For people in early recovery, it’s often recommended that they reside in a sober living home in order to support their sobriety as they transition back into their normal daily routines outside of a rehab facility. Sober homes (also called halfway houses) come in many forms- some are strict, some are a little less so, some require twelve-step participation and employment, others just require abstinence from drugs and alcohol. Many of the most reputable homes are gender-specific, and there are many reasons for that. For women in early recovery, women’s sober living is often the best choice for a supportive and healthy environment.

Why Women’s Sober Living?

Addiction and alcoholism can be traumatic all on their own, but oftentimes, people who suffer from the disease of addiction have trauma in their backgrounds. For women in recovery, childhood trauma and trauma resulting from the lifestyle of addiction must be addressed in order for them to be successful in their sobriety. It can be difficult to work through the pain of addiction and the underlying issues that contributed to it in a mixed-gender environment, especially for women. Oftentimes, it is easier to deal with those emotions among other women, without the pressure of living with men.

Women’s sober living homes offer a safe space for women to heal, rebuild their self-esteem, and work through the many issues that come along with addiction or alcoholism. In addition to making it easier for individuals to process sensitive events or emotions, gender-specific environments offer opportunities to bond with sober supports, make friends, and work on self-image and self-esteem with fewer distractions or pressure.

Building a Sober Support Network

Women’s sober living offers an opportunity to bond with other women who are working toward the same goal- sobriety. In these environments, it is easy to form long-lasting (even lifelong) friendships with other women who prioritize healthy living and abstinence from drugs and alcohol. When people are active in their addiction or alcoholism, they tend to isolate from friends and family who care about them and their health in order to continue engaging in destructive behavior. Deciding to reside in women’s sober living can help women to build new connections, break free of isolation, and form friendships with their peers. Replacing isolation and loneliness with sober support is a great way to stay on the path of sobriety and heal from substance dependence.

There are other benefits to women’s sober living: it’s easier for women in early recovery to stay focused on their journey, to stay out of new relationships, and to stay distraction-free in a gender-specific environment. It’s recommended that people in early recovery stay out of romantic relationships at first in order to focus on healing. Women’s sober living can cut back on potential distractions and help individuals achieve this goal. This also gives women the space to build self-esteem and form a positive-self image, and most importantly, to learn to love themselves as they are. All of these aspects are vital to long-term, successful recovery from addiction or alcoholism.

Can Women’s Sober Living Help Me?

So, what exactly does a typical stay at a women’s sober living facility look like? Well, ultimately, these places exist to support women during their early recovery. Most homes are structured like a single-family residence with all the amenities of independent living. However, staff is regularly available to help assist with most aspects of life in early recovery. A sober living home may require residents to hold a regular job, attend twelve-step meetings and work with a sponsor, do regular chores, and learn basic life skills, such as cleaning up after themselves.

Some programs offer transportation to outside meetings, help with case management, facilitate meditation, or offer life or sober coaching to their residents. Most of them also regular test their residents for drugs or alcohol in order to maintain a healthy, sober environment. Ultimately, the major benefit of women’s sober living is that it is an opportunity to spend your early recovery among a supportive group of peers and friends, in a safe and supervised environment that still allows for some freedom in everyday life. At the Lilly Pad of St. Augustine, we offer all of the above and more for women who want the best chance at achieving long-term recovery. For more information on our programs and how they may help you to build a solid sober foundation, call 561-758-1011.