After completing a rehab treatment program, it can be hard to get back into the swing of everyday life. Sober housing centers are designed to help you get back into an independent life of sobriety. To live in a sober housing community, you have to follow a handful of rules and regulations.
That being said, we’re all human and we all make mistakes. Sometimes we can find ourselves veering off track and relapsing. So, what happens if you relapse while you’re living in a sober housing community? This article will explain how sober living houses work and what could happen if you relapse.
What is a sober house?
Sober living centers are for anyone who’s suffering from alcohol or drug addiction. They’re a more relaxed alternative to outpatient treatment facilities. The freedom given by sober living houses can be a helpful tool in getting your life back. However, with these freedoms, sober living communities provide a list of rules that HAVE to be followed.
Although sober housing centers don’t offer addiction treatment, people who choose this form of rehabilitation will have a safe place to stay, with a community of people there to help keep them on track. Some benefits of staying in a sober house include:
- Routine: Sober houses have many rules like curfew to minimize your risk of relapse. You go to work/school, pay some bills, see some friends, and turn in.
- Drug testing: Most sober living communities require routine drug/alcohol testing to ensure you don’t relapse. There are consequences for relapsing.
- NA/AA groups: Most housing facilities will require that you take part in a 12 step program outside of the community.
The rules of living in a sober house
First and foremost, sober living houses expect patients to stay clean. Also, staying in a sober house isn’t free. You’ll have to pay rent, attend community meetings, and complete household chores. If you don’t comply with these rules, you risk being asked to leave the community.
Along with these rules, all sober living houses have a zero-tolerance policy in regards to drugs/alcohol and sexual misconduct. Yes, sexual contact with the other in-house patients is strictly prohibited. Even though it may seem strict (which it is), the rules of sober living communities are designed to help you become an overcomer, forgive yourself of your mistakes, and helps you grow as a self-reliant, sober individual.
What happens if you relapse in a sober house?
As I mentioned before, we’re human, and mistakes happen. It’s nothing to beat yourself up over. However, because of the concrete rules that are set in place for these sober housing communities, drastic consequences may follow if you relapse. Using drugs or alcohol while living in one of these centers is a clear-cut violation of the rules. You may or may not be asked to living your house depending on your communities standards. Due to the routine drug testing, it’s pretty much impossible to conceal the fact that you’ve relapsed. And trust me, the people who run these houses are well aware of any get-out-of-drug-testing schemes you may have. The best thing for you to do is to admit your slip-up as soon as possible.
The main goal of sober living houses is to help you maintain your sobriety. It isn’t their desire to throw patients out of their facility. Coming forward as soon as you mess up will elevate your chance of receiving a lesser punishment. If you relapse in a sober living center, you’ll most likely be asked to leave for a short period of time (up to 72 hours). After that time is up, you’ll meet before a committee and they’ll evaluate your case. If you’re allowed to stay, you’ll be required to do community service or join a 12-step program for 90 days.
If you’re coming out of rehab, and you’re struggling to get back into the swing of your everyday life, then it may be in your best interest to look into a sober housing community. Before you join a community, check out the facilities’ rules, credibility, rent, and services. Also, make sure they are certified by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. Don’t wait! There are counselors in place to help you and assist you with any questions you may have at 844-639-8371. Joining a sober housing center will put you one step closer to taking the reigns back on your own life.