Sober Living Restrictions: What About My Job, Phone, Car?

sober living restrictionsSome patients are averse to the idea of a sober living home because they believe it will come with too many rules and restrictions. Concerned about their ability to communicate with loved ones or begin their life after addiction, they may choose instead to move too quickly into an unsafe living situation and thus put their sobriety and all they accomplished in rehab at risk.

The fact is, though, that there are some expectations that come with living in a sober living home. They are:

  • Things that all patients should do in early recovery as they work toward stability after addiction
  • Inclusive of expectations that come with living in any community environment
  • Providing for accountability that encourages ongoing abstinence from drug and alcohol use
  • An incremental process that allows for growth and recognition of progress in recovery

Sober Companions

There are, of course, some activities, places, and things that will likely be off limits in your sober living home. With few exceptions, these often include:

  • No going to bars or attending parties or social events that last all night long
  • No people in the house who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • No alcohol or drugs in the home – brought in either by you or a guest

But often, residents of sober living homes are allowed and even encouraged to go spend time out in the community, going to work and building a new peer network. If the patient feels that it could be a situation that is risky to their sobriety, they may opt to bring a sober companion with them. For regular outings like errands or 12-step meetings in the community, this may be another resident in the house but for job-related functions or other events that are unavoidable for work or family, it may be a therapist or more professional support.

Increase in Responsibilities Over Time

If there are certain restrictions in place – like access to one’s car or phone – in the beginning of the stay in a sober living home, these restrictions are lifted gradually over time. They are put in place initially to help patients make the transition from the round-the-clock therapeutic schedule found in drug rehab to the less restricted schedule found in sober living with minimal bumps. Over time, increased access to phones and cars is gained, allowing the patient to move steadily closer toward a time when they are living “out in the world” without the at-home support of counselors and a drug-free environment.

The Benefits of Structure

Rather than hindering patients, the rules found in a sober living home provide structure. They encourage residents to stay focused on their recovery and become accountable for building and maintaining their own continued progress through 12-step meetings, personal therapy, and more while also being supportive of others in the house and creating a positive environment.

For example, some residents may not be thrilled at the prospect of doing chores at the sober living home or cooking dinner for the house, but all of these are important tools in learning how to communicate with people effectively and being a positive part of a community.

Learn more about what you can expect from a sober living home and how you can benefit when you contact us at the phone number listed above.