What Is an SLE?

By The Care Centers. Posted on Sat Feb 20 2016

When you start researching rehab facilities for drug and alcohol abuse, you will likely run across the acronym SLE. SLE stands for sober living environment, and it’s a very important part of the recovery process. For most people recovering from addiction, an SLE is a wonderful step back toward their normal lives after initial treatment.

SLEs Are Not Rehab
First of all, in understanding what SLEs are and how they function, you should know that these are not the same as rehab or treatment. During inpatient treatment, patients will live in either hospital or community setting where everyone is sober, but the focus will be on actual treatment more than living arrangements. After you finish with treatment, you may want to consider moving to an SLE temporarily, though.

A Step in the Right Direction
Right after treatment, most patients are not ready to live in the environments that they did before treatment. Their old homes and hangouts can be full of triggers and temptations, and it can be very easy to slip, relapse, and undo the work they did in treatment. SLEs were developed to avoid this and help them gain the coping skills they need to return to normal life.

Who Can Live in an SLE?
Anyone who has had a problem with alcohol or drugs can apply to live in most SLEs (also called halfway houses), but most residents will have gone through a rehab program before moving on to a sober living environment. Essentially, if you haven’t first sought help through treatment, an SLE may not be the right place for you yet, but if you are already sober and you are looking for a supportive place to live as you continue your recovery, an SLE is a great option.

What to Expect When Living in an SLE
Before you move into an SLE, you’ll be made aware of all of the rules of living there. Different houses will have different rules, but the main rule of all SLEs is that residents must stay sober. This may include restrictions on certain mouthwashes, medications, and cooking ingredients. You will not find cooking wine in an SLE for obvious reasons, but you also won’t find items that could lead to a false positive on a drug test, such as vanilla extract, which contains alcohol.

What Happens if You Break the Rules?
Depending on the severity of the rule and how often you’re found in violation, you may be subject to a fine, apologize and make amends to another resident, or you may be asked to leave the premises. As with the rules, you’ll be made aware of the consequences for breaking them before you move in.

Is SLE Living Expensive?
Rent for most SLEs is generally less expensive than paying rent on a one-bedroom apartment in most cities in the US. Some facilities take insurance, and some have sliding scale rates to help residents who are impoverished or who are struggling financially.

If you’re looking for the next step in your sobriety, an SLE may be the place for you. Learn more about rehab facilities and sober living environments at The Care Centers and find one near you to help you on the road to recovery.

Tags: Substance Rehab