How to Pick the Right Sober House
How Do You Pick a Sober Living Home?
If you’re new to recovery, you might be unsure how to find a sober living house. It can be difficult to pick with so many possibilities and no past experience with sober living or recovery residences.
We want to make sure you locate a high-quality sober living home that meets all of your recovery needs, even if it isn’t a Vanderburgh House home. On the same line, we recognize how challenging it can be to discover the ideal sober living arrangement in early recovery. To make things easier for you, we’ve put together this step-by-step guide to walk you through the procedure.
1. Where is the Sober House Located?
The location of a sober living house is critical since it will serve as the focal point for all of your life activities—at least for a while. Your safety comes first and foremost. To ensure that you are safe and have easy access to everything you need while living in a sober living home, examine the following location-related questions.
- Is the sober living home in a safe, supportive neighborhood for your recovery?
- Is the sober living home convenient to your place of employment or school?
- Are there any recovery meetings close by or within walking distance (if you don’t have access to a car)?
- Is it simple to travel to a food shop via vehicle, walking, or public transportation?
- How easy is it for you to get to a doctor if you need one?
- Is there a laundry nearby that you may use if the sober living home does not have a washing and dryer?
- What kind of sober activities are available in the area?
- Is the population of the city or town expected to increase or decrease?
- What is the state of the local economy and labor market?
These are very critical questions to ask if you’re thinking about moving to a different city to live in a sober living home. Although relocation might be difficult, it can also provide a fresh start in a new location, which can be both rejuvenating and encouraging for many people.
2. Get your homework done.
Due investigation is critical when looking for a transitional living program.
You should conduct research to ensure that any sober living home you are contemplating will provide the recovery support services you require, as well as a safe and happy living environment and hold you accountable to your recovery goals.Although many sober living homes are not controlled or overseen by any state, local, or national organization, there are a few that are.
The following are a few visible indications of a high-quality sober living home:
Sober House Certification
Certification is an outward indicator of a sober living home’s dedication to quality and a good indication that the management and programs are good. Look for transitional housing that is sponsored by well-known groups like the National Alliance for Recovery Residences (NARR) and its affiliates, such as the Texas Recovery-Oriented Housing Network, to discover one that maintains a high quality of care.
Sober Living Policies
A superb sober living home will have a stringent no-tolerance policy for alcohol and drugs. This ensures that all residents have a safe and sober living environment at all times. In the early phases of recovery, this dramatically minimizes stress and temptation.
A sober living home’s rules and restrictions for residents should be clearly specified. This demonstrates the staff’s commitment to all residents’ safety, health, and well-being, as well as ensuring that you’ll be living in an atmosphere that holds you accountable for your actions.
Cleanliness & Safety of the Recovery Residence
Living places that are clean and structurally sound: If a sober living home isn’t clean or the facility isn’t structurally sound, you should be very hesitant to live there.
A well-kept sober house demonstrates that the staff and residents value one another and are committed to their obligations and long-term recovery achievement.
Recovery Support Services
If you want to stay sober for the long haul, look for a sober living home that offers services like job placement, drug testing, certified peer recovery programs, volunteer placement, educational planning, and access to IOP for residents who need it.
Check out the website, look up local listings and client reviews/testimonials, chat to the staff, and ask as many questions as possible to see if a sober living home satisfies the above criteria.
3. Pay a visit to a sober living facility.
It’s also a good idea to visit any sober living homes on your list as you narrow down your choices. Make contact with the personnel and arrange for a day visit to see the facility for yourself. Ask yourself questions such, “Do I feel at ease here?” while you’re there. “Would I like to spend a few days, weeks, or months here?”
Take note of the existing occupants’ actions as well.
- Do they appear to be content and happy?
- Is there a positive or negative vibe going on?
If you are unable to visit the home in person, look at images online and read testimonials from prior residents to get a better sense of the environment and living arrangements.
You could also wish to bring a sober friend, a family member, or your sponsor with you to get a second opinion. That way, if you’re having difficulties making objective observations, you’ll have someone else to talk to.
4. Go over the rules that apply to residents.
After visiting the sober living home, speak with the administration or admissions staff to ensure that you understand the rules, standards, and expectations for residents. It’s better to do this before committing to residency, as it’ll be more difficult to change your mind once you’ve traveled to the place and started preparing for enrollment.
Here are a few things to look for when reviewing the rules and requirements for residents of the sober living home:
- Is there one-on-one peer accountability or sober coaches available at the sober living home?
- Are there any types of recovery programming and/or 12-step group meetings available to residents?
- Is drug testing at random a part of the procedure?
- What is the policy on drugs and alcohol, including prescription prescriptions, in the home?
- What is the policy about visitors?
- If there are any social events scheduled for the inhabitants, what are they?
- What are the rules regarding romantic relationships?
These are all critical factors to consider while looking for a sober living home because they may have a long-term impact on your capacity to stay sober.
5. Find out everything you can about the people on the team.
A sober living home’s staff management is crucial to the success and happiness of its inhabitants.
You should find out who is on staff, what qualifications they have, and how they interact with residents before enrolling in a transitional living program.
Do they live on-site and offer peer mentoring?
Are they on the mend as well?
What is the client-to-staff ratio?
How will residents be held accountable for their sobriety?
It’s a positive sign if the transitional living house has a firm yet caring staff that will enforce the rules and give constant, on-site residential care.
If no staff members are present, you should inquire about how residents are held accountable and what kind of recovery support programs are provided.
Although this type of sober living environment may work well for some people who have been sober for months or years, a freshly sober person will most likely want greater accountability and support in order to be successful.
6. Become familiar with the financial needs.
Of course, no matter how badly you want to live in a sober living home, you must first ensure that you can afford to do so. The majority of transitional housing programs charge a monthly fee to cover room and board, but you’ll need to budget for your own food, hygiene items, and transportation.
You might be able to utilize your health insurance benefits to cover some of the costs of an intensive outpatient program (IOP) or monthly professional counseling sessions. Before enrolling in a sober living home, it’s a good idea to check with admissions officials to see if they accept your insurance.
Any other questions you have about sober living costs can be answered by the admissions staff of a sober living home, and they may even provide scholarships or financial assistance. When in doubt, ask as many questions as possible. Every sober living home offers various recovery support services and has varied budgetary requirements, so when in doubt, ask as many questions as possible.
If you recently finished treatment at a residential addiction treatment facility, your treatment team should be able to make recommendations and referrals for sober living homes based on your financial situation and needs.
7. Pick a place where you can stay for as long as you want.
Residents of some sober living homes are required to stay for a certain amount of time. You might be forced to stay at the facility for at least six months, for example. Other sober living homes may not have any restrictions on how long you can stay.
Unfortunately, there’s no way of knowing how long you’ll need to stay in a sober living home, so it’s usually preferable to find one that permits you to stay as long as you need. It’s usually better to stay in a sober living home until you and your sponsor are secure in your capacity to stay sober without the support of a sober living home.
8. Be on the lookout for red flags.
If you’re new to recovery and looking for a sober living home, there are a few warning flags to look out for. The following are some of the most typical signs that a sober living home is not providing enough care for those in recovery:
- Structure that is dilapidated, filthy, or unsafe
- Inspections are not carried out in accordance with regulations.
- There are no prerequisites for entry.
- There are no rules for residents, despite the fact that it claims to be free.
- There is no requirement for residents to get drug tested because there is no personnel or unqualified workers.
A sober living home that exhibits some or all of the above red flags is probably not a smart fit. Safe, sober, and high-quality living areas are provided by the top sober living houses.
Today is the best time to look for a sober living home.
It doesn’t have to be tough to find a sober living home. Vanderburgh House provides safe, clean, and supportive transitional living choices for men and women in all phases of recovery.