Sober Living for Men
Substance use disorders can cause considerable devastation in a person’s life, in their family, and even in their larger community. In many cases, substance abuse can cause mental or physical health problems — and even lead to loss of life. Drug overdoses have recently become the foremost cause behind premature death for young men in the United States. All too often, however, young men are reluctant to ask for help until it is too late.
Sober living homes are crucial resources for individuals who are working to recover from drug and alcohol addictions. They can be powerful transitional homes for individuals who have recently graduated from an acute addiction treatment program, or they can serve as a home base for those who are only just beginning their recovery journeys. Residents work to repair their damaged lives, build new relationships, develop new skills and values, and learn how to live sober lives that are joyous, fulfilling, and free.
What Are Sober Living Houses?
In essence, sober living homes are like any other home — with the main difference being that everyone living there is sober. During early recovery, the environment is a crucial factor. Exposure to substance abuse or other triggers can cause men in early recovery to relapse. To prevent such an occurrence, sober living houses offer clean and sober environments where drug and alcohol abuse are not tolerated. Residents agree from the outset to stay away from substances, and sober living staff conduct regular drug screenings to ensure that everyone has access to a safe and trigger-free environment.
Sober living homes do not offer clinical addiction treatment, but residents nonetheless take active steps toward strengthening their recovery. Sober living homes are not simply places for people to eat, sleep, and watch tv — they are places to reflect, grow, and learn new behaviors. Staff members work hard to ensure that anyone who needs a specific resource of service, including outpatient therapy and medical needs, gets connected to the resources they need.
Sober living homes offer a highly structured environment where young men can learn or relearn the skills they need to be independent, prosperous, and fulfilled in their everyday lives. Recovery from addiction involves more than just maintaining physical abstinence — it means working to develop new values, new sources of meaning, and new communication styles.
Sober living homes offer considerable guidance and support as residents work to rebuild their lives. In most cases, residents are expected to begin working a job while they live there. They also begin contemplating their futures, often for the very first time. Many residents opt to enroll in academic degree programs or take the initial steps toward a new career.
Perhaps the most critical component of a sober living house, however, is the social support system. For most people, addiction is profoundly lonely. At a sober living home, however, one is able to connect with countless other young men who have all overcome similar challenges. The experiences, strength, and hope that people find in a sober community is vital for long term recovery. In fact, studies on sober living homes demonstrate that the peer support that residents acquire makes them significantly less likely to relapse even years after graduating. It can be safely assumed that these relationships make life in sobriety more fulfilling and joyful as well.
Not all sober livings are gender-specific, but sober living homes for men offer unique benefits. In a sober living house for men, residents are exclusively male. The rationale behind this is simple: recovery is best achieved when people who have had similar experiences support one other. The experiences of men in addiction are unique, and recovering with other men can be a far smoother and simpler process than co-ed recovery.
During addiction recovery, it is common for people to feel especially vulnerable. The recovery process means that individuals must open up honestly about their past mistakes and present challenges. Men and women alike are likely to feel embarrassed or ashamed while discussing certain subjects. However, opening up is often easier with members of the same sex. Men often have experiences that women are less likely to have, and vice versa. For this reason, living together with other men can be conducive to vulnerability and openness.
Men and women also tend to use drugs and alcohol somewhat differently. These differences express themselves in terms of their style of substance abuse, but more so in terms of the behaviors they engage in while they are under the influence of substances. The commonalities men share can make it easier for them to discuss their histories without fear of being judged.
The way men approach recovery is also distinct. There is some truth to the stereotype that men struggle to discuss their feelings. Expectations and pressure surround the concept of being “manly.” Many men, especially young men, worry that expressing their feelings is wrong, shameful, or weak. At a men’s sober living, however, men in recovery can meet other male role models who are successfully recovering from substance addiction by being vulnerable.
Recovering from Drug and Alcohol Addiction
Sober living houses play a pivotal role in the recovery process. It is important to recognize that no one recovers from addiction overnight. In fact, there is no medically recognized “cure” for addiction. Recovering from addiction requires people to develop new recovery tools, social support systems, and work on addressing underlying issues. Sober living homes serve as a home base where residents can make progress in all of these areas. Recovering from addiction in a sober living home means not only learning how to stay clean and sober — it means developing a happy and fulfilling life.
What Is An Addiction?
Drug and alcohol addictions can affect over 20.2 million adults in the United States.. While stereotypes of addicts may lead people to believe that all addicts are homeless, or mentally ill, or isolated, it is crucial to understand that people of all walks of life can suffer from addiction. There are even many men who appear “functional” but suffer secretly from addiction. For individuals who don’t fit the stereotypical image that people have of addicts, it may be difficult for them to recognize that they have a problem at all.
So what is addiction? Addiction is the colloquial term for a condition known as “substance use disorder.” It is possible to have a substance use disorder with any drug, from crystal meth to marijuana. Substance use disorders exist on a spectrum, but they share many a number of common traits. A person suffering from a substance use disorder tends to experience a variety of negative consequences as a result of their continued substance abuse. Moreover, they find it difficult if not impossible to control their own usage. While they may have strong will power in other areas of their lives, around their substance of choice they generally feel helpless.
Unfortunately, 89% of people who suffer from drug or alcohol addictions never seek any form of help. Left to manage their conditions on their own, most people with addictions experience increasingly severe consequences. Not only does substance abuse damage mental and physical health, lead to legal consequences, and ruin relationships, it can also lead to loss of life. In fact, over 67,000 drug overdose deaths happen every year in the United States. Alcohol takes even more lives. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, alcohol is responsible for more than 95,000 deaths in the US every year.
Despite these dire statistics, recovery is possible for those who seek outside help. Rather than trying to manage one’s addiction on one’s own or berating oneself for personal weakness, it is important for individuals to reach out to other people who have recovered. In a sober living home, men who once were hopeless can rediscover their hope, stay sober, and develop new lives for themselves that they never thought possible.
How Does One Stay Sober?
Quitting drugs and alcohol is not the same as recovering from an addiction. In fact, most people need to do a lot more than just quit drugs and alcohol if they hope to stay sober. It is common for men to confuse addiction with physical dependence. Withdrawing from drugs and alcohol can temporarily eradicate physical dependence, but individuals who suffer from addiction are likely to remain obsessed with the escape that substance abuse continues to represent. While they may get temporarily sober by deciding to quit on their own, without a strong recovery program it is likely that they will relapse.
Like other chronic conditions, including diabetes and high blood pressure, addiction can be managed. Doing so requires time: one must build a strong peer support system, develop new behaviors, and learn new coping tools. Rehabs and acute addiction treatment centers can be helpful during the initial phase, but most people benefit from taking the time necessary to further their recoveries. Sober living homes allow residents to get the support and guidance they need as they rebuild their lives. Residents stay for as long as they need, often for over a year. By the time they graduate, they will have the structure, values, and support that they need in order to live sober lives in the outside world without fear of relapsing.
Looking Toward the Future
During active addiction, it is common for young men to feel hopeless about their futures. Their inability to stop using drugs or alcohol can make them feel hopeless about the possibility of sobriety. Perhaps even worse is the hopelessness they may feel about their lives in general. They may suspect that they will never have fulfilling relationships, be able to support themselves financially, or live meaningful lives. These feelings of loneliness and nihilistic desperations can drive people even deeper into the abyss of addiction.
At a quality sober living home for men, men work to construct new futures for themselves. Sober living home staff support residents as they acquire jobs and learn to hold themselves accountable. Residents also begin considering, often for the very first time, what they actually want to do with their lives. Armed with newfound sober skills, they begin taking steps beginning toward new careers, enrolling in college, and developing new hobbies and interests.
What Is Addiction Like For Men?
Sober living homes for men exist to meet the needs of men who suffer from addiction. Addiction is not the same for men and women. These gender differences have a significant effect on the type of work that people must do to recover from an addiction.
Substance Abuse and Men
While both men and women can suffer from addiction, men are statistically more likely to engage in risky substance abuse with illicit drugs. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, their willingness to engage in risk-taking behavior can also lead to more severe consequences. Men end up in emergency rooms more frequently than women as a result of their substance abuse. Due to biological factors, men on average tend to be less sensitive to the effects of many drugs, including stimulants, alcohol, and even marijuana. As a result, men also consume alcohol and other illicit drugs in far larger quantities.
The consequences of substance abuse are also different for men. Men, who are often expected to be violent and aggressive, are significantly more likely to engage in violent acts, assault, and other criminal behavior. Women are somewhat more likely to be victims of assault while intoxicated — but it should be noted that men are often victims as well. When men are the victims, however, they often feel discouraged from speaking up about it.
Men Need to Ask For Help
Addiction is a condition from which it is impossible to recover alone. Individual will power is not sufficient. Unfortunately, men are more likely to feel shame about asking for help. As such, they are in general more reluctant to seek the help of their social support system or make use of recovery resources. It is no surprise that men statistically suffer from active addiction for longer lengths of time than women do. It is crucial not to mistake vulnerability and openness for weakness. Enrolling in a sober living home for men is actually one of the bravest things a man can do.
Benefits of Men’s Sober Living Houses
Sober living houses for men provide much needed assistance and support for men who suffer from drug or alcohol addictions. Individuals in early recovery who lives in sober living facilities can develop and practice new coping skills for avoiding relapse. At the same time, they cultivate new relationships with other house members and the broader recovery community. Sober living homes offer a safe, supportive, and trigger-free environment for individuals who are prepared to repair the wreckage of their past and build solid new futures. Other benefits of male sober livings include:
Sober living homes are designed to support residents as they work to stay sober. In practice, this means offering support for an extremely wide range of issues. The challenges of early recovery are unpredictable. Fortunately, sober living managers and sober living staff live on-site and are available at all times of day. Staff members work to keep residents accountable and ensure that they follow the house rules. More importantly, they are always available to help with any issue, whether that is a sudden craving, a distressing emotion, or concern about finding a job.
One of the benefits of living with other individuals who are avidly pursuing recovery is that it is difficult to just dial it in. Residents are constantly exposed to the examples of role models who have successfully gotten sober. Their roommates work day in and day out to develop better coping skills and behaviors. Living in a community that is characterized by goal-directed behavior helps residents stay motivated, focused, and accountable. Sure, not everyone feels this way all the time — but when motivation lags, it is easy to rely on the strength and hope of others.
Sober living houses are above all about fostering a community and developing relationships. Addiction is often referred to as a “disease of isolation,” so it makes sense that successfully managing an addiction means fighting that isolation. House meetings, fun sober activities, and support groups help house members create stronger bonds with one another. Moreover, residents generally attend 12-step meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous in an effort to strengthen relationships in the broader recovery community. These relationships not only help keep people sober, they make life more joyful and fulfilling.
A Safe Environment
Residents of sober living homes agree when they move in to stay off of drugs and alcohol. This is not designed to restrict anyone’s individual freedom — after all, they are free to leave if they want to. Instead, it is designed to create a clean and sober environment for other house residents. Regular drug testing ensures that no one living in a sober home will be exposed to needless triggers.
Improving Life Skills
Quality sober living houses recognize that recovery is about far more than just staying physically abstinent. It is about learning how to live a satisfying life in sobriety. To that end, sober living homes work diligently to help residents develop the life skills they need to succeed in the future. These skills can range from proper grooming habits to how to apply for jobs. The end goal is to help young men gain the skills they need to live independently after leaving their sober living house.
Lowered Risk of Relapse
There is no cure for addiction, but by making use of recovery services and getting support in a sober living home, one can learn to manage one’s condition. Studies on sober living homes have shown that residents have lower rates of relapse for years after graduating. The studies attribute this reduced rate of relapse to the strong peer support systems that residents are able to develop.
Is Sober Living Right For Me?
If you or a loved one is suffering from a drug or alcohol use disorder, there is no reason why one has to handle it alone. Sober living homes are beneficial to men suffering from addictions to any drug, at any severity. Residents can stay at a sober living home for as long as they need. For individuals who are keen on recovery, sober livings make the process far easier. More importantly, they help residents develop sustainable new relationships and a roadmap for the future.
Sober living homes are recommended to individuals at all steps of the recovery process. They can be effective tools for individuals who are just getting sober for the first time. They are also frequently utilized as part of an aftercare plan. People who are graduating from acute treatment programs, such as an inpatient rehab, are often advised to move into a sober living home. Sober livings can make re-entering the outside world far less jarring, since they offer support every step of the way.
Recovery doesn’t happen overnight. The process can seem arcane and confusing. After quitting drugs and alcohol, young men may be confused about what their next steps should be. In a sober living home, they can work together to develop their own answers to that question.
Recovery is Possible at Design for Recovery
Design for Recovery is a sober living home for men located in Playa del Rey, a neighborhood in West Los Angeles. Our structured home offers support to young men by implementing a rigorous schedule, utilizing a range of recovery resources, and guiding them as they work on rebuilding their lives. Design for Recovery staff members recognize that addiction recovery is far more than simply achieving physical abstinence. We believe that residents can and should strive for lives that are joyous, fulfilling, and free.
Design for Recovery’s program is rooted in the philosophy of the 12 steps, and we place an emphasis on living by strong principles. These principles include honesty, integrity, and accountability. Young men living in our sober house work on both changing their outer behaviors and transforming their inner selves. They all share the goal of becoming better versions of themselves.
By working to develop new coping tools and building relationships with other members of our community, young men at Design for Recovery not only find sobriety far more achievable, they also find that it is possible to live excellent lives in sobriety. Every day, we witness miserable and hopeless young men turn into leaders and role models. Residents strengthen their characters, rebuild their lives, address underlying issues, and add to their sober toolkits. When an individual graduates from Design for Recovery, they continue to do so — and they are well prepared to live independent and prosperous lives.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a substance addiction, contact us today. Recovery is possible.