Addiction is a chronic disease and as such people who are afflicted with this illness are never truly free from its grips. This means that in order for a person to continue with their recovery and live a life that is happy, joyous, and free, they need to continue to work a program and implement healthy routines in their lives that foster continued personal growth and recovery.
In order for this to occur it is often necessary for a person exiting treatment to still have some semblance of structure upon their release. They need this structure to help them integrate back into society with a sober mind, so that they can avoid the pitfalls that can come with exiting rehab. Although they are now sober and on the path to continued sobriety, there are still certain life skills that they may not yet have acquired and so diving back into the world headfirst could lead to negative results. This is why just about every treatment center in the country suggests that their client’s find a sober living establishment after the completion of their program.
To some addicts and alcoholics this suggestion sounds terrible and like something that they do not want to participate in, but going to sober living after the completion of an inpatient or outpatient program can often times mean the difference between a successful recovery and a relapse, and what’s more it can often mean the difference between finding new sober friends or trying to go it alone.
Sober living acts as a segue into real life after treatment. They are there to provide additional support to people who may be in a new city or state, or people who are just not yet comfortable living on their own in sobriety. Many sober living houses have rules and regulations that must be followed by their residents and often times these rules can help newly sober people establish healthy routines that nurture their 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.
The reality is that many addicts and alcoholics are by nature rebellious. They are a people who buck the system and they are usually not very disciplined. This can be seen throughout their addictions and in order for recovery to really take hold some of this rebelliousness needs to be let go of. Sober houses allow this to happen outside of the confines of a treatment center and by doing so they allow for a successful and easier transition back into the real world.
Sober living also creates an environment were recovery is first and foremost and many people who attend sober living create meaningful and lasting relationships during their stay.
Recovery is not something that can be accomplished alone and so in order for a person to recovery from alcoholism or addiction they need to have a “We” on which they can lean. Sober living is a great place to find your “We” as you will be living with other people who are in the same boat as you. You will be able to navigate your early recoveries together, learning and growing, and this is an experience that should not be missed.
Sober houses also offer its residents the ability to see how much fun they can have in recovery. Recovery is not a dull existence, but is rather a life filled with laughter and joy. Being in a sober house with a bunch of other addicts and alcoholics who are trying to improve their lives can really be a fun experience, as you go to meetings together and meet new people. At some point in your future recovery you will probably look back at your time at the sober house as one of the best times in your life.
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 be safe and secure once they get out and they do not need to buy furniture or any amenities.
So if you are getting out of treatment soon and you are on the fence about whether or not you are going to live in a sober living establishment after your discharge, don’t cheat yourself out of this opportunity and go to sober living.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, First Steps can help. Our program can help you overcome your addiction and reclaim your life. Call 1-844-BIG-STEP.