What is the main differences between sober livings and rehabs? Many people do not know the difference between two common types of recovery centers: sober living vs rehab. It is important to understand how these options differ before choosing one for treatment.
What Is a Rehab Center?
Going to a rehabilitation center is generally the first step to recovering from an addiction. Rehabilitation centers help addicts make recovery their primary focus and often aid them in putting the rest of their lives—relationships, work, etc. on hold. Most, if not all, states offer inpatient and outpatient rehab, and in some states, a psychiatrist will determine which form of rehabilitation is more fitting. For both, detoxing is typically a key component of recovery. Inpatient rehab is residential. Patients reside at the rehabilitation center for anywhere from a few months to a year, however long they need to concentrate on recovering without worrying about anything else.
Patients in outpatient rehab continue to live at home—or in a sober living home—so long as they frequently come to the rehabilitation center to engage in recovery services.
What Is a Sober Living?
Sober living consists of a temporary community where many recovering addicts live together. Sober living homes are meant to provide a place of transition where these people can gradually adjust to being sober again before returning to their former lives. As the name “sober living” implies, abstinence from substances like alcohol or drugs is required. Ideally, the individuals in sober living homes are able to empathize with one another and support each other in the recovery process. A sober living home may be gender specific, where men and women are kept in separate living areas, or these homes may allow men and women to live together. Sober living homes are not as rigidly structured as rehabilitation centers. Each sober living home has its own rules, though they all share the same goal: securing successful recoveries. As mentioned above, many sober living homes cater to addicts in outpatient rehab. These homes provide transportation to rehab appointments and help to ensure that these patients are on the right track.
Sober Living vs Rehab: Differences
The easiest way to differentiate between sober living vs rehab is to think of them as separate phases of recovery. While the two can overlap, as many addicts in outpatient rehab also live temporarily in sober living homes, rehabilitation tends to come before sober living. Even for those in outpatient rehab, starting rehabilitation and detoxing usually occurs before these people can transition to sober living.
The distinction between sober living vs rehab is easiest to see for those in inpatient rehab, as inpatient rehab does not overlap with sober living. These patients must stay at the rehabilitation center while they are in the throes of recovery before they can transition to sober living as a form of aftercare. Because sober living is less intense than rehabilitation, the cost of sober living vs rehab is often much less expensive. Rehabilitation entails more constant care and monitoring to ensure that patients have detoxed and dealt with the latent issues that led to the addiction, especially inpatient rehab. The best way to choose between sober living vs rehab is to determine how well the former addict is doing in terms of recovering.