Sober Housing Red Flags: What to Avoid When Choosing a Sober House
A therapeutic community-based facility can play a major role in your long-term recovery success. Research shows that people who live in a recovery community for longer than six months are significantly less likely to relapse. By living with others in a similar situation, you can find invaluable support and resources that help you overcome the physical and mental challenges involved in post-treatment recovery. Watch for sober housing red flags so you know which communities to avoid as you choose the best option for your needs.
Benefits of Sober Community Living
Sober living homes provide a safe place for people in recovery to receive the healing and strength they need to fully overcome their substance abuse addiction. Community-based recovery offers numerous benefits, including:
- Accountability: Living each day among others while overcoming addiction helps to give each resident accountability for their actions.
- Positive relationships: Sober community living surrounds people with drug-free friends, eliminating the temptation of falling back into old habits.
- Sponsors and mentors: Community living can help people find sponsors and mentors who can provide useful advice and guidance in the early stages of recovery.
By living with others recovering from substance abuse, you gain the support and encouragement of like-minded individuals who understand and empathize with your situation. You can help each other through the ups and downs of recovery while making friendships that can last a lifetime.
4 Sober Housing Red Flags
While there are countless options for therapeutic community-based recovery, not all sober living communities are ideal for your needs. Here are four sober housing red flags that should send you looking for other options.
1. Proper Credentials
A credible sober housing facility will have proper accreditation and licensing to effectively treat substance abuse. In California, sober living homes are regulated by three main entities, including the California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals. This ensures that the center meets ethical and health requirements to provide the best care for its residents. To acquire the proper credentials, centers should:
- Undergo regular inspections
- Maintain a safe and clean home
- Provide qualified staff and medical support
If you find a sober living home that doesnâ€™t have any such requirements, you may want to continue your search.
2. Established Professionals
For best results, people recovering from substance abuse addiction should be overseen by medical professionals trained in abuse recovery. This takes extensive training and, in some cases, licensing or certification. (In California, counselors are regulated by the Addiction Counselor Certification Board of California.)
Look for sober housing that is managed and operated by trained professionals. Theyâ€™ll have the knowledge, skills, and resources to help you through your recovery process. If you find a center that isnâ€™t managed by established professionals, itâ€™s doubtful youâ€™ll truly get the level of care you need and deserve.
3. Facility Photos
As you search online for sober housing, pay attention to facility photos. If websites donâ€™t share photos or use only stock photos, chances are thereâ€™s a reason they donâ€™t want you to see their actual facility. For those who do share photos, look to see whether:
- Rooms are clean and orderly
- Grounds are well-maintained
- The surrounding neighborhood looks safe
- Amenities are current and up-to-date
Remember, a sober housing facility is more than a place to live. Itâ€™s a place to heal. Examine photos carefully to decide whether you would be happy doing both at that location. If the answer is no, keep searching.
4. History & Alumni Reviews
You can learn a lot about a community by researching its history and alumni reviews. Find out its success rate. Learn what kind of experiences others have had there. Their processes and programs can let you know what to expect during your time there. If a center has an overwhelming number of negative reviews, chances are you wonâ€™t have a good experience there either.
Choose the Right Sober Housing for You
Ethos Recovery provides people in recovery the support they need for long-term sobriety. An all-male community in recovery, we promote character development, accountability, and camaraderie so residents can lead a healthy, happy life.
Contact us today to see if weâ€™re a good fit for you.
Author – Chris Howard
Chris Howard is the Founder and Director of Ethos Recovery. He has a B.A. in Psychology from UCLA and has served as a community advocate/mentor for men and women in recovery since 2010.