Recovery goes further than detox. It goes further even than the initial residential treatment therapy. Recovery is an overall approach to life. As a person enters the prospect of addiction recovery they have made the best choice of their life, but there is still another crucial decision to make: how long should I stay in treatment? And where does sober living fit into my personal recovery process?
The short and plain answer is addiction recovery treatment will be present for the rest of your life, in one way or another. The disease of substance use disorder is not something we cure; it is something each person learns to understand, live with, and manage. Of course, we believe that life is absolutely fuller and richer on the other side, but if you were thinking recovery was going to be a quick fix, there needs to be a reevaluation. Statistics show, the longer a person stays in a recovery program, the better their chances are at lasting recovery.
Treating addiction goes far beyond stopping the use of the drugs or alcohol. Beyond that, addiction challenges don’t end the moment a person walks out of a rehab center/inpatient program.
For better results and a smooth transition process, a sober living home is very often a viable option. In sober living, transition is the key. The necessary motivation and support found here can powerfully increase the reality of long-term sobriety.
1. What Is a Sober Living Home?
Sober living homes, sometimes known as halfway houses, are a way for a person to take a baby step back into society in recovery. Most sober living houses require that their residents attend a certain number of meetings a week, have a sponsor, and work the Steps. Doing this ensures that recovery is not thrown to the wayside now that the person is back in the real world. These sober living houses also usually have curfews and require that each person have a chore, which instills a level of responsibility in the addicts and alcoholics that they may never have had before.
2. How Does Sober Living Work?
A recovering addict needs a fully-supportive, and immersive sober environment to help the recovery process form a lasting foundation—eventually supporting the person back to normal life again. Various studies have shown that disorganized and unsafe environments derail the recovery efforts of people with addictions and even encourage a return to alcohol or drug abuse.
This is why sober living exists. Residents get professional support along with the encouragement of others in the program. Together they offer encouragement and motivation that each needs to stay on track in recovery. Sober living creates an environment where recovery is first and foremost and many people who attend sober living create meaningful and lasting relationships during their stay.
Sober houses also offer residents the ability to see that recovery is not a dull existence. Rather life free from addiction can be filled with laughter and joy. Often, people who have experienced a sober living house remember it as one of the best times in their lives.
3. How Is Sober Living Different From Other Residential Treatment?
In detox, a client is provided with care round the clock. This level of treatment and attention is intense, and this is only safely done at a detox treatment center.
Next, a person typically attends a residential treatment center, where they get personalized individual and group therapy, drug counseling, and education on the nature of addiction. He/she may also be served with nutritional meals, recreational techniques to induce relaxation, take part in wilderness treatment, and much more. Though there is usually a professional on hand 24-hours a day, the supervision becomes less significant as the person moves further away from their addiction.
Sober living is the next step. The process gets even less intense and less supervised by degrees and with a purpose. Once the person completes the residential treatment period, sober living puts them in a near-society environment in order to help them create community and use the skills to interact with others for when they join the rest of society in sobriety.
4. Why Sober Living?
After an individual has escaped drugs or stopped abusing alcohol, it is completely possible to achieve total freedom from the shackles of addiction. However, the process takes time. Because substance use disorder is a chronic disease that infiltrates the body and hijacks majority of its functions, sometimes it takes more time than was expected.
For this reason, individuals seeking treatment require intense and dedicated care with high repetition at a determinable frequency to help the procedure succeed, offering a tangible freedom from the control of addiction and its effects both emotionally and physically.
Living in a sober house also takes some of the stress off of a newly sober person who is just getting out of treatment, because they do not need to look for an apartment or house or sign a lease. It lets them know that they are going to have a certain amount of security and take a smaller step before being thrust back into the world.
Sober Living at First Steps
If you or someone you love is working through recovery treatment and are unsure about the next step, sober living might be a good fit. First Steps can help. Please call us to talk to a specialist who can assess your situation and needs and figure out what options are available. Call 844-244-7837.