Sober living homes in Louisiana offer safe, drug-free environments for persons recovering from addiction to live. Sober living homes may be for men only, women only, or for women with children.
The state of Louisiana does not issue licenses or certifications to sober living homes. However, the state provides general regulations guiding the operations of sober living homes through the Office of Behavioral Health (OBH). The Office of Behavioral Health is under the Louisiana Department of Health. The OBH also maintains a directory of sober living homes in the state.
Meanwhile, many Louisiana sober living homes are certified by the Louisiana Association of Recovery Residences (LARR). LARR is an affiliate of the National Alliance for Recovery Residences (NARR) and is authorized to certify sober living homes in Louisiana.
Residents of Louisiana sober living homes engage in daily routines to help smoothen their return to independent living. Recovery homes have different sets of rules that all residents must follow. However, participation in house activities, curfews, and prohibition of alcohol and drugs are common. Daily activities in Louisiana sober living homes include:
A day in a sober living home starts with residents engaging in house chores. House chores may include making breakfast, cleaning shared bathrooms and toilets, laying beds, and cleaning the shared living room and the surrounding areas. Residents can also do light workouts and exercises before or after house chores. After this, they eat breakfast and then attend group activities or house meetings. When they are done, employed residents go to their places of work while others leave to search for work or volunteer for community services.
In the evening, residents attend therapy sessions or 12-step group meetings such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings or Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings. After the meetings, they prepare and have dinner. Then, residents may relax by watching television, reading books, or playing games. Furthermore, they are encouraged to spend time in the evening calling friends and families. The day ends with residents retiring to their rooms to prepare for the next day and to sleep.
While most Louisiana sober living homes do not have time limits for residents, residents are expected to leave once they are confident in living independent sober lives. You can increase your chances of staying sober when you eventually leave the sober living home by participating in all house activities and developing independent sober lifestyles. Activities such as engaging in your hobbies, regular exercises, and house chores help build a reliable schedule. Keeping yourself busy is essential in the recovery process.
You must maintain relationships with friends and families who will form your support system when you leave the sober living home. However, you must avoid persons who will question your sobriety or pull you back to your previous lifestyle. You must also continue to attend your group therapy sessions for support.
There is no specified time to move into a sober living home in Louisiana. A person can move into a sober living home after addiction treatment in a rehabilitation center or during outpatient treatment. Living in a sober living home helps residents develop new healthy habits and routines. It gives a gentle introduction to independent living in a controlled and supportive environment devoid of addiction triggers.
Meanwhile, Louisiana sober living homes are not health institutions and cannot treat addictions. Residents must have gone through addiction treatments or are still undergoing treatments. Sober living homes provide opportunities for residents to apply what they learned during rehabilitation in their daily lives in a supportive community.
Sober living homes and halfway houses are often confused even though they are different. Sober living homes are voluntary, private, residential houses for persons recovering from addictions. Halfway houses, on the other hand, are mandatory residences for persons recently released from incarceration or in-patient addiction rehabilitation centers.
In Louisiana, sober living homes are structured like private residences providing residents with greater comfort and privacy. On the other hand, halfway houses are built like dormitories and are more congested. As a result of the living conditions, sober living homes are usually more expensive than halfway houses. Some halfway houses in Louisiana receive grants from the government, while sober living houses are self-funded by residents or privately owned.
Another difference is the duration of living in both houses. Halfway houses typically limit residents’ stay to 12 months, while there are no time limits for residents in sober living homes. Residents of sober living homes have more freedom than those of halfway homes.
There are different types of sober living houses in Louisiana based on the support offered to residents and their residency time limits. Louisiana sober living houses include:
Halfway house is a type of sober living house intended for persons leaving incarceration who have undergone addiction treatments or persons discharged from rehabilitation centers. Residents are often court-mandated to reside in halfway houses for some time. There are strict rules that govern living in halfway houses, and there are house managers to enforce the rules. Therapy or group sessions are required for residents. Residents must secure their housing within 12 months. Halfway houses are different from in-patient facilities because residents can leave the house for work, search for jobs, meet friends and families, and attend community therapy meetings. Residents of halfway houses are randomly tested for drugs and alcohol.
A transitional house is a drug-free and alcohol-free house that caters to the homeless population or persons in crisis. They often provide mental health and addiction therapy because many homeless occupants have mental illnesses or are addicted to alcohol and drugs. Transitional houses also provide residents with resources they will need for healthier and safer lives. Training on how to apply for jobs, pay bills, and money-making skills are often provided
Recovery houses are also called sober houses in Louisiana. They are privately owned, self-funded houses for recovering addicts. Residents agree to live by rules which may include joint payment for household expenses and expelling any member found taking alcohol or using drugs. Recovery houses do not provide any form of clinical treatment or medication management. Oxford houses are the predominant recovery houses in Louisiana.
There are three phases of sober living in Louisiana. The phases are:
This is the first phase of sober living where persons in recovery abstain from drugs and alcohol. This phase can last from three months to two years. The primary focus is on dealing with the cravings and developing coping skills. Some characteristics of the abstinence phase include:
Having been sober for some months, typically three months, the person will now put to work tools learned in the abstinence phase. Daily responsibilities will be assigned to persons in the reintroduction phase to build their tolerance. The focus of this stage is to maintain abstinence and develop a sober lifestyle. Some features of the reintroduction phase include:
This is the final phase before independent living. Persons in this phase will have added responsibilities given to them. This phase’s goal is to develop a healthy and happy lifestyle beyond being sober. Features of the self-sufficiency phase include:
A sober living home provides structure and support for residents, and it is critical in the transitioning processes for recovering addicts. The choice of an ideal sober living home in Louisiana is based on several factors unique to the individual. Below are five major things to consider when choosing a Louisiana sober living home:
The location of a sober living home is vital for the residents. It must be situated in a safe neighborhood with easy access to public facilities. The location may need to be close to healthcare providers or recovery meeting venues.
Furthermore, the local economy must also be considered; how easy is it to get jobs? The proximity of the sober living home to public parks and non-alcoholic fun spots should also be considered. Perhaps the most important consideration about the location is the prevalence of substance abuse in the neighborhood. A neighborhood with lots of drug users or alcoholics can easily cause relapse.
While the state of Louisiana does not issue licenses to sober living houses, they can still be certified by national or state organizations such as the Louisiana Association of Recovery Residences.
Generally, a sober living house with Louisiana Association of Recovery Residences (LARR) certification will display the LARR certification seal on their website and printed materials. LARR-certified sober living houses have gone through inspections and have been found to comply with LARR standards. Using certification as a criterion for selection helps to assure quality. The level of certification will also indicate what to expect from a sober living house.
Residents of sober living homes need structure to navigate the transitional period from rehabilitation to independent living. Structures implemented in sober living houses are important considerations in choosing a sober living house.
Structures include the daily routines of residents, house rules, and regulations. Are there mandatory curfews, and what happens to persons found with alcohol or drugs? Is there random drug and alcohol testing? What is the guest policy? How are house decisions made? Answers to these questions will help make the best choice of a sober living home in Louisiana.
Sober living houses have varying time limits for residents, and some allow residents to stay for as long as they desire. The choice of a sober living house will depend on how long a person hopes to stay. Persons that do not want to be put under pressure of eviction are better with recovery homes without time limits, such as Oxford houses.
The level of support provided by a sober living house is a critical consideration in deciding on an appropriate sober living house. Some provide 24-hour support to residents, while others only provide house meetings and peer-to-peer support. Access to group meetings and therapy must be factored in.
Support also includes equipping residents with relevant money-making and money management skills. Some sober living houses in Louisiana have structures to help residents find jobs. The level of support must also allow for personal responsibility, which is needed for independent living.
There are several sober living homes in all the parishes in Louisiana. The Office of Behavioral Health provides a directory for halfway houses on their website. They also recommend Oxford houses as recovery homes. You can search for Oxford houses in your parish with vacancies. The OBH lists other substance abuse treatment programs such as gambling addiction treatment, opiate treatment, and withdrawal management.
Meanwhile, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) maintains resources for finding rehab centers. The fastest way to get help is to use the treatment center locator. Alternatively, call (800) 662-435 to have a private chat with a SAMSHA representative.