What to Look for in a Sober Living Home
One major obstacle that stands in the way of many people’s sobriety is the lack of access to stable, supportive, and drug-free housing. After all, many people who have a history of drug or alcohol addiction also have a history of financial issues, negative home environments, incarceration, and homelessness. Without affordable access to community resources and supportive housing, the risk for relapse is much higher. This is why addiction specialists in West Palm Beach recommend that people leaving rehab live in a sober living home or halfway house after treatment.
In order to help bridge the gap between intensive drug or alcohol rehab programs and long-term recovery, sober living homes in West Palm Beach offer supportive, stable, and drug-free housing for people in early recovery. Although these homes do not offer clinical addiction treatment, they are an extremely useful resource for people who are looking to stay sober after rehab.
That being said, all sober homes are different and operate based on different guidelines. Choosing a sober living that fits your needs and lifestyle can be an important determinant of your success in sobriety. However, since many sober living homes in West Palm Beach are privately owned and not regulated by any governmental organization, you may be confused as to what to look for in a good sober home.
At The Beaches Treatment Center, we are dedicated to connecting our patients with the highest quality sober homes in South Florida. Whether you’re looking for a halfway house, a three-quarter way house, or a FARR (Florida Association of Recovery Residences) certified recovery center, our team is here to help you find the right type of transitional housing for you.
Red Flags: Things You Don’t Want in a Sober Living Home
First, it’s vital to be aware of red flags. Red flags are basically signs that a sober home is poorly run or even potentially dangerous for people in early recovery. Some signs to watch out for include:
- The sober home claims they are free or will pay people to live there. This is often a sign of a fraudulent facility that may actually encourage drug-seeking behaviors. A good sober living will require you to pay rent as that is one aspect of living a sober life that people must be responsible for.
- The home is rundown or seems unsafe. In order to protect your wellbeing and your recovery, you want to live in a home that is well-taken care of and is in a nice neighborhood.
- There are no admissions requirements. Usually, sober homes will at least require people to provide a clean drug screening. Others will require people to have completed some level of addiction treatment. If the home lets just anybody live there, this is a sign that you should look elsewhere.
- No drug testing is required. The entire point of going to a sober home is to live in a drug-free environment. If abstinence isn’t enforced by way of mandatory drug testing, it is a sign that the facility is poorly run and potentially dangerous.
- There aren’t any house rules. A good sober home will have strict rules and expectations. If the home doesn’t require residents to be home by curfew, doesn’t limit guest visitors, or doesn’t have a method of keeping order in the home, you should run the other way.
- The home doesn’t have any trained or certified staff. In many cases, sober living homes in West Palm Beach are managed by addiction treatment centers or similar organizations that will employ trained staff to manage the home. At a minimum, the home should have a live-in house manager who keeps tabs on the members of the home.
If you visit a sober living and notice any of the above-listed warning signs, it is time to run the other way. Fortunately, sober living homes and halfway houses are in immense abundance in the South Florida area. With so many options to choose from, you will be able to find one that meets your needs and preferences.
What to Look for When Choosing a Sober Living Home in West Palm Beach
Now that you know what not to look for, knowing how to choose a sober home should be easy, right? Let’s take a deeper look into aspects that define a good sober living and why they are important for your recovery.
When you inquire about a sober home, they should provide you with clearly detailed admissions requirements as well as any other applicable information. Many sober homes will require people to provide a negative drug screening as well as proof of participation in a treatment program. However, other more flexible types of transitional housing may only require a negative drug screening.
In addition, you should be fully informed about any down payments, fees, charges, and rent that you are responsible for paying. Most local sober homes offer rent pricing both by the week or by month. In West Palm Beach, the cost of rent at a sober living home may range anywhere from $600-1400 a month.
The last detail you should clarify during admissions is how long the home allows people to stay. For example, some homes only allow people to stay for 3-6 months, while others allow people to stay indefinitely given they are following the house rules. Finding out this information will help you determine whether or not a recovery residence is right for you.
Rules and Regulations
Making sure that a sober home has strict rules and regulations is crucial. Even though transitional housing is more flexible than residential treatment, rules are still necessary to maintain order in the home and support a drug-free environment. General rules that you can expect include:
- Mandatory and regular drug/alcohol screenings to ensure residents are staying sober
- Clearly outlined prescription medication policies
- A list of prohibited items such as alcohol-containing products or weapons
- Chore assignments that must be followed by each roommate
- Proof of participation in counseling and/or a 12-step program
- Regulations on who is allowed to visit the home and during which hours
- Nightly curfew requirements to be respected
- Weekly house meetings to discuss any problems in the home and/or requests
In general, sober living homes in West Palm Beach will employ either behavioral health technicians or live-in house managers who manage the home. These individuals are in a position of authority to enforce the house rules and direct members of the household to the appropriate resources when they are struggling.
Safe and Clean Living Environment
Before choosing a sober home, you should always visit the residence first rather than simply going off pictures provided. First, you will want to ensure the home is in a safe neighborhood and that the grounds are maintained in a similar fashion as other homes in the neighborhood. Be sure to inspect the home for anything you would when looking for an apartment, such as signs of bug infestations, broken windows, faulty appliances, etc.
In addition to making sure the home is safe to live in and well kept, you should also make sure the home is clean in general. If it is dirty or unsanitary, this indicates that members of the home aren’t doing their chores and that rules aren’t being followed. Instead, the home should be clean, offer enough space for each individual (some homes may have 2-3 beds per room), and provide enough privacy for individuals, when needed.
The Benefits of Going to Sober Living After Rehab
Leaving rehab isn’t always easy, especially if you have completed an inpatient treatment program. However, transitional housing serves to support individuals in recovery after treatment.
There are many things that can trigger a relapse, ranging from people, places, and things. Unfortunately, many people who go to substance abuse treatment lack a supportive home environment. Some come from homes where drug or alcohol abuse is rampant and others have nowhere to go at all. These challenges that some people face after rehab are major triggers that can lead to relapse, but by providing supportive and drug-free housing, people are able to avoid these triggers and have a better chance of staying sober.
When people decide to go to transitional housing after treatment, they are surrounded by similar individuals who are all working towards the same goal of sobriety. This allows for a positive atmosphere of unending support that is hard to find elsewhere. Furthermore, sober homes highly encourage participation in recovery support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA), two support groups that help many people stay sober. Since recovery support groups are so abundant in South Florida, getting connected through your sober home is simple.
Overall, going to a sober home after treatment is one of the best ways to secure your sobriety after treatment. These residences are equipped with the resources you need to continue your recovery and, ultimately, live sober independently.
Find a Sober Living in West Palm Beach Today
Whether you’re just getting started on your journey to recovery or have already completed residential treatment and are ready to take the next step, contact one of our dedicated treatment providers. We’ll spend time talking with you to determine your needs and connect you with a sober home or recovery center near you. Call us today.
Medically Reviewed: September 25, 2019
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.