Sober Living Los Angeles
Los Angeles has a high volume of recovering persons in the state. The Los Angeles recovery community is quite vibrant as a result. One of the positive things to come out of the large population is special attention to the needs of recovering people. Sober living houses are a common way for many individuals to find accommodation while going through outpatient treatment. As Los Angeles is known to have sky-high rents, especially in city areas, these combined housing options are perfect for a recovering person who’s on a budget and get sober living Los Angeles.
Sober living isn’t a new concept, but it’s been adapted for everyday use in a city that has its share of housing crises to deal with.
Getting support after leaving a facility can be difficult. Many detox centers offer outreach programs and can place individuals into both inpatient and outpatient programs of their own.
But what about those individuals that are somewhere in the middle? Intensive outpatient programs (IOP) offer an excellent option for someone who’s finished with detox but needs that extra support out in the real world.
The issue with outpatient programs is that the environment a recovering person goes back to might not help their recovery process. Sober living seeks to solve this issue, offering safe housing at an affordable cost.
What Is Sober Living?
Sober living houses came about in the 1830s. They were compared to halfway houses as their initial formation, but they were distinctly different. Sober living facilities started off as “dry” hotels that catered to individuals who wanted to stay at a place that didn’t allow alcohol on-premises.
The popularity of sober living facilities skyrocketed after the second world war when the levels of alcoholism in the US skyrocketed. Unfortunately, this bright shining moment was met by more bad news as the US housing crisis worsened in the 70s, driving many established sober living houses out of the places they were because they couldn’t afford to remain in operation.
Today’s sober living homes retain a lot of the charm and functionality of their forebears, but they operate more cost-effectively. Even in cities like Los Angeles, where rent can routinely be more than half of someone’s paycheck, the cost of staying in these facilities is affordable.
The Los Angeles recovery community benefits from low rents based on the occupancy of the houses. Rules are set up to ensure that alcohol or drugs don’t enter the premises at all.
Sober living facilities ensure that their residents don’t have to worry about having something present in the environment that might tempt them.
Sober Living vs. Halfway House
As mentioned before, there are some similarities between sober living and a halfway house, at least from a first glance. Presently, sober living facilities are run by organizations or individuals who have a demonstrated education in recovery therapy.
In a sober living facility, the residents operate as though they’re living in a true private residence. To manage the costs of the stay, rooms might have an occupancy limit of two people. Halfway houses tend to be crowded, and they feel more like institutions than actual housing.
The peer support in halfway houses is also minimal, creating a potential situation that may lead to relapse. Combined with the potential stress of living in such a facility, there’s a significant risk of relapse.
The other major difference between halfway houses and sober living facilities is the cost. A sober living facility usually costs more than a halfway house. This difference stems from the fact that persons who become the residents of a sober living facility have to pay for their needs, including food and utilities.
Halfway houses tend to be run by governmental agencies that handle most of the costs associated with running the facility. The cost of a room in a sober living facility might increase if fewer residents are present to take up the extra cost. Even so, the added privacy, security, and level of existence are worth the additional cost associated with a sober living house.
Reasons To Choose Sober Living
Why would someone even choose sober living? For most individuals dealing with addiction, there are several potential reasons why sober living could be beneficial to their situation. Among the most common reasons people choose to go to a sober living facility are:
- Guidance and Support from Peers: Living in close quarters with someone going through the same struggles gives them perspective and offers them a person to talk to who will understand. The struggle of overcoming addiction and returning to life and sobriety is not an easy one. Guidance and support from more experienced persons in a sober living facility can make a lot of difference to some people’s ability to remain sober.
- Independence: The most challenging thing to accept as a recovering person is that you were dependent on something. Sober living grants a person their independence to live life how they see fit. They can deal with the responsibilities of life without having to worry about a place to stay. Many people underestimate how vital this freedom to be independent can affect a person’s long-term sobriety. Sober living gives recovering people back their space and teaches them to love life as an independent person.
- Easier Transition: Sober living facilities ease the transition of a recovering person back to the world around them. It allows them to relearn what they might have missed and gives them the support they need in terms of a fixed address. A sober living home is a safe and sober place to come home to after the responsibilities of independent living.
- Reduces the Risk of Relapse: One of the most vital roles that sober living facilities play is reducing the chances of a relapse. When someone goes back to the place that has the same temptations and influences that led to their addiction in the first place, it can be difficult to fight those factors a second time around. Sober living facilities offer a safe environment that helps to keep a person focused on their recovery and isolated from temptations.
Features And Rules Of Sober Living
Sober living facilities enshrine specific rules to ensure that the facility is safe for each individual who walks in through the door. Among the features and regulations that a resident may encounter in a sober living facility are:
- No drugs or alcohol: There may be allowances for prescription medications that a person needs to use, but aside from those, no other drugs or paraphernalia and no alcohol are allowed.
- Residents must pay living expenses: Since these sober living homes don’t operate for profit, they usually don’t have funding to provide necessities to individuals. The responsibility for each resident’s living expenses is their own.
- Residents must have finished detox and have a plan for continued recovery: Sober living facilities may seem attractive, especially in an expensive housing region like Los Angeles. To ensure that the facility only caters to those in need, a person at this facility needs to show that they are dedicated to their recovery and must attend appropriate programs.
- Residents must participate: This stipulation includes things like chores and weekly meetings.
- Curfew is in effect: Residents are required to adhere to the house’s curfew. They must be indoors at a specific time and must stay at the facility at least five days out of every week. No overnight visitors are allowed. If a person is not on the premises, they are responsible for their sobriety during that time.
- Randomized drug testing and screening: To ensure that the facility remains safe for all, randomized drug testing is employed. Residents agree to be part of this testing as a prerequisite for their residency.
- Residents must respect staff and housemates: This suggestion is about common courtesy more than anything else. When living at a facility, a person needs to remember that other people also live there and act accordingly.
IOP And Outpatient While At Sober Living
As mentioned before, IOP is a method that some recovery centers use to help individuals who have completed detox but still need support to overcome the mental part of addiction.
However, IOP has specific requirements for it to be functional. An individual who is dealing with IOP needs to have completed detox and residential rehab. They must come from a stable home environment and are recovering from a severe addiction.
The prime candidate for IOP is someone who has struggled with chronic relapse in the past. Sober living enrollment is usually a requirement as well since it provides that stable environment for IOP to do its best work.
IOP helps to develop positive habits in individuals. A person who goes through IOP learns how to leverage peer support from the sober living facility to help them overcome their temptations.
IOP can also help a person stay sober, reduce the draw of criminal activity, and make an individual more employable. One of the essential features of IOP and sober living working together is a healthier environment to live in.
A recovering person needs to be in proper mental and physical health to overcome their addiction. IOP provides support while a sober living facility provides the environment.
Cost Of Sober Living
So how much does this sober living thing cost? Los Angeles is already an expensive place to live, and specialized facilities might sound as though they’d cost a lot more than a halfway house. While sober living does cost more than halfway houses, the cost isn’t ridiculously high.
The cost of a sober living facility largely depends on the mortgage for the property and how much it takes to rent it out for a month. A sober living house has the same feeling as living in an apartment but with more community involvement and support from peers. Depending on which neighborhood in Los Angeles a person is looking at, the cost of the sober living facility may vary.
Most of these facilities have a maximum occupancy, and the cost of rent is based on full occupancy with that number in mind. Houses in lower-rent districts with many rooms could have prices as low as $450 a month. However, more affluent neighborhoods might see rent in the thousands.
These facilities typically cater to a different class of recovering people – one that needs space and privacy, and amenities as part of their recovery journey. Government regulation of sober living homes may help make rent more affordable while ensuring that these facilities live up to the promises they make to residents.
Is Sober Living Covered By Insurance?
Health insurance in the US is a convoluted mess. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), many individuals now have to pay for healthcare coverage. However, this coverage usually doesn’t include sober living or any addiction recovery.
An added complication is how sober living homes as classed. Since they are stated to be financially independent, they cannot accept insurance payments.
There may be exceptions as to whether insurance covers the cost of addiction recovery, as each policy is different. It’s vital to read through insurance coverage to see if a particular policy offers addiction recovery as a covered class.
If insurance doesn’t cover sober living, what other options does a person have? If they have a savings fund or emergency account, this would be a great time to use it. Many individuals use savings accounts to pay for their first few months at a sober living facility.
Many sober living facilities offer financing to residents, but a resident accessing financing should be wary. Getting oneself into debt can create its own problems. Scholarships and grants might also help.
Checking online to see if the person qualifies for a scholarship or grant to stay at a sober living facility removes much of that financial burden. Eventually, this issue solves itself when the person gets a job and starts earning regularly.
Long Term Sobriety And Sober Living
The essential premise of sober living is that it offers a location that someone can come home to that’s safe from the temptations of drugs and alcohol. Already, a sober living home provides a space to help a person avoid the urges that lead to relapse.
Peer support in the form of other house residents can even help by offering them different perspectives on what they went through. Living in a facility like this creates a sense of belonging that can ease a person back into the real world and help them deal with the urges that their addiction is likely to develop.
Eventually, a person may need to leave a sober living facility when they are done with their outpatient treatment, but the bonds established during that time can be crucial. Having friends that someone can lean on is part of the recovery process.
The Los Angeles recovery community understands how important it is to have others to talk to since bottling things up can have a dire impact on someone’s mental state. In the worst cases, it can lead them back into relapse.
Sober living has shown that long-term sobriety is possible and that interpersonal relationships and mentorship can help keep a person sober, even when they return to regular life.
Certifications And Standards for Sober Housing
Are sober living facilities certified? The National Alliance for Recovery Residences (NARR) has a series of guidelines that sober living facilities should abide by. In 2011, the organization was formed due to several high-profile cases of owners of recovery residences committing fraud for personal gain.
NARR certification isn’t mandatory for sober living residences, but it shows that those facilities live up to the basic standards one would expect from such a facility. Among the rules a location should follow to be approved by the NARR are:
- Cultivate the resident’s sense of belonging to the community
- Facilitate active recovery and engagement from residents
- Provide a home-like environment that’s safe and healthy
- Uphold the rights of residents
- Be a good neighbor
- Empower residents and create an internal culture of responsibility
- Operate with Integrity
Overall, the NARR guidelines can serve as an excellent place to start when searching for a sober living facility. Choosing a facility is crucial since not every facility is the same. Looking for NARR certification at least ensures that you can count on the facility to encompass all of these elements.
How To Choose A Sober Living Facility
The NARR certification offers a starting point, but most times, this only helps to build a shortlist. What do you need in a sober living facility? Maybe you require a place that will help you overcome your urges.
Possibly, you’d want a location that will provide you with basic amenities and a safe place to rest your head at night. How much are you willing to spend? All of these questions are a part of choosing a suitable sober living facility.
If you’re looking for a sober living facility with integrity that’s dedicated to the well-being of its residents, check out The Discovery House. Our sober living facilities might be what you need to help you get back on your feet. Give us a call today, and let’s help you return to your life.