People recovering from addiction know that they have to change the people they spend time with and avoid high-risk locations, as well as things that could cause cravings, which is why the number of sober living homes across the country is increasing.
These alcohol and drug-free living environments are specifically recommended for people who have completed an addiction treatment program. There are many people who live in these homes for their first months or even years in recovery, but after that, they have to find other sober environments to live in.
Many people turn to the internet for help. That’s what Jesse Sandler did when he was trying to help young adults who were recovering from substance abuse issues move out of transitional living situations.
“A lot of times people move states or move cities to live in their sober living [homes],” said Sandler, a social worker for an intensive outpatient program in California. “And they want to stay in that area. When they’re moving out of the sober livings, they’re having trouble finding sober roommates to live with.”
Living with another person who is in recovery is beneficial to both of them because they both understand the challenges of sobriety and they’re both committed to keeping drugs and alcohol out of the home. The problem is that sober roommates can be difficult to find.
So, Sandler, together with his colleague Dr. Emily Chung, decided to create a website called MySoberRoommate.com to help recovering addicts find someone sober to live with.
“We launched the website in June of 2016, and we already have almost 4,000 members on the site,” Sandler said. “That’s a pretty substantial number.”
Their website is one of few resources available to recovering addicts who are looking for peers to live with. There’s another website called RoommatesInSobriety.com that has a similar purpose.
Roommates in Sobriety publishes profiles of people looking for sober roommates. The profiles include details like approximate age, whether they smoke or not, length of sobriety, and optional additional details about personality. The profiles also list phone numbers and e-mail addresses for potential roommates to get in touch and the website’s visitors can view the listings without having to create an account.
Sandler’s website, however, provides more privacy, as it requires users to create an account before they can search the listings. The profiles include basic information about people, but they don’t include phone numbers or e-mail addresses. Instead, people can get in touch with potential roommates using the website’s private messaging system.
The Benefits of Living in a Sober Environment
There are numerous studies that show that recovering addicts have better outcomes if they are living in sober living homes, halfway houses, or other types of transitional living environments after they finish treatment. In addition to providing a sober environment, some homes usually encourage participation in outpatient treatment or self-help groups.
Next Step Village is a sober living home run by Advanced Recovery Systems and their residents are encouraged to find work or attend school during the day, and at night they receive outpatient therapy at a nearby rehab.
“The longer you stay in treatment, the higher the chances are of success,” says Allison Walsh of Advanced Recovery Systems. “We encourage patients to stay at least a year at Next Step Village.”
While sober living homes are an ideal environment for most people, they aren’t accessible for everyone. Some are more expensive than others and have longer waiting lists, and they may also be too far away from where a person works. That’s why services like My Sober Roommate or Roommates in Sobriety can be of great help to recovering addicts who need to find a sober living environment in a convenient area.