Benefits of Sober Living for Living a Sober Life
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Living a sober life after completing drug treatment can be wrought with unforeseen difficulties and challenges. While a person may feel he or she is ready to return to normal life, the addiction mindset can linger for months or even years after drug treatment ends.
Much of the problem lies in the loss of structure that occurs once a person returns home. In effect, this loss of structure opens the door for any addiction-based tendencies to come out.
Unless these tendencies have been identified and replaced with more healthy coping behaviors, a person is likely to relapse soon after leaving treatment. Herein lie the benefits of sober living for living a sober life.
According to the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, sober living homes act as a training ground for dealing with the ups-and-downs of recovery. For people coming off long-term addictions, the “practice run” afforded by sober living programs makes living a sober life possible.
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Sober Living Programs
More oftentimes than not, addiction recovery happens in stages with each stage providing different levels of structure and support along the way. Likewise, going from detox care into a residential treatment program represents a change in structure in terms of the degree of freedom a person has to make his or her own choices from day-to-day.
Since drug treatment programs only run for so long, the time comes when a person must re-enter daily life and try to apply the things learned in treatment or seek out other forms of support to help him or her in living a sober life. In cases where a person doesn’t feel ready to take on everyday life, sober living programs can act as a bridge between the world of drug treatment and the hustle and bustle of daily life.
Another factor to consider has to do with the type of home environment that awaits a person after completing drug treatment. Homes ridden with chaos, conflict and dysfunction make living a sober life all put impossible to carry out. In the same vein, someone who was homeless before entering drug treatment faces an even higher risk of relapse should he or she have to return to the streets.
Sober living programs operate as semi-independent living environments where residents can receive needed guidance and support while taking part in the affairs of daily living in terms of working a job, paying bills and running a household. In effect, the benefits of sober home programs for living a sober life lie in the recovery-focused treatment environment these programs provide.
Benefits of Sober Living for Living a Sober Life
While detox, inpatient, residential and outpatient programs may differ structure-wise, they all operate as recovery-focused environments. In essence, living a sober life requires a certain degree of focus on one’s recovery efforts at all times. Re-entering a dysfunctional home environment leaves the recovering addict to fend for him or herself as far as living a sober life is concerned.
Sober homes incorporate the same habits and routines found in most any healthy, functional household. In fact, it’s not uncommon for a sober home setting to be the first time a person experiences what it’s like to live without conflict and dysfunction at every turn. In effect, the stability that characterizes a sober home program can make all the difference in living a sober life.
Sober living programs also enforce sets of rules, which further add to the stability and structure of the home environment. The combined effects of stability and a clearly communicated rules structure creates the type of conditions where residents can focus on living a sober life.
Call 800-373-1667 (Who Answers?) toll free anytime for help finding a sober house.
12 Step Support Model
The 12 Step support model plays a central role within each stage of the recovery process. This model emphasizes the importance of:
- Examining all aspects of a person’s life in terms of his or her behaviors towards self and others
- Acknowledging addiction for the problem that it is
- Personal growth and development
- Helping others succeed in their recovery efforts
Addiction often leaves lasting effects on a person’s overall outlook on life, which can make the concept of living a sober life difficult to understand, let alone carry out. The 12 Step support model confronts the addiction mindset head on and roots out destructive thinking patterns and attitudes in the addict’s life.
Sober home programs base their treatment approach on the 12 Step support model in terms of how residents are expected to conduct themselves and treat one another during their stay. Once a person is ready to leave the program, he or she has ample experience in living a sober life and can carry this lifestyle into the next stage of recovery.
The addiction lifestyle makes no place for accountability outside of getting and using drugs. In the process, a person’s life unravels leaving a trail of lost relationships, jobs and opportunities in its wake. In essence, living a sober life means being accountable for one’s actions and choices at all times.
According to the OLR Research Report, sober home programs help instill a sense of accountability by requiring residents to:
- Maintain steady employment
- Conduct themselves in an orderly manner
- Make time for recreational activities
- Maintain a recovery-focused attitude in their daily affairs
Living a sober life also involves following rules, whether it be on the job, out in the community or at home. Sober home programs work to instill this principle by enforcing house rules that all resident must follow as a condition of their stay in the program. While each program differs in rule format, a standard set of rules may include:
- Nightly curfews
- Obtaining a sponsor
- No drugs or alcohol on the premises
- Drug or alcohol use prohibited
- Carrying out household chores
- Regular attendance at 12 Step support group meetings
- Attendance at house meetings
Some homes may be more strict than others as far as consequences go, though certain rule violations, such as bringing drugs or alcohol on the premises, will likely be met with immediate eviction. As real life does come with consequences, these rule requirements help prepare residents for the hardcore realities that come with living a sober life. Call us at 800-373-1667 (Who Answers?) toll free for help getting started with sober living.