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Sober Living Homes

Sober Living Homes

After addiction treatment, you may be excited to apply what you’ve learned in the real world. However, many clients are only sometimes ready to return to a life of responsibilities. That’s where sober living homes prove invaluable. In sober living, you’ll have the opportunity to ease back into everyday life, build a healthy routine, and gain more practice applying all you’ve learned in treatment. Here’s what you can expect from a sober living home in Illinois

What Are Sober Living Homes?

What Are Sober Living Homes?

Sober living homes, also known as transitional housing, are residential environments that offer a safe, supportive, and structured living space for people recovering from addiction. These homes bridge primary treatment programs, such as residential or inpatient care, and a return to independent living.

In sober living homes, residents are typically required to follow specific rules and guidelines, such as attending support group meetings, participating in household chores, and remaining substance-free. Clients must also reconnect with family, return to work or school and engage in a relapse prevention program. These rules help foster a sense of responsibility, accountability, and structure in residents’ daily lives. Sober living homes also provide access to support services, such as counseling, case management, and peer support groups, to help clients maintain their recovery and address ongoing challenges they may face. 

Sober living homes are designed to create a safe and substance-free living environment. You can continue your recovery journey while gradually reintegrating into society and applying your learned skills. The supportive environment is full of peers committed to maintaining sobriety, and you’ll find a range of services and resources to support you in your recovery efforts.

The Benefits of Sober Living Homes in Illinois

The Benefits of Sober Living Homes in Illinois

Sober living homes offer various benefits for people recovering from addiction. Expect a supportive community, accountability, structure, and continued support services. By fostering personal growth, responsibility, and a safe and private environment, sober living homes play a crucial role in helping individuals maintain sobriety and successfully transition back to independent living.

Structure and Routine

Sober living homes provide a structured, routine-oriented environment. Structure promotes healthy habits and routines, supporting an individual’s overall recovery. Daily schedules include meal times, group meetings, therapy sessions, and recreational activities. The routine can help clients develop a sense of stability and discipline, which is often beneficial for anyone transitioning from intensive treatment programs to independent living. 

Residents are expected to adhere to specific rules and guidelines, such as abstaining from drugs and alcohol, attending support group meetings, following curfews, and participating in household chores. These rules promote accountability and responsibility, encouraging individuals to develop crucial life skills for long-term sobriety.

Supportive Community

In sober living homes, residents can bond with peers about wanting to stay sober. This understanding and supportive environment can help you stay committed to recovery. You’ll share experiences, challenges, and successes with others with similar goals, which can be instrumental in recovery. The support system can provide validation, encouragement, and accountability during recovery. Additionally, moving into a Chicago sober living home means getting 24/7 support from staff seven days a week. 

Safe and Substance-Free Environment

Sober living homes keep residents safe from harmful outside influences. These homes have strict policies against drug and alcohol use, which creates a supportive and secure space for everyone. Living in an environment free of substances reduces triggers and temptations, letting you focus on your recovery and build a solid foundation for a substance-free life.

Reduced Stress

In sober living homes, you don’t have to jump straight into everyday life following a more intensive treatment program. Instead, you’ll gradually increase your responsibilities as you improve and be able to take on more. Ultimately, the structure of sober living homes can help you reduce stress and focus on self-care. 

Further, all homes are well furnished, and luxury homes have excellent amenities. You’ll get to relax and build your sobriety toolbox before returning to society. 

Life Skills Training

Sober-living homes recognize how substance use can deprive individuals of essential life skills. While other people their age were forming relationships, attending school, or advancing their careers, others struggled with addiction. Sober living homes can work with these individuals to help them develop crucial life skills.

For example, you’ll get to work on building healthy relationships, improving communication, pursuing education or employment goals, and enhancing self-esteem.

Privacy

Privacy is a crucial aspect of sober living homes. These homes prioritize the privacy and confidentiality of each resident. You’ll get the chance to continue recovery without the scrutiny of family, friends, or workmates, and staff and management of these homes uphold the privacy rights of all residents. This ensures a safe and discreet environment to help you heal and grow. 

The Process of Sober Living With Gateway Foundation

The Process of Sober Living With Gateway Foundation

The sober living process involves several critical steps to support people on their recovery journey. Here’s a breakdown of Gateway’s process of sober living in Chicago:

  1. Transition from treatment: After completing a successful treatment program, such as residential or outpatient treatment, you’ll be directed to sober living homes in Illinois. You’ll undergo screening to determine your eligibility for sober living, which can include an assessment of your recovery progress, commitment to sobriety, and willingness to follow sober living home rules. While residents aren’t required to have completed a treatment program before entry, many have. 
  2. House rules and guidelines: Sober living homes have specific roles and procedures for residents to follow. When you enter a sober living home, these expectations will be outlined for you. They’re established to maintain a safe and supportive environment for everyone, such as policies on substance use, curfews, and attendance at house meetings. 
  3. Connecting with peers: You’ll meet individuals in recovery and connect with those facing similar challenges. Peer support is an essential aspect of sober living. You’ll be able to engage in group activities, attend 12-step meetings, and build a support system with those committed to sobriety. This peer support network offers encouragement, understanding, and guidance throughout recovery. 
  4. Maintaining responsibilities: Besides following curfews and attending meetings, you’ll be expected to take on financial obligations, hold a steady job or attend school. You’ll help the community by completing chores, taking responsibility for actions, and obeying all house rules.

Monitoring

  1. Monitoring: Sober living homes typically implement sobriety monitoring measures to ensure residents are dedicated to a substance-free life. There may be drug and alcohol screenings or other accountability measures. Continual monitoring allows residents to stay accountable and provides a safe, sober living environment for the community. 
  2. Gradual transition: The ultimate goal of sober living is to help you transition into independent living. You’ll explore housing, employment, or education options as you progress through recovery. The length of your stay in sober living can range from a few months to a year.
  3. Aftercare: After you’ve left a sober living home in Chicago, you’ll still have access to outpatient counseling, 12-step meetings, alum programs, and other resources to maintain a substance-free lifestyle. While sober living homes help you gradually transition into your everyday life, you must know support is always on your side with these aftercare programs.

Overall, sober living is designed to provide individuals with a supportive and structured environment that fosters personal growth, accountability, and long-term recovery. It offers a stepping stone towards independent living while providing the necessary tools and resources to maintain sobriety.

The Road to Recovery Starts at Gateway

Gateway proudly services the people of the Midwest and beyond with addiction support and services. We’ve amassed numerous resources, including sober living homes, to help people recover from addiction and work toward more fulfilling, substance-free lives. Our extensive list of programs and services includes:

Inpatient, Outpatient, and Partial Hospitalization

Inpatient, Outpatient, and Partial Hospitalization

We provide three levels of care at Gateway — inpatient, intensive outpatient, and partial hospitalization programs (PHP):

  • Inpatient care: Inpatient or residential treatment involves living with peers struggling with addiction and receiving 24/7 care and supervision. You’ll live in a residential setting, receive medical detox if necessary, attend individual and group therapy, and engage in fun and healthy activities that promote your overall well-being. 
  • Intensive outpatient program (IOP): Intensive outpatient care can benefit those hoping to recover while still living at home and tending to everyday responsibilities. You’ll attend support groups, learn coping skills, and receive treatment similar to residential care. However, your program will typically last just a few hours a day and conclude at the end of the day so you can return home and care for other obligations like work, school, or child care. 
  • Partial hospitalization program (PHP): Another Gateway care level is PHP. These programs are less intensive than residential care but more intensive than IOP. While you can return home in the evenings and sleep in your bed, you’ll be fully committed to a full day of support services, treatment, and therapy in PHP. 

Withdrawal Management

Withdrawal Management

Withdrawal symptoms can be debilitating. While they often taper off to help clients transition into a treatment program, other symptoms can linger. In these cases, withdrawal management becomes a primary concern. At Gateway, our medical professionals will educate you on what to expect and provide 24-hour care to ensure you are safe and comfortable throughout your recovery journey. In some cases, medical professionals may prescribe medicines to reduce withdrawal symptoms.

Certified Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Certified Dual Diagnosis Treatment

It’s common for people with addiction to also struggle with mental health conditions like depression or anxiety or develop another substance use disorder. Whatever your specific situation, Gateway can help with dual diagnosis services. These programs target addiction and underlying mental health conditions, providing crucial medical detox, medication-assisted treatment, and various levels of care to treat your symptoms and encourage well-being. Receiving comprehensive care can be more effective, translating into a lasting recovery.

Mindfulness-Based Sobriety

Mindfulness-Based Sobriety

Mindfulness-based sobriety is an evidence-based treatment strategy for people with addiction and mental health conditions. This form of care can help you forgive the past, accept the present and alleviate anxieties about the future. At Gateway, you might practice mindfulness strategies like meditation, deep breathing, or yoga. In these sessions, you’ll center yourself on the present moment, allowing any thoughts to pop up and pass without judgment. Mindfulness can help you recover by reducing rumination, enhancing well-being, and building resilience in the face of stressors that might contribute to substance use.

12-Step Support

12-Step Support

At Gateway, you can follow a 12-step treatment program. This plan offers lifelong support and is supported by a 12-step facilitation model that includes attending meetings in the treatment center and community. You’ll learn to integrate coping skills into your recovery plan and work toward a healthier, more fulfilling lifestyle. Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are two 12-step groups that focus on peer engagement, accountability, building structure and routine, and practicing coping skills to prevent relapse.

Behavioral Therapies

Behavioral Therapies

Behavioral therapies are evidence-based treatment methods that can help people with addiction. They address and modify thoughts, values, and beliefs that might contribute to addictive behaviors. The idea is that if you can shift toward more positive beliefs, your behaviors will follow suit. 

In cognitive behavioral therapy sessions, you’ll work with a mental health professional to identify your thoughts and learn practical strategies to change your behavior and prevent relapse. Dialectical behavior therapy focuses on helping you establish skills to manage overwhelming emotions that might lead to addictive behaviors. It recognizes that physical and emotional pain can lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms like addiction and provides practical strategies to manage these feelings and prevent relapse. 

Medication-Assisted Treatment 

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Medication-assisted treatment programs involve a combination of medicines and therapies to address addiction. The comprehensive approach first aims to manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings of addiction. From there, clients can attend group and individual therapy sessions and focus on their recovery more comfortably. Medications used in these programs are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and can be adjusted as your symptoms improve. They work by normalizing brain chemistry and blocking the effects of substances, reducing cravings, and alleviating withdrawal symptoms. 

Motivational Interviewing

Motivational Interviewing

While addiction isn’t a choice, motivational interviewing acknowledges that encouragement and inspiration can help individuals make lasting changes. These sessions encourage clients to get directly involved in their recovery and focus on the specifics of a positive, substance-free future. Counselors can work with you to identify the negatives of substance use and how addiction might impact your career, health, and relationships. Then, you can focus on positive developments, encouraging you to commit to your recovery and take actionable steps toward positive change.

Sober Living In Chicago — What It’s Like

Sober Living In Chicago — What It's Like

Chicago sober living homes encourage residents to engage in substance-free activities and explore all the city has to offer. You’ll discover so many heavy activities in the city with its thriving arts, music, comedy scene, sporting events, nature walks, and street markets. Chicago is also home to some of the country’s most prestigious research universities. You’ll find that the Windy City is a fantastic place to begin this new and rewarding chapter of your life.

Here are just a few of the activities you can enjoy at our sober living houses in Chicago:

  1. Go to a comedy club: Chicago is packed with highly-rated comedy club venues, hosting everything from improv to stand-up and sketch comedy shows. Notable venues include The Second City and Zanies. Attend a show and enjoy this sober activity with good friends.
  2. Attend a sports game: The Windy City has various elite sporting teams, including the White Sox and Cubs, the Chicago Bulls, and the Chicago Bears. Grab tickets and head to any of Chicago’s historic stadiums for a fun and lively time. 
  3. Get out into nature: While Chicago’s downtown area is full of concrete sidewalks and towering buildings, the Garfield Park Conservatory is at its epicenter. Showcasing one of the largest botanical conservatories in the country, you could easily spend hours immersing yourself in the greenery and connecting with nature. Surrounding yourself with plants and green spaces is a beautiful sober activity, with studies showing its positive impact on our mental and physical health
  4. Do something adventurous: While Chicago is home to a thriving arts scene, it can also please the adventurous types. Explore activities that please your wild side, such as indoor skydiving, axe throwing, escape rooms, and kayaking. You can enjoy these activities with friends or on your own, and many offer walk-ins, so you don’t need to book in advance. 
  5. Shop at a street market: Chicago is known for its tasty foods and unique street markets. You’ll find Latin and Mexican street food at the Maxwell Street Market, handmade crafts, live music, home goods, and resale clothing. The Wicker Park farmer’s market is a great place to spend an afternoon gathering ingredients to craft your tasty meal. 

If you feel like staying in or aren’t ready to hit the streets, you can also do many sober activities and coping tools at home to fill your time. Writing, reading, listening to music, or practicing meditation and yoga are powerful coping skills that help you combat boredom and stay sober. Remember, recovery is a process, and be patient with yourself during your stay in a Chicago sober living home. 

FAQs About Sober Living Homes

Here are a few common questions we receive about our sober living homes in Chicago.

1. How Effective Are Sober Living Homes?

Studies suggest that sober living homes are highly effective in supporting individuals in their recovery from substance use disorder. Effectiveness also depends on your commitment to change and maintain a substance-free lifestyle. Sober living homes services that can enhance the chances of long-term sobriety include peer support, access to counseling, and assistance in developing essential life skills.

2. How Long Can I Stay?

The length of a stay in a sober living home depends on the resident’s specific needs but typically ranges from a couple of months to a year. 

3. Who Runs Sober Living Homes?

Addiction counselors or people undergoing successful addiction treatment typically run sober living homes. In either case, this person will ensure residents follow the house rules. They also assign chores, perform drug testing, manage home finances, and organize and guide 12-step meetings. 

Learn More About Sober Living Homes

Learn More About Sober Living Homes

Sober living homes can help you transition from a formal treatment program and back into everyday life. With compassionate counselors and encouragement from your support system, you’ll learn helpful coping strategies and life skills that promote a lasting recovery. Explore Gateway’s comprehensive programs, expert guidance, and personalized care when you opt for sober living. Contact us today to find a sober living home near you and take the first step toward a healthier, substance-free life.