News, Culture & Society

Canadian Sober Living House Accommodations: More Accessible Than Ever

Addiction rates have been steadily rising Canada-wide, including alcoholism, substance abuse, and gambling. A recent study has reported that increasing numbers of people are visiting Ontario emergency rooms for alcohol related problems. The study by the Canadian Medical Association Journal reveals 765,346 emergency department visits from 2003 to 2016, an increase of 82%. Substance abuse has also increased according to a recent survey by the Canadian Alcohol and Drug Use Monitoring Survey (CADUMS).

Fortunately, ongoing help is available. Choosing a Canadian sober living house is now easier than ever, with increased locations located in most major cities.

What is a Sober Living House?

A sober living house is the perfect halfway point for those making the transition from addiction into recovery. A sober living arrangement is often recommended for those leaving rehabilitation programs and are not yet ready to live independently.

For example, many of those leaving rehab will not have access to full-time employment, or will not have friends to ensure that they remain sober. In addition, many may have family problems or the lack of a stable home to live in.

For clients facing these issues, a sober living arrangement, often divided into men’s homes and women’s homes, may be required.

Difference Between a Sober Living House and a Halfway House

Often times, a bit of confusion exists about the exact difference between a sober living house and a halfway house. Firstly, a sober living house does not limit the amount of time a client can stay, unlike halfway houses. Clients are welcome to stay as long as necessary for their recovery.  In addition, sober living houses do not house violent offenders, as well as sex offenders.

Benefits of a Sober Living House

A sober living house is considered crucial for someone hoping to maintain sobriety after leaving a rehab program. Often, leaving a structured environment too early can lead to relapse. A sober living house gives clients more time to adjust to living sober, while slowly reintegrating themselves into society.

A sober living house often has much more freedom than an in-patient rehab facility, while providing clients with support and supervision. Staff is often available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Other benefits include a solid structure and predictable routine, such as curfews, therapy sessions, reinforcement of treatment, and relationship building.

In particular, curfews provide structure, while reduce temptation. Therapy sessions help clients communicate and work through their problems and root causes of addiction. Reinforcement of treatment helps clients reinforce and apply what they have learned during treatment. Finally, relationship building with others struggling with similar issues will give clients a sense of support.

In addition, 12-step programs, weekly house meetings, daily check-ins by house managers, goal setting, life skills, time management, yoga, meditation, fitness, instruction, and vocational skills are also offered in many sober living houses.

Drug tests are also required to help clients maintain their sobriety and abstinence.

Sober Living House Rules and Amenities

Often, those living in sober living accommodations will have to follow a set of basic rules, including no drugs, alcohol, or gambling. Rent will have to be paid monthly, as well as daily and weekly chores. In addition, random drug tests will also be administered.

Many sober living houses offer amenities, such as backyards, fitness centres, and single bedrooms.

Cost of Sober Living Accommodations

The costs of sober living houses depends on various factors, including geographical area, neighbourhood, and amenities. Sober living homes can range from $500 CAD to $12,000 CAD per month.

Recommended Length of Stay

Clients are encouraged to stay at a sober living house for at least three months, the ideal length of time to help them strategize a plan for recovery once they leave.

However, understanding that recovery is difficult, many sober living houses encourage clients to check in, or attend counselling sessions at the house, if struggling. In addition, alumni are also encouraged to return and attend house events.

How to Choose a Sober Living House

Choosing a sober living house can be overwhelming at first, but various tips can make the process a bit easier. For example, clients should perform a home inspection before moving in and speak to current and past residents if possible. In addition, clients should read online reviews, as well as websites.

Often rehab centres and outpatient programs also have a list of recommended sober living houses as well. In addition, local religious organizations and faith-based community centres may offer options.

Finally, choose a house based on the client’s personal needs, such as access to public transport and access to amenities, such as grocery stores.

Finding a sober living house is now easier than ever. Do not hesitate to contact one that best suit a client’s needs.