Is Sober Living Right for Me?
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After completing a drug treatment program, recovering addicts have acquired a well of knowledge regarding the effects of addiction and methods for combating this force in their lives. For many people, the thought of reentering everyday life may seem overwhelming considering the temptations that lie in wait.
Many people leave drug treatment only to reenter dysfunctional households, where the struggle to maintain sobriety becomes all the difficult to carry out. Without the structures and supports of a drug treatment program, the potential for relapse increases considerably.
Sober living programs offer a much needed transitional stage where recovering addicts can gain real-life experience in applying the knowledge and tools they acquired in drug treatment. More oftentimes than not, a person’s gut instinct will let them known whether sober living is the right choice at this point in their recovery process.
Sober Living Treatment Programs
Sober living treatment programs provide a semi-independent living environment where addicts gain the time and space needed to develop a drug-free lifestyle within everyday life. While these programs do allow for a certain degree of freedom, residents must follow program rules and guidelines for the duration of their stay.
Program rules and guidelines may take the form of –
- Finding gainful employment
- No drug or alcohol use permitted
- Getting a sponsor
- Curfew requirements
- No drugs or alcohol allowed on the grounds
- Performing assigned household chores
- Attendance at house meetings
- Attendance at 12-Step support group meetings
Residents who break any one of these rules must leave the program. In effect, sober living homes provide recovering addicts with essential daily living skills for living a drug-free life once they go out on their own. According to the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, these types of living environments greatly increase a person’s chances of a successful recovery in the long run.
Structured Living Environment
The addiction lifestyle is wrought with layer upon layer of chaos and dysfunction that only works to perpetuate the drug-using cycle. For this reason, instilling structure within a recovering addict’s daily routine becomes an essential requirement for long-term abstinence behaviors to take hold, according to the OLR Research Report.
Sober living programs enable a person to develop the degree of structure needed to –
- Fulfill work obligations
- Maintain an orderly household
- Make time for recreational pursuits
- Develop a recovery-focused outlook for daily living
By the time a person is ready to leave a sober living program, he or she has already developed the type of mindset needed to maintain long-term abstinence.
Developing a Drug-Free Lifestyle
Addiction breeds a way of life that centers on and supports drug-using behaviors. This lifestyle comes with its own set of thinking patterns, motivations and intentions that eventually become ingrained over time.
For these reasons, developing a drug-free lifestyle becomes the overall goal within a sober living program. Over the course of the program, recovering addicts replace old drug-using tendencies and behaviors with a lifestyle that works to support continued abstinence once they’re ready to go out on their own.