The Five Fiercest Debates in Sober Living

The Five Fiercest Debates in Sober Living

The Five Fiercest Debates in Sober Living

The wait is over! Read on to see the five topics we've found to be the most talked-about (and argued-about) topics in sober house management.

1. Zero-tolerance?

First, what is zero-tolerance? Zero-tolerance is when a sober house takes the position that possession or use of any drugs or alcohol is grounds for immediate dismissal from the home. Sober house operators often have polar opinions on the topic, some arguing that a sober house should be understanding and forgiving, and others saying that letting a resident stay would jeopardize the rest of the house.

Our position? Zero-tolerance. Sober house residents being found with substances or fund under the influence are asked to immediately leave. However, after they take action to redirect their life (attending detox, rehab, or another program), they may reapply to a Vanderburgh House sober home.

2. Televisions in bedrooms?

Some sober house operators allow residents to have televisions in their room. It allows some privacy and space and reduces the arguments over what's on the TV. However, some other operators argue that TVs in bedrooms encourages isolation and should be avoided.

Our position? No TVs in bedrooms.

3. Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT)?

MAT is a hot topic in recovery; the debate rages on the topic of what "recovery" really is. Does medically assisted treatment like Methadone or Suboxone, truly help residents? Is it an Operator's job to encourage residents to take alternate pathways in their recovery journey? Should sober houses not allow residents on MAT?

Our position? We allow MAT in all homes. In Massachusetts, it's illegal to discriminate against MAT in sober houses. Beyond this, we believe that each sober house resident should be responsible for their own recovery. If this means MAT, it's up to them to evaluate what works and pursue their own recovery.

4. Coed homes?

Men and women can certainly live together in harmony, but coed sober houses bring with them a unique set of challenges which some sober house operators are not prepared to handle. Most sober houses are specific to either me or women, and most of the industry experts recommend this.

Our position? Coed homes are okay, provided that the Operator is aware of the challenges. If an Operator decides to open a coed sober house, we require that all bedrooms are gender specific.

5. Opposite gender guests?

One argument is that sober houses should allow guest visits, provided that the visit doesn't disrupt the safety or security of the home. Residents should be free to pursue their life and the sober house shouldn't meddle in private affairs. Others claim that opposite gender visitors is almost always disruptive and will cause strain on the community in the home.

Our position? No opposite gender guests, except for family or clinical visitors. We've found that allowing guests of the opposite gender is a recipe for trouble, and there are many places outside the sober home where residents can mingle. The home should be supportive to our residents first, and we believe that opposite-gender guests can undermine this.

We’ve taken a great deal of care and attention to test and see what works in sober housing. If you want to learn more about working with a system that works, take a look at our platform of services we offer to sober house Operators.

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