When you move to sober living, you are moving from inpatient treatment, where there were many expectations for you to meet. These expectations may have seemed harsh to you in the beginning but now you can see why they were necessary.
Expectations are set in place for your protection and your benefit. You are a sober adult and now it’s time to be proud, own it, and do what’s expected.
In this article, we’re taking a closer look at six key sober living home expectations so you’re prepared for success.
6 Key Sober Living Home Expectations
Sober living homes give you that prime opportunity to practice living drug-free in the real world, without having to jump right into living sober in your real world.
In return, sober living homes establish rules and regulations you will be expected to follow. These are the same expectations you will meet when you return home.
Let’s get started examining the most common expectations of sober living homes.
1. Prevent Relapse
It is expected that you do everything in your power to avoid relapse. Alcohol and drugs are not allowed on the premises of the halfway house, even if they aren’t your “drug of choice”. Anyone caught with substances in the house will be asked to leave immediately.
If you are on medication, you are not allowed to share your medicine with anyone. You must inform your house leader of any medication requirements and take your medication as prescribed.
To help you avoid relapse, most sober living homes issue random drug testing to verify you are still sober. A failed test, or refusal to take a test, can result in being asked to leave.
2. Pay Your Bills
Sober living is not a free place to live. Remember, it is a place where you can practice living sober. And that means you will have bills. Because you can work while living in a sober living home, you can cover your debts.
The prices will not be unreasonable. You are splitting the rent and utilities with roommates. You will buy your own groceries, clothing, and other necessities.
Until now, you have done one thing with your money, buy drugs. In sober living, you learn how to spend your money the right way, on your responsibilities. Because money can be a huge trigger for relapse, it’s best you learn how to spend it in sober living rather than in your hometown.
3. Do Your Chores
Growing up you may have had chores like cleaning your room, doing laundry, mowing the lawn or washing dishes. You will be expected to do the same in sober living.
While in rehab, these chores were likely done by staff. But now that you are in a halfway house, you are responsible. You can create a chore schedule with your roommates.
Over time, you will realize the benefits of completing chores. It will prepare you for living sober after you leave the halfway house. In addition, tackling chores are a great distraction from triggers and cravings.
4. Attend Meetings
While in sober living, you will be expected to attend house meetings. Addiction can destroy your communication skills. You were so caught up in the isolation of the addiction lifestyle for so long. You had one way of solving problems and coping with emotions, use drugs.
In sober living, you get to practice new social skills, improve communication, and work out problems the right way. House meetings give you the space to express yourself appropriately and resolve issues and give and receive feedback.
You will also be expected to attend support group meetings such as AA or NA. Because you are fighting addiction, the villain of all villains, you need all the help you can get.
Support groups give you power emotionally, educationally, and socially. You will likely be expected to attend multiple meetings every week. The more you attend, the better chance you have for success in sobriety.
Attend groups with a friend who will push you to go when that little voice in your head is telling you to skip it.
5. Additional Counseling and Treatment
Just because you left rehab, it doesn’t mean you must stop seeing a counselor or psychiatrist. If you have been put on medication for a mental health disorder, counseling and med checks with the psychiatrist need to be a priority.
6. Job Searching
You will be expected to pay your rent on time, every time. You are also expected to obtain money for rent through legal avenues like getting a job, scholarship, or help from family.
Searching for a job should be taken seriously. In fact, you should treat it as a part-time job. These are skills that will help you find work quickly upon your return home, eliminating any downtime that could trigger a relapse.
The above expectations are the big ones. But there are smaller expectations that can have a positive impact on your stay at a sober living home.
For instance, most halfway houses set a curfew. Many define curfew as any time you are not at work or approved meetings.
Visitors are not usually allowed at the sober living home. If they are, it is for a limited time. Visitors can be big distractions for you and your roommates. It’s just too risky. If you have a visitor that brings illegal substances into the home, everyone’s sobriety could be challenged. Plus, you will get expelled from the house.
Travel, unless for emergencies, is typically not allowed. Internet use is allowed but for approved purposes like job hunting. You will be restricted from accessing websites that could trigger a relapse. And no, your pet is not allowed either.
You will be expected to avoid romantic relationships with roommates, don’t participate in activities that are too loud or that disrupt the sober home environment. Parties, even sober parties, are not allowed.
You are there to work on you. You need to focus on showing and earning respect, learning how to improve your chances of long-term sobriety, and staying on track for success in all areas of your life.
You can live up to the expectations of sober living. You can succeed.