One of the key factors to remaining sober after the completion of a treatment program is to change one’s lifestyle and surroundings. Returning to the same friends and social network after treatment can be dangerous for many recovering alcoholics or drug addicts. One option to meet this need is to live in a sober living facility.
Sober living homes are set up to provide alcohol- and drug-free homes for individuals in recovery. They provide social support which has been proven to help prevent individuals suffering from addiction from relapsing.
Finding the right sober living home in Los Angeles should be based upon several factors:
- Proximity to treatment and other resources
- Household size and setup
- Rules and household government
How Much Do Sober Living Homes in Los Angeles Cost?
Unlike halfway houses, which are generally subsidized by the government and can fall victim to budget cuts and other bureaucratic idiosyncrasies, sober living homes are generally privately owned homes. The cost of living in the home is shared equally or proportionally among the residents. A private room may cost more than a shared room. A home located in an affluent area will cost more per month than one located in a middle-class suburb.
When choosing a sober living home, it is important to read the lease agreement carefully and ask several questions concerning the costs involved, such as:
- Will the rent increase per person should a resident choose to leave the home?
- Are the residents responsible for sharing the utility bills or are they included in the monthly rent?
- Is the cost of extra amenities like cable TV or Internet access included in the rent?
- Is there a penalty for leaving prior to the end of a rental agreement?
Location, Location, Location
Many newly recovering addicts or alcoholics may not own a car due to economic concerns associated with addiction and treatment costs. A sober living home that is located near certain conveniences may add to the recovering addict’s continued sobriety. For instance:
- Is the home located within walking distance of Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings at least once per day?
- Is the home located conveniently to bus lines or other public transportation?
- Is the home located close to hospitals or other emergency medical facilities?
- By contrast, is the home located away from the convenience of drug use, bars, nightclubs or other temptations that may prove difficult for the newly recovering addict to withstand?
Household Size and Demographics
There are hundreds of sober living homes in Los Angeles. The size and makeup of each house can be very different, so the chances of finding one that suits one’s personality and needs are quite good. Ask the following questions before deciding on a specific home:
- Is the home single gender (all male or all female), or mixed gender?
- How many residents live in the home?
- What is the turnover rate for the home? How long is the average resident’s stay?
- Are all of the residents seriously committed to their recovery?
Answering these questions can lead to the right home for each individual and to strong social support for the recovering addict.
Rules, Guidelines and Household Management
There are several models for governing a household in a sober living environment. Some homes have a house manager — generally a long-term recovering addict or alcoholic — who manages all aspects of the home. He or she may collect the rent, set the kitchen hours or make other decisions concerning the immediate living environment. They might also set the required number of hours a resident must attend 12-step programs in the area, as well as assign household chores.
Other living models might have an organized democratic government in the household, complete with elected “officials” who manage the home. Still others might be less formal, with each member voicing his or her opinions and a “show of hands” constituting a formal vote.
Finding a sober living home in Los Angeles doesn’t need to be a stressful endeavor. Simply remember to discuss options with the treatment center staff prior to graduating from a recovery program and allow for enough time to choose the perfect home.