Wendy Williams Announces She’s Living in A Sober Living Facility
March 28th, 2019
Last week daytime talk show host Wendy Williams announced she was living in sober living as she recovers from her cocaine addiction. The daytime TV fixture has been struggling with addiction to the drug for years, but up to this point, has not received treatment. She has since discharged herself from the program after being rushed to the hospital due to alcohol intoxication. While it may seem unconventional to think of a celebrity living in a sober home, her revelations reiterate the effectiveness of these facilities as a transitional resource for alcohol and drug addiction recovery. Thousands of individuals suffering from SUD and co-occurring disorder rely on these programs as a bridge to a better life and future.
What Are Sober Living Homes?
Sober living facilities, also known as transitional housing or sober homes, are residences in which eligible patients often stay toward the completion of their substance use disorder treatment program. They can also be standalone programs, during which patients stay in sober housing throughout the entire course of their care, as is the case with Williams. They vary in scope and duration, according to patients’ progress, and can often be what is known as “step-down” mechanisms for patients who are on the verge of completing long-term residential treatment. They offer incrementally more independence and accountability as patients endeavor to achieve long-term recovery.
Benefits of Sober Living Facilities
The purpose of sober living facilities is to help patients heal from their drug or alcohol abuse in a compassionate, supportive and distraction-free environment. They allow individuals who have succumbed to drug and alcohol use disorder to incrementally rebuild their lives without having to expose themselves to undue post-treatment pressures that so often lead to setbacks.
Some of the primary advantages of sober living facilities can include, but are not limited to:
- Assistance with Medication Regimens
- Accountability to Recovery Guidelines
- Family Stability
- Supportive and Structured Environment
- Re-cultivation of Life Skills
- Built-In Safety and Support during Treatment
- Guidance and Assistance from House Managers
- Financial Relief in the Form of Temporary Housing Support
Sober living facilities provide a much-needed logistical and emotional safety net of which eligible patients can avail themselves while they’re doing the all-important work of recovering from long-term substance use disorder.
Sober Living for Relapse Prevention
The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that relapse rates for drug addiction are between 40 and 60 percent with some estimates putting them as high as 90 percent for more severe cases of opioid use disorder. One of the primary reasons for these alarming rates is an acute lack of proper support as patients endeavor to move forward in their recovery. They often have tremendous difficulty maneuvering within their family dynamics, rebuilding their careers and maintaining adherence to their everyday recovery obligations.
Without the proper support, the days immediately following treatment can be overwhelming and, for many, downright impossible. Sober living facilities are designed to give patients a valuable transitional cushion between treatment and everyday life. It allows them to reconnect with their families, work toward getting their careers back, maintaining post-treatment healthcare routines and getting their lives back on track.
What Happens In Sober Living?
Occupants of sober living homes stay in a structured and supportive environment under the supervision of an experienced and qualified house manager. The rules of these homes differ, depending upon patients’ programs; however, most homes institute curfews, drug screenings, attendance at meetings and treatment sessions and other requirements pertinent to the recovery process. Violation of these rules results in various penalties, which can range from small fines to probation to expulsion from the facility. Residents agree to a set series of rules that govern conduct at the time they move in and are expected to follow them throughout the duration of their stay. Above all, patients must stay sober while in their sober living program.
How Long Is Sober Living?
Unlike something like a halfway house, there are seldom parameters on how long patients stay in sober living. As they’re not automatically bound by the timelines of a treatment program, patients can theoretically stay in their program for months; however, their tenure and exit is contingent upon their progress in recovery. Patients often leave sober living after finding a place of their own or making arrangements to stay with family or a loved one. For many patients, this often happens after a few months when they’ve had a chance to find new jobs, rebuild their careers or repair the relationships with their closest loved ones.
Who Is Eligible to Live In A Sober Living Facility?
While there are generally no designated restrictions on who can live in a sober living facility, besides the continued adherence to sobriety, it is advisable that tenants complete an addiction treatment program prior to entry. Most sober living residents enter a home directly after completing residential care or as a “step-down” treatment resource. Many sober living homes will accept residents who are new to the rehab process as long as those residents are willing to stay sober and live by the other house rules. It is always expected, however, that patients complete detox so they’re clean prior to moving in.
Does Insurance Cover Sober Living?
Unfortunately, insurance doesn’t generally cover sober living. Insurance companies are often more apt to cover halfway houses and transitional housing that is offered by an organization offering comprehensive drug or alcohol addiction treatment. There are, however, exceptions to every rule. And, on the plus side, there are no insurance or funding disruptions that can jeopardize patients’ experience, provided they continue to pay rent while they’re living in the home. Rent for sober living homes generally ranges between $450 and $750 per month, depending upon the location of the program, and residents don’t usually have to pay utilities during their stay.
Wendy Williams disclosure that she’s staying in a sober living facility strongly reinforces the universal benefits of this type of paradigm. If you or your loved one need extra help beyond the treatment process, sober living might be the best option for your long-term recovery.