Sober Living for Men

Drug and alcohol addiction can utterly destroy a person’s life, harm their loved ones, and devastate entire communities. Men often struggle with particular symptoms that are unique to their gender. For this reason, it is important for men to have access to recovery programs and support groups that meet their unique needs.

Sober living homes are an essential component of early recovery. Attending one, either during or after finishing a treatment program, can significantly improve a person’s likelihood of staying sober. Moreover, sober living homes help people heal the wreckage of their past and begin leading new, prosperous, joyful lives in sobriety. For men at any stage of recovery, men’s sober living homes can be a vital part of their recovery journeys.

What is a Sober Living Home?

Sober living homes are houses where groups of people in recovery live and support one another. These residences are not treatment facilities, and they do not offer clinical addiction treatment. However, they are popular options for people who are currently enrolled in drug or alcohol abuse programs, as well as graduates who are seeking a safe transitional step before fully re-entering the world.

Residents of a sober living agree not to use drugs or alcohol when they enroll. This ensures that everyone there can live in a safe, supportive, and trigger-free environment. Life in a sober living home is not only removed from substance abuse. It is also frequently highly structured and organized. This helps residents stay accountable, continue to pursue addiction recovery, and begin taking positive steps toward building a new life.

Community is a vital component of a sober living home. For most people in active addiction, loneliness and isolation are commonplace. In fact, addiction is often spoken of as a “disease of isolation.” Meeting other individuals who share the same struggles and face the same challenges can be a source of hope and consolation. Residents learn that they are not alone in the world. Not only do residents develop important relationships that are a source of joy and meaning, but the experiences, strength, and hope of their fellow housemates actively support their recovery.

Quality sober living homes not only help people stay sober, they also help residents build new lives. The ability to make positive life changes is one of the gifts of sobriety -- and it is likely that developing a fulfilling life is one of the best ways to avoid relapse. To that end, sober living homes provide residents with opportunities to get employed, build their careers, and begin academic programs. No matter what a person’s ultimate goals are, they can expect to be supported as they take tangible steps toward them.

Gender-Specific Homes

Gender-specific sober living homes are a common type of sober living home. At a gender-specific sober home, men live with other men and women live with other women. While it is not forbidden to see people of the opposite gender outside the property, the members of the home will always be of the same gender. There are a number of reasons why men and women benefit from — and often prefer — gender-specific sober living houses.

Recovering from addiction is a vulnerable process. It requires people to open up honestly about their present struggles and their past mistakes. It is common for men and women alike to have feelings of shame or embarrassment as they face the facts. In many cases, it is easier for people to open up with individuals of the same gender. People of the same gender often share common struggles, and they often have similar stories. As such, it may be easier for them to relate to one another. When men share their stories and feelings with other men, they may have less fear of being judged.

There are also a number of differences in terms of how men and women abuse drugs and alcohol. These differences manifest both in terms of how they use substances, but also in terms of what behaviors they engaged in while intoxicated. While men and women share more commonalities than differences when it comes to addiction, during early recovery it can feel safer to be with people who share similar backgrounds.

Men and women also have different needs in recovery. It is common for men to struggle when it comes to discussing their emotions. The pressure to be “masculine” often means that young men feel that it is wrong or shameful to express themselves. Living with other male residents can help a man feel safe enough to open up about complicated or distressing emotions. They may be unlikely to do so if they are trying to make a good impression on members of the opposite sex.

Sober living homes for men are ultimately no different from other types of sober living homes. Like other sober living houses, residents work to progress in their addiction recovery and rebuild their lives. They can take advantage of the structure, support, and amenities that sober living homes provide. The only difference is that, in a community of men, they may find the recovery process easier.

Recovering from Substance Use Disorders

Where do sober living homes fit into the recovery process? The process of recovering from a substance use disorder involves learning recovery tools, building a sober social support network, addressing underlying issues. Sober living homes provide a safe and supportive environment for people to do all of the above — and more.

While they do not offer clinical addiction treatment directly, they ensure that people in treatment as well as people who have finished treatment have a safe home that is conducive to long term sobriety.

What is a Substance Use Disorder?

The clinical term for addiction is “substance use disorder.” No matter which substance addiction a person suffers from, substance use disorders share many commonalities. An individual can be said to suffer from a substance use disorder if they experience negative consequences from their drug or alcohol use, and if they find it difficult to control their use. In many cases, people recognize the harms that drugs and alcohol have led to, but they are often powerless to stop despite a strong desire to do so.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, approximately 20.2 million adults in the United States suffer from a substance use disorder. Sadly, far too few people seek help. Many sufferers, especially men, keep their struggles private. They may feel shame about their powerlessness over drugs and alcohol. The stigma around addiction, and around asking for help, can cause people to suffer in solitude for years.

The consequences are often fatal. In the United States, over 67,000 drug overdose deaths occur each year. Meanwhile, alcohol claims more than 95,000 lives each year.

Fortunately, it is possible to recover from alcohol and drug addiction. Instead of treating addiction as a shameful moral failing, individuals should recognize it as a common mental health problem. The important thing is to reach out and ask for help.

How to Stay Sober Over the Long Term

There is no recognized permanent “cure” for substance use disorders. However, young men can achieve total freedom from the compulsions and obsessions of addiction by making use of sober tools and a strong support system. Like other chronic health conditions, substance use disorders can be managed.

In order to manage addiction, it is wise to take a gradual approach to the recovery process. While inpatient treatment can be effective at helping people get physically abstinent, it is rarely sufficient for long term sobriety. It is common for people to eagerly jump back into the outside world after graduating from treatment centers. Jumping back too quickly into the outside world can be jarring. Early recovery is often a vulnerable time, and people face countless challenges as they soberly face the wreckage of their past and try to build new futures for themselves. It is therefore crucial for young men to have a safe and supportive environment where they can face these challenges.

Sober living homes for men offer transitional living environments where people can strengthen their sober skills, sober relationships, and face the difficulties of early sobriety. Sober living homes offer long term support for as long as residents need it — often for a year or more. Recovery from substance addiction takes time. At a sober living house, residents can engage in the recovery process at their own pace.

Building a Future

After years of active addiction, men often face pretty bleak prospects for the future. Their finances may be in disarray. Legal problems may seem insurmountable. Significant mental health issues may have developed. Conflicts or isolation may have damaged important relationships. In many cases, clients enter sober living homes with no career, no friends, and no hope.

Sober living home house managers and staff members recognize this. Few people want to just quit drugs and alcohol. Most people are hoping that by doing so, they can begin to implement important changes and begin leading better lives.

To that end, sober living homes make it their mission to support residents as they begin new careers, heal relationships and develop new ones, and rediscover the joys of everyday life. In a sober living environment, residents build futures for themselves and rediscover hope.

Is Addiction Different for Men?

Many sober living homes are gender-specific because they recognize that addiction manifests differently for men and women. Not all cases of drug and alcohol addiction are the same, and gender differences can impact the nature of recovery as well.

Substance Abuse and Gender Differences

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, men in general are more likely than women to abuse illicit substances. They are also more likely to end up in the emergency room due to illicit drug use. Research indicates that men are more likely to consume larger quantities of heroin and other dangerous illicit drugs. Part of this may be due to biological factors. Men are somewhat less sensitive to the immediate effects of marijuana, stimulants, and alcohol. As a result, they may be more likely to consume them in higher quantities.

The impact of drug and alcohol abuse can also be different for men and women. Women are more likely to be victims of violence, including assault and rape, while they are intoxicated. Men are more likely to engage in violence and other criminal acts. Men are frequently encouraged to be aggressive, and it is common for alcohol and other drugs to bring these behaviors to the forefront.

Men Struggle Asking for Help

Research shows that men are often more reluctant to seek outside help for their problems. Even when it is clear that they are unable to control their drinking or drug use on their own, they may adamantly refuse to reach out. Part of this is likely due to cultural expectations of men in our society. When a man expresses his vulnerability or weakness, he may worry that he seems unmasculine.

As a result, men tend to have longer periods of substance addiction. On average, women tend to spend fewer years in active addiction. Since men have longer periods of active substance abuse, the negative consequences often build up over the years. This is not to say that men experience worse consequences than women do, only that the progression of their disorder is distinct.

Benefits of Men’s Sober Living Homes

Sober living homes for men have a number of benefits for young men who are working to stay sober. Residents living in a sober living home for men have the opportunity to practice sober skills, build relationships, and participate in support groups and recovery meetings. While living in a safe and supportive environment, they can repair relationships with family members, address underlying issues, and take steps toward building new futures for themselves.

Sober living houses guide young men as they face the challenges of everyday life. In a sober living house, residents benefit from the guidance of staff, other sober living housemates, and on-site house managers. These individuals work to keep residents accountable. They are available 24/7 to help with potential issues, including cravings, distressing emotions, and even difficulty finding a job.

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Living with other men who are all working toward the same goals can make it easier for residents to stay committed. Moreover, residents who have been sober longer often take on leadership roles and become role models to newer residents. This accountability can help people stay away from substances.

Residents of sober living houses agree from the outset to stay away from substances. All clients are regularly drug-tested by staff to ensure their adherence to this fundamental rule. Sober living homes are residences where young men do not need to worry about being triggered.

At a sober living house, residents work to develop crucial skills and coping tools for staying sober. They also work to develop basic living skills, including writing a resume and going to job interviews.

Ultimately, the goal of a sober living house is to help clients heal and engage in the recovery process. One study on sober living houses showed that individuals who attend a sober living home are less likely to relapse years after graduation. The most important factor, the study found, was the strong peer support that people obtain from living in a sober house.

Should Men Go to a Men’s Sober Living?

Living in a men’s sober living home can make the process of recovering from an addiction far smoother. Sober living houses for men help people develop the tools they need to stay away from substances. In the long term, a sober living house is an opportunity to develop sustainable relationships and a new vision for the future.

A sober living house is an appropriate option for any man in recovery, whether they are just beginning the first step of this process or have been sober for some time. Sober living homes can complement a person’s outpatient treatment program. Like a halfway house, they can also be excellent transitional programs for individuals who have recently finished an inpatient program. Many people successfully utilize sober living homes as a first line approach to recovery.

Recovery takes time — and it can be confusing. After achieving physical abstinence, it is common for people to have countless questions about how to live life sober. With the support of other men who are all on different stages of recovery, it is possible to get some answers.

Life in a Sober Living Home for Men

During the sober living home admissions process, house staff members or the house manager will generally perform drug tests and ask you questions about your history of substance abuse. During this time (and later as well), you are free to ask any questions you have about the structure of the home. Beginning life in a sober living home can be a bit confusing at first, and learning to live in a community can take some adjusting. Fortunately, many sober living homes have mentor programs that are designed to ease the transition to life in a sober living home.

Most sober living homes have a number of rules that are designed to help ensure that the environment is substance free and conducive to recovery. The most important, obviously, is agreeing to stay away from substances. Many sober living homes also have weekly house meetings, regular drug screenings, and curfews.

During the early part of the day, residents are often expected to complete chores, including making the bed, cleaning the bathroom, or helping prepare breakfast. After that, the majority of the day is often taken up by recovery-related activities. These can include house meetings, 12-step groups, or counseling sessions at an outside treatment center. During the remainder of the day, residents search for employment, help with tasks around the house, or perform community service. Housemates with jobs go to work. At the end of the day, residents often share a meal together and attend a support group session. This leaves plenty of time in the evening to relax, watch tv, and share jokes with friends.

Find Community in a Men’s Sober Living

Design for Recovery is a sober living home for men located in West Los Angeles. Design for Recovery is a structured sober living, which means we offer young men a rigorous schedule and a wide variety of sober tools to help them rebuild their lives. At Design for Recovery, we believe that recovery from addictions involves far more than just physical abstinence. It means building a new life that is happy, joyous, and free.

Our program is grounded in the philosophy of the 12 steps, and we emphasize principles including honesty, integrity, and accountability. For young men at Design for Recovery, the process of getting sober involves deep personal transformation. Beyond merely quitting substances, residents work to better themselves as men.

By connecting with the supportive community of our sober living home, young men not only find it easier to stay sober — but they develop lives in sobriety that are meaningful and fulfilling to them. During their residencies, we see hopeless and miserable young men transition into leaders and role models. Clients work daily to build up their lives, strengthen their characters, address underlying issues, and add to their sober toolkits. Graduates continue to make use of these resources long after they have left Design for Recovery.

No matter where an individual starts, recovery is possible.

If you are ready for a new way of life, contact us today.

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