How Long Should You Stay in a Sober Living Home?
When you complete an inpatient addiction treatment program, the transition from rehab to independent living can be challenging because you will face a myriad of new triggers for relapse upon returning to daily life.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the relapse rate for addiction is between 40 to 60%. While this statistic can seem discouraging at first glance, it only indicates that many people are not fully armed with the tools they need to maintain long-term sobriety.
One of the best ways to maintain your recovery after inpatient rehab is to stay in a sober living home. Sober living homes are transitional housing that can help you learn how to avoid real-life triggers before you begin living on your own, but how long should you stay in sober living?
Is There a Limit to How Long I Should Stay in Sober Living?
When you reside in a sober living home, you are usually there voluntarily. While your previous addiction treatment program might have given you a recommended amount of time to attend sober living, it’s ultimately up to you how long you stay.
In other words, there is no limit to how long you can stay in sober living housing. How long you stay should be based on your personal needs. As long as you feel like sober living is benefitting you, you can continue living there.
How Long Do Most People Stay in Sober Living?
According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), “research has shown unequivocally that good outcomes are contingent on adequate treatment length.”
But what is considered “adequate” in terms of sober living homes? Typically, it is recommended that you spend at least 90 days in a transitional housing program. However, many people stay longer than three months.
Sober living homes provide you with a variety of tools and support to ensure that you are equipped to cope with triggers without returning to substance abuse. This might include:
- Weekly attendance of 12-step meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
- Curfews that vary depending on the day of the week
- Job skills training
- Help with completing societal responsibilities like obtaining a driver’s license, social security card, or bus pass
- Teaching you how to perform tasks like house chores
- Helping you learn how to budget
- Teaching you to maintain a daily schedule that keeps you busy
- Ensuring that your daily schedule involves recovery maintenance techniques like therapy, self-care, and attendance of support groups like AA or NA
Surveys have found that most people stay in sober living programs between 6 to 9 months.
How long you should stay in your sober living home depends heavily on how you are doing in your recovery. In other words, you should stay as long as you see fit. Additionally, it can be helpful to consult with a therapist or a trusted sober support person like an AA sponsor to determine whether you are ready to live independently.
Signs You’re Ready to Leave Sober Living
It can be difficult to determine whether you are ready to leave sober living, especially if you have experienced a relapse in the past. This decision can cause you a lot of stress, as you never want to put yourself through something that you are not ready for. Thankfully, there are ways to tell whether you are ready to live independently or not.
Signs that indicate you are ready to leave sober living include:
- You have become active in your sober support community
- Your financial situation is stable
- You have created a plan for leaving your sober living housing
- You have a strong network of supportive friends and family
- You’ve consulted with your therapist, sponsor, house manager, or family about leaving the program
- You have secured a job, have a driver’s license or bus pass, and feel confident that you can care for these responsibilities on your own
- You know how to effectively cope with emotions and triggers without relapsing
Signs You Should Stay a Bit Longer
When you are considering leaving your sober living home, you should also look for signs that you need some extra time so you know you’re making the right decision. The transition from sober living programs and independent living should only be completed when you are 100% confident in your ability to maintain your sobriety.
Keeping this in mind, the signs you should remain in sober living include:
- You have not established a recovery support community like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
- You have frequent cravings to abuse substances that are difficult to manage
- Triggers are extremely hard to ignore or work through without extra support
- You do not feel confident obtaining jobs on your own
- Your financial situation is not stable and obtaining your own housing would be highly stressful
- You do not have a supportive environment to live in outside of sober living
- You have a history of multiple relapses
- Your mental health condition is not fully managed
If you are not confident that you will be able to manage sobriety outside of a program that provides you with accountability and support, you should remain in sober living for the time being. Hopefully, you have a therapist or a sponsor who can help you determine when you will be ready for independent living. If not, you should consider establishing with a therapist or begin working the 12 steps with an AA or NA sponsor.
Find the Best Sober Living Homes in Broward County
If you or a loved one are completing an addiction treatment program soon, you should consider transitioning into a sober home in Broward County before living independently. At New You Sober Living, we can provide you with an array of services to help you learn how to manage long-term sobriety.
At New You Sober Living, our philosophy is to treat every man and woman with dignity and respect throughout your luxurious and comfortable stay under our guided care.
To learn more about our sober living homes in Broward County, contact New You Sober Living today.
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