How Long Does Sober Living Last?

how long does sober living lastSober living begins the first day of recovery. The moment that your loved one stops taking his or her drug of choice and chooses not to get high or drunk when the withdrawal symptoms start, a new life in sobriety begins.

In more specific terms, however, sober living is the phase of treatment that most often begins after a stay in an inpatient drug rehab program. While some patients opt to enter a sober living home after a relapse, most choose this as their second phase of recovery.

How long it lasts is a personal decision. It depends upon:

  • The level of readiness of the patient to return to society
  • The availability of a suitable sober living situation outside of recovery
  • The resources available to the patient
  • The patient’s long-term goals for recovery

Each patient who embarks on a new life in sobriety will find a unique path that will take them where they need to go. Choosing a sober living home that fits into that plan is essential.

Short-Term Sober Living

For some, a sober living home is merely a launching pad in between the protected environment of an inpatient rehabilitation program and the “outside world.” Often, they don’t have a safe living environment that is supportive of their recovery and will benefit from a sober living home that allows them to:

  • Find a new sober living situation
  • Find a job
  • Save money for a rental deposit
  • Save money for a car and other essentials

However long it takes them to give themselves the resources that will enable them to rebuild a new sober life and mitigate the stress that is often a trigger for relapse is how long sober living will last for these patients.

Long-Term Sober Living

For most patients, a sober living home is a mid-range to long-term solution as they build their confidence in their ability to remain sober on their own and gather together what they need to be responsible and support themselves on a day-to-day basis. For these patients, sober living will last as long as it takes to:

  • Feel confident in their ability to avoid relapse despite easy access to alcohol and other substances
  • Work through underlying trauma and manage co-occurring mental health symptoms that may otherwise trigger relapse
  • Work on family relationships and get them to a level where it will be comfortable to return home and maintain sobriety
  • Put together a resume that works for their career goals, build job skills, or take college courses that will increase their employability and career options
  • Locate everything they will need to be functional outside of rehab (e.g., an appropriate living situation, a vehicle if necessary, aftercare services like a therapist, 12-step meetings and others)

The Continuum of Recovery

The act of breaking free of a physical dependence on drugs or alcohol is the bold first step in recovery that begins a long journey. Every stop along the way should be chosen based on its ability to continue positively supporting the patient’s ability to become stronger in sobriety. The length of time spent in sober living is a choice that the patient should make in concert with a therapeutic team that is staffed with professionals who are knowledgeable about the patient’s history, triggers, and goals for the future.

Learn more about options in sober living and recovery when you contact us at the phone number above.