So, you have finally completed medical detox and inpatient addiction treatment. You have done all of the difficult therapeutic work, and it’s finally time to transfer to sober living – where you will have significantly more personal freedom (and therefore, personal responsibility). Sober living might seem like a scary next step to take simply because it is unknown. What should you expect? Will it be like inpatient treatment, only with fewer rules? Will you be forced to work a full-time job and take drug tests daily? Will you have to stick to a strict curfew?
The truth of the matter is the rules and regulations will vary significantly based on the sober living house itself. Some sober living houses enforce strict guidelines while others are pretty lax. However, be weary – the houses that do not enforce a strict set of guidelines might not have the best interest of their residents in mind. The rule of thumb is that the houses that keep their residents accountable are typically the most reputable. At Riverbend Residence, we encourage our residents to stay accountable by sticking to some general house rules. Nothing too crazy, just a list of guidelines designed to help our residents’ transition seamlessly back into independent living while reinforcing life and coping skills and becoming functional members of society.
Halfway Houses and Curfews
Sober living houses that do not enforce a curfew are likely “flophouses,” meaning they offer no continuum of clinical care and typically only exist to take advantage of insurance policies via unnecessary drug testing. Reputable sober living houses – like Riverbend Residence – will ensure that residents are sticking to a consistent schedule so that they learn how to maintain structure once they transfer into fully independent living. Part of that structure includes a curfew. We require that our residents wake up by a certain time every morning and return home by a certain time every evening. Why? There are several reasons, which include (but are not limited to):
- Waking up early helps residents fit more into the day, which helps them feel more productive and ultimately helps them build self-esteem.
- Enforcing a curfew at night ensures that residents can check in with support staff at night, who might need to administer medication if a resident is taking medication. Regardless of whether or not a medication is addictive, residents will not be able to hold onto their prescriptions – support staff members will hand them out whenever necessary.
- Nighttime tends to be the most triggering time for many individuals who have suffered at the hands of substance abuse and dependence. Most illicit activities happen at night – parting, heavy drinking, drug abuse. Ensuring that all residents are back by a certain time limits the amount of emotional and psychological triggers that our residents face.
- Having rules in places helps to build accountability, and building accountability is conducive to long-term sobriety. They often say that accountability is “doing the right thing, even though no one is watching.” Men and women who are new to recovery must learn this lesson early on, and begin to follow the rules because they know following the rules is the right thing to do, not always because they “believe in the” right away.
At Riverbend Residence, we make sure that our residents know and understand all of the rules that are in place as soon as they are admitted to our sober living houses, simply so that there is no confusion. Our on-site support staff members ensure that guidelines are being followed and that there are reasonable consequences if the guidelines are ignored. Our main priority is to continue instilling relapse prevention skills, helping our residents maintain solid sobriety for years to come.
Riverbend Residence – Sober Living
Our gender-specific sober living houses in the heart of Sussex County, New Jersey are reputable, luxury-style homes that offer our residents all the comforts of home along with several additional amenities. If you are ready to take the next step on your recovery journey, give us a call today.