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Sober Living

Addiction and substance abuse are problems that affect thousands of people in Wyoming. Based on figures from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, over 11,900 people in Wyoming have a substance abuse (excluding alcohol) disorder, while the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism estimates that more than 30,000 Wyoming residents abuse alcohol.

There are numerous resources that addicts or alcoholics can call upon when they realize they need help. Treatment and therapy is widely available, and there is a good success rate in getting people clean, but relapse rates are as high as 50 percent. Sober living is one way to try to tackle the high relapse rates. After or during treatment, recovering addicts can move into a sober living community rather than returning directly to their home environment.

The problem with conventional treatments is that addicts return to the same environment they were in before they sought treatment. Many of them will have lost their jobs because of their substance abuse, and they may struggle to get back into a routine of doing productive and healthy things. That greatly increases their chances of relapsing.

The idea behind sober living communities is to ease recovered addicts back into society by helping them get used to doing normal things and making contributions to society. The communities are highly structured, and the environment is drug- and alcohol-free. Addicts get the chance to restore their self-respect and realize that they can be productive. Sober living communities also provide them with a disciplined environment.



Clients have to abide by the rigid rules that most of these communities have in relation to drugs and alcohol. These substances are banned from the communities, and residents will have to undergo regular testing to check if they have been drinking or using drugs outside the community. Most communities will immediately expel anybody who fails a test.

While the rules are strict, residents are not confined to the community at all times. In contrast, they are actively encouraged to go outside to work or look for work, or take part in charitable activities. Many communities work closely with local employers who are willing to provide work for community residents, although this work is often manual in nature.

Some communities will have a nightly curfew. This is to ensure clients are not tempted to stay out too late, as that could lead them to drink or start using drugs again. Normally, residents can entertain visitors in the community, but it is rare that visitors would be permitted to stay overnight.


Most communities will insist that residents behave as normally as possible. This means getting involved in healthy activities, rather than just lazing around the community each day. When residents are offered a work opportunity, they will usually be obliged to take it, unless they can manage to find a job by themselves.


All addicts are encouraged to join support groups when they leave rehab treatment, and sober living communities often have their own recovery programs in place to build on what addicts discovered during their initial treatment. Addicts benefit by being surrounded by other people who have lived through the same experiences as themselves, and this can help greatly with motivating them to stay clean.

How Sober Living Helps Addicts

Quite often, addicts come from troubled home environments, or they live in areas where there is widespread abuse of alcohol and drugs. In many cases, there are other members of the family who also abuse drugs or alcohol. An addict returning to that environment after successful treatment has a greatly increased risk of relapsing fairly quickly. Sober living provides a buffer between finishing treatment and returning to the outside world.

Sober living might the perfect choice for you or your loved one. To learn more, call an addiction specialist today.