UnderstandingSober Living Homes
Sober living homes (sometimes referred to as “halfway houses”) are an excellent steppingstone between addiction treatment in an inpatient facility and transitioning to the home environment after treatment ends. Many inpatient treatment centers encourage participants new to recovery to spend time in a sober living environment before returning home. Because many who are new to recovery find that they struggle with the adjustment period immediately after treatment, sober living homes offer a safe environment in between treatment and home where you have the opportunity to practice and reinforce the lessons you learned during rehab. For many, time spent in a sober living environment can make the difference between maintaining a path of sobriety and relapsing back to old habits.
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What to Expect in a
Sober Living Home
During inpatient treatment, patients are immersed in their rehab programs and surrounded by support in constant care. Once outside of the treatment environment, this is not the case. Residents in a sober living environment are not bound by confinement within the home, and therefore they can come and go as they please. For some, this is a blessing, and for others, it can increase the challenges of maintaining recovery. A sober living community’s goal is to allow recovering addicts to feel as though they are easing back into a “normal life” while slowly resuming their daily tasks and responsibilities. It is important to note that sober living facilities are less restrictive than inpatient care settings; however, there are still rules that must be followed. Some of the most common include curfews and mandatory attendance at scheduled group meetings. Some sober living environments also require random and mandatory drug and alcohol testing. This is done to help ensure those living in the sober community have not relapsed or are not exposing others in recovery to substances.
While staying in a sober living home, residents can attend 12 step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. Residents also have the opportunity to create structure, accountability, and develop relationships with like-minded peers who are also working on their sobriety and recovery. A significant positive to a sober living environment is forging friendships with like-minded peers who will help reinforce the desire to remain sober. Unfortunately, when many return home from inpatient treatment, they become isolated. Many feel it is necessary to maintain their distance from friends and family to reduce the chances of exposure to triggers in potential relapse. Sober living homes provide a support system that can not only help residents avoid the isolation that comes with going directly from inpatient treatment back home but provides an environment I’ve increased support during the early and often fragile stages of recovery.
What Are the Benefits of Sober Living Homes?
Sober living homes are an excellent option for those who are new to recovery but may not feel comfortable returning to an “unmonitored” environment just yet. Inpatient treatment programs and some outpatient treatment programs are heavily structured, and for some leaving such a structured environment and openly exposing themselves to triggers can be scary. Also, for many, sober living homes provide a safe environment to continue working on sobriety when the at-home living environment is not conducive to recovery. Sober living homes do not offer the same level of structure as inpatient facilities or even outpatient rehabs; however, they do present a stepping stone sober or intermediary environment that can encourage residents to continue developing and practicing healthy coping skills and habits to use once they do return home.
Sober living homes can be considered supplementary to treatment at an addiction treatment facility. They are a safe alternative from going directly from an immersive and supportive care environment to an unstructured environment at home. Sober living homes generally replicate typical, everyday life situations while striving to instill healthy habits. This combination helps to reduce the chance of relapse for countless addicts each year. While staying at a sober living home, residents do a number of things that help guide them further in their recovery period. For example, some may locate stable and safe housing to move into after treatment, and others may work to find steady employment.
Most importantly, however, sober living environments allow the opportunity to make amends with family and friends who were impacted by substance abuse. Also, a status over living home allows the opportunity to adjust to sober living in an environment without the same structure as an inpatient care setting.
One other significant benefit to a sober living home is relapse prevention. A stay at a sober living home is often part of a carefully designed aftercare plan created during the initial stages of addiction treatment. While in the sober living environment, a recovering addict is provided the opportunity to identify triggers that may be difficult to manage once they are living in the community again. The structure of a sober living environment further reinforces and teaches new healthy coping skills that can be used when faced with triggers. The sober living community also provides emergency contact people and numbers that can be called upon during times of high stress or cravings to use. This relapse prevention plan or “plan of action” will ensure that someone new to recovery will know what to do in challenging moments and will have a healthy way to manage inevitable triggers that will arise in their day-to-day life.
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If you have just completed addiction treatment and have any concerns about being on your own, you should consider staying in a sober living environment. The intermediary option that sober living homes provide is one that is often of significant benefit to those in recovery. Generally, stays in a sober living home usually last around ninety days but can be arranged for longer if needed or wanted. If you need help finding a sober living environment that is right for you, contact the team at My Recovery today. Our experienced counselors can provide guidance and information about the best sober living homes in your area.