Sharing rent and household expenses is one way to lighten the load and live more comfortably. For a person in recovery, it’s common to team up with other clean and sober people and rent a home or apartment together. Living in a clean and sober environment, whether a formal SLE or an informal arrangement is a great way to protect your sobriety, stave off isolation and save some money. Living With Roommates In Recovery As with any roommate arrangement, communication is key. Financial and household responsibilities and expectations should be clearly laid out, and even put into writing. When everyone knows what the expectations are from the very beginning, the household will be far more harmonious. One thing that should also be discussed is a universal, absolute substance use policy. If all members of the household are in recovery, then you are living in a clean and sober household, and this should be a clear expectation. Your arrangement should also include guests. This isn’t a topic to be neglected or unclear about. Too often, people don’t discuss these very important topics, and when things happen, as they sometimes do, there isn’t a clear course of action. What Happens If They Relapses? Relapse does happen, although it certainly doesn’t have to. Each person is responsible for their own recovery, and you can’t dictate how a person does that, but if relapse occurs, it’s a good idea to have a plan in place to make sure that your recovery is protected. Should You Immediately Kick Her Out? That depends, partially on circumstances. If your roommate comes to you and confesses that she slipped and had a drink at the company Christmas party, does it mean that she shouldn’t live there anymore? That depends on you and what the two of you worked out beforehand. If your roommate acknowledges and accepts the relapse, hasn’t brought drugs or alcohol into the home and has taken immediate steps to get back into her recovery, you may choose to give her another chance. Other circumstances may take a more drastic approach. If your roommate has been using in the home, is refusing to acknowledge the problem, or in any other way creating an unsafe environment, they may need to be asked to leave. Relapses vary in length and severity. They can be messy. They can involve unsafe behaviors and people. It can escalate quickly and before you know it you can be sucked into drama, chaos, or worse yet, you could relapse too. This is why it’s important to immediately take steps to ensure your own safety, well-being and make sure your recovery is secure. Ensuring That Your Home Is Safe If your roommate has relapsed, but you have decided to allow them to stay, you’ll need to set firm boundaries in order to protect your home environment. This may include a written agreement that they will continue to participate actively in their recovery, and that if they relapse again they understand that they must leave. What If You Can’t Kick Them Out? In some situations, despite their behavior, you may not be able to kick your roommate out. If their name is on the lease, you do not have the legal right to tell them to leave. The only person who can break their lease is the landlord. If your roommate is engaging in illegal activities in the home, you can report that to the landlord so that they can take action. If you cannot make your roommate leave, then in extreme situations, the only recourse you may have is to leave yourself. While this may seem unfair, your recovery and well-being must come first. Choosing Your Roommate Carefully Of course, you can’t predict the future, and it’s not possible to truly judge someone’s recovery. However, it is a good idea to be selective when choosing a roommate, just as you would under any circumstances. Ideally, you won’t choose to share a home with someone who is not working an active program of recovery, or someone who seems to have a lot of drama and insanity in their lives. Again, you can’t predict the future, but you can use your best judgment and find someone who values their own sobriety and respects yours. Getting Help For Addiction If you are struggling with substance abuse and need help, Wayside House can provide a solution. Our program is for women 18 and over and is located in a safe, serene environment. As a women’s treatment program, Wayside House is committed to giving women a safe, supportive environment to not only overcome addiction but also to grow and thrive with treatments and therapies that are normally found only in more expensive programs. If you are ready to change your life for the better, contact Wayside House at 561-278-0055 today.