew
- Submitting to random drug and/or alcohol screenings
- Accountability for where they go and what they do when not at home
- Refraining from bringing any illicit drugs or alcohol into the home
In exchange for agreeing to live by the rules, residents get to attend on-site support group meetings and receive additional support services as needed. They also get to live with others facing similar challenges to theirs – which often results in developing a support system that will outlast their stay in the home.
What Happens if you Fail a Drug Test While in Sober Living?
The purpose of random drug testing in a sober home is to make sure that all residents follow the rules and aren’t reverting to their pre-treatment behaviors. And most sober houses don’t treat failed drug tests as minor offenses. And there’s a good reason for that. When a resident of a sober home suffers a relapse, they might influence the behavior of the other residents or even bring drugs into the home.
For that reason, residents who fail drug tests may become subject to additional restrictions on what they’re permitted to do inside and outside the home. In some cases, they may even be asked to leave the home completely. The consequences of a failed drug test while in sober living aren’t always the same, but they are always serious.
But it’s important to remember that sober living homes are run by professionals that understand the nature of addiction. And although their goal is to see that their residents don’t suffer a relapse, they understand that it’s always a possibility. So the best course of action for a resident who has suffered a relapse is to alert the staff before they fail a random drug test. Doing so demonstrates a sincere effort to live by the rules – and will often result in the resident receiving additional support services rather than just a punishment.
Sober Living Homes Improve the Odds of Recovery
The bottom line is that recovering addicts who transition into a sober living home after completing their primary treatment have a far easier path to reintegration into the outside world. They have a stable place to live and the resources they need to put the lessons they learned in treatment into action in the real world. And that increases their odds of staying sober for the long term.
We’ve seen firsthand how critical that additional support can be and what a difference it makes in the lives of recovering addicts. So if you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction, call us today at 866-963-7200. We’re available 24 hours a day to get you or your loved one the help you need to overcome the challenge of addiction and get back to a fulfilling and sober life.