Some clients need a structured, neutral environment for continuing recovery once they transition out of an inpatient (IP) or partial hospitalization (PHP) treatment program. Sober living communities offer an ideal environment where peers can help each other maintain accountability. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “For people who are newly sober, recovery housing can provide time and support as they learn how to sustain long-term recovery.” A sober living community will allow you to gain confidence in your sobriety before transitioning home.
What Is a Sober Living Community?
A sober living community is a housing space for people recovering from substance use disorder (SUD) and related mental health disorders. The housing units are secured, monitored, and often community-maintained. Although individuals living in these facilities have private areas, they are also required to follow the house rules that can differ between communities. These rules usually include:
- Attending weekly 12-Step or other self-help meetings
- Maintaining sobriety
- Not bringing weapons, alcohol, or drugs onto the premises
- Passing periodic drug screens
- Attending regular check-ins
- Supporting peers in recovery and keeping positive social dynamics within the community
Most sober living communities work alongside local treatment facilities like Vanity Wellness Center to ensure that individuals in recovery have access to the support and outpatient treatment they may need to maintain sobriety. Some communities are more hands-on in their approach, and they might interact daily with clients. Others offer housing, but no additional emotional support. Sometimes it takes trying several different places to find one that fits your requirements.
Finding the Right Space for You
Everyone has unique needs and challenges to overcome during treatment and recovery. Finding a suitable space is essential to maintaining emotional stability and sobriety. No matter where you are in your recovery journey, there is likely a specific sober living community that can accommodate your religious, cultural, and personal preferences. To make sure you’ve found the right community, you should ask yourself questions such as:
- Do you require a private living area, or do you enjoy having a roommate?
- Do you want a community that provides essentials, like dishes and meals, or do you prefer to supply your own?
- Do you prefer someplace near your home, or would you do better temporarily living in a community elsewhere?
- Do you need daily check-ins, or do you feel confident enough to only need weekly or biweekly check-ins and drug screens?
- Do you want to join a religious or spiritual recovery community, or would you rather avoid living with religious or spiritual individuals?
Make a list of your preferences and use that to narrow down the options to choose one that feels the most comfortable for you.
Benefits of a Sober Living Community
Finding a community that feels comfortable can decrease isolation, anxiety, and depression symptoms. The more connected you feel to the people living around you, the easier it will be to build new healthy relationships and heal from the damaging effects of substance misuse.
Benefits of sober living communities include:
- Steady rent price
- An open-ended stay
- Drug screens and regular check-ins
- House rules that encourage accountability and healthy routines
- A safe, clean, and secure environment where you can heal
The Different Types of Sober Living Communities
Make a list of your short-term and long-term recovery goals and what resources you will need to accomplish them. You can find communities that support what’s important to you, including:
- Diversity and LGBTQIA+ individuals
- Spiritual and religious beliefs
- 12-Step philosophy
- Indigenous cultural traditions
No matter your beliefs, lifestyle, or preferences, there are sober communities where you will feel accepted and understood.
Private vs. Community-Based Sober Living
Most communities in California have private and community-based sober housing options. Both have advantages and disadvantages.
- Private Sober Living: usually offers a wider variety of amenities and services; however, they generally have higher fees, and certain insurance providers may not cover all costs.
- Community-Based Sober Living: fewer amenities and services, but more affordable, and insurance providers are more likely to cover the cost.
How to Find a Sober Living Facility in California
The internet is an excellent source for researching specific types of housing. Your case manager at Vanity Wellness Center can also provide you with a comprehensive list of local sober communities and their contact information. Some other resources for locating sober housing include:
- 2-1-1 or www.211.org
- Online directories
- Local medical clinics
- Therapy offices
- Rehabilitation facilities
Once you have your list of preferences and requirements, it will be easier to navigate through the options in your area and pick the one that works best for you.
California has many high-quality sober living communities that cater to individuals looking for a supportive environment where they can continue to heal and grow. Everyone has unique needs and preferences, which is why Vanity Wellness Center partners with various local programs and facilities to ensure our clients choose from the best sober housing choices in the area. Before selecting a sober living community, think about your current circumstances and recovery goals. What do you need to accomplish those goals? Once you have that answer, you can look for spaces that offer services or features catering to those requirements. Supportive housing allows you to work on building self-efficacy and essential skills for independent recovery outside of a treatment environment. Vanity Wellness Center offers alumni and aftercare services that include assistance locating and transitioning to sober housing. To learn more, contact our office today by calling (866) 587-1737.