Sober Living Programs: A Training Ground for Drug-Free Living
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The addiction treatment process addresses the different stages of recovery with each program focusing on a specific stage in the recovery process. Sober living programs provide needed guidance and support during the latter stages of recovery after a person has completed detox and/or residential treatment.
In general, the more severe the addiction problem, the longer recovery will take. In this respect, sober living programs most benefit individuals recovering from chronic, long-term addiction problems. Ultimately, sober living programs act as a training ground for building the type of drug-free lifestyle that support long-term abstinence from substance abuse.
Sober Living Environments
According to the U. S. National Library of Medicine, sober living environments represent a possible next step in the treatment process after completing a residential program. While it is possible to enter outpatient treatment after completing residential care, this option works best for someone entering treatment during the early stages of addiction.
Like outpatient treatment, sober living programs allow for considerably more flexibility and freedom than residential programs, though sober homes do require residents to live at the facility or home. Living at the facility can make all the difference for someone still struggling with overwhelming urges to engage in substance abuse.
While sober living environments do allow residents to come and go at will, they nonetheless incorporate a rules-based structure that all residents have to abide by for the duration of their stay. Sober home rules create a sense of structure and stability that’s essential to continued abstinence for recovering addicts. Sober home rules may include:
- No alcohol or drug use permitted
- No alcohol or drugs on the premises
- Household chore responsibilities
- Monthly rent payments
- Curfew restrictions
- 12 Step support group meeting attendance and participation
- Maintain steady employment
As sober living programs can run anywhere from six months to several years, those who successfully complete their terms establish healthy daily habits and routines that they can take with them once they reenter the “real world.”
According to the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, having a healthy support network at hand can make a significant difference in terms of improving a person’s chances of a successful recovery outcome. Much like the addiction lifestyle comes with its own set of friends and acquaintances, all of which share a common interest in drug use, building a drug-free lifestyle means incorporating the types of people that support continued abstinence in a person’s life. Sober living environments come with a built-in support network with residents forming a community of like-minded individuals all working toward a common goal.
Building a Drug Free Lifestyle
Building a drug-free lifestyle requires a person to develop healthy habits, behaviors and routines within his or her day-to-day life. Being able to find support during difficult times is equally important for people recovering from addiction. In effect, sober living programs become a much needed bridge between the safety and seclusion of residential treatment and the “real world.” For someone coming off a long history of substance abuse, sober living programs offer the perfect training ground for gaining a sure footing in recovery.
If you or someone you know are considering entering a sober living program and have more questions, please feel free to call our toll-free helpline at 800-373-1667 to speak with one of our addictions specialists.