What is Sober Living?

What is Sober Living

What comes to mind when you hear the term “sober living”? Does it mean living a lifestyle free of alcohol or drugs? Or does it conjure something more complicated, like someone battling addiction and trying to live life on the straight-and-narrow?

In the past, it referred to all these things and more. Today, it has a specific meaning.

These days, sober living typically describes someone living in a recovery residence. It’s often a home for individuals looking to achieve the same goal—sobriety or recovery—who are given structure and guidance by a staff who’ve already reached their desired outcome related to addiction.

In Portland, there are myriad options to choose from when it comes to picking a sober living house and program. But Providence Retreat is different from all the rest.

Located in Hollis, a 20-minute drive from Portland, our retreat is unique because we offer men a multi-phased approach to substance abuse recovery, including sober living houses and a program grounded in the 12-steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.

What Makes Us Different?

Typical sober living houses have managers on-site, and residents engage in group or individual meetings a few times a week. At Providence Place Sober Living in Portland, for example, most of the men are coming out of treatment and looking for a sponsor, going to a few meetings and also starting to work full-time and establish self-sufficiency.

We’re different because we don’t require people leave the residence after their first month. Every person’s path to recovery is different, and we’re committed to stick with a person throughout their journey. Of course, we do offer space at our Portland location for those who wish to move to the next step in their sobriety.

In the past, a lot of people come to sober living residences after completing a formal treatment or rehabilitation program as a continuation of their care. But a 30-day program that costs $5,000 might not be affordable to someone dealing with addiction—we offer the type of formal structure sober living environment that can be substituted for more traditional treatment programs.

Here at Providence Retreat, we have group meetings five days a week and provide increased education on the 12-step plans. And while the residents may not have a formal sponsor, they are getting daily contact with mentors with addiction experience.

An Added Layer of Accountability

Traditional rehab and treatment programs have their merits, and they have proven to work for countless individuals battling addiction, but sober living and sober living houses have that extra bit of accountability. It’s because residents are surrounded by—and must face and answer to—other people battling the same demons, even if the type of addiction is different.

Our guests are always encouraging each other as they continue on their path to sobriety and recovery, and this encouragement is a great way to create community and prevent relapse. It also helps our guests stay accountable and develop a routine in a safe environment they can continue once they leave our retreat.

Different Phases of Recovery

At Providence Retreat, the first phase—typically around a month—includes daily group meetings and meditations, and if someone chooses to stay longer, we help establish employment and set up meetings outside our retreat. It’s different than our facility in Portland.

From the beginning, the process is person-centered, and we’ve tried not to put a timeline on someone’s recovery—that is, how long someone will be at Providence Retreat. Everybody’s recovery moves at a different pace, so putting an unnecessary and often unrealistic timeline isn’t good for anyone.

No matter the addition, recovery always start with that first step—one that can be both fearful and liberating. If you think Providence Retreat might be a good fit for you, please give us a call at (207) 298-9130 or click here.

We’d be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Justin Reid, Director of Operations at Providence Retreat