The longer addicts and alcoholics can remain in formalized or semi-formalized recovery the better their chances of making a full and meaningful recovery.
Residential recovery centres frequently double as sober living homes after the more intensive primary care process is concluded, however their rates are still relatively high due to the nature of 24h care, whereas dedicated sober living homes are generally are cheaper as they do not require the same degree to therapeutic treatments or the 24h care services.
Reintegration into Work and Community
Much of the focus of sober homes is on re-ntergration back into day to day life. Hence there is no longer a “lock down” type environment and individuals are free to go about their day / work lives un-checked.
Common Sober Living Home Rules
Most sober living homes have “house rules” that members HAVE to abide by without fail. These rules differ from home to home and generally follow the same kind of security structures and general operations of a formal rehab. Curfews and time keeping, meeting attendance, cleanliness, service with zero tolerance for addictive substances (drug or alcohol use), theft (in any format whatsoever), destruction of property, sex between residents, physical confrontations.
In many cases residents MUST attend “House Meetings” and “Relapse Prevention” meetings.
Residents are further obligated to submit to random drug and alcohol tests. There is often a roster and rotation of house chores and service duties that each resident must abide by and attend to.
As punitive as the house rules sound, most long-term residents are happy to be getting back into their lives and the routines of these sober homes. Liberating in the sense that these structures are away from the grasps of their addictions.
Independent Sober Homes
There are many sober homes in the major city centers of Cape Town, Bloemfontein, Johannesburg and Durban that are little more formalised than a group of friends (or ex-rehab patients) that have decided to rent a house and live in sobriety within close proximity to the treatment centre from where they graduated or more formalised treatment services like counsellors and recovery professional practices.
These autonomous sober home communities make it a part of daily life and routine to maintain anonymous meetings and outpatient programmes similar to that of their treatment centres.
Unmanaged there are about as many success stories as there are failures and the key if you are looking for an independent sober home is to find one that has at least two room mates with 12 to 24 months sobriety that operate the home.
Formalised Sober Homes
Formalised sober homes are usually operated by individuals that are 3 year + sober and or are professionals to some degree in recovery. Some have psychotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapy options on a pay as you use basis. Luxury sober homes are more akin to luxury guest houses with dedicated private rooms and a wide variety of amenities.
While non-punitive rehabilitation protocols and a homely atmosphere are encouraged, all community settings require specific rules of conduct. Patients must comply with the rules to ensure the wellbeing of all.