How Recovery Housing Can Help you Commit to Recovery
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Recovery housing is often thought of as only necessary for those who are still struggling with their recoveries after treatment. However, this is not the only reason one might like to stay in a recovery housing facility: these establishments can often help you commit to your recovery in many ways that you may not have used or learned during treatment.
Especially in places like sober living houses and residential reentry facilities, residents can learn many new things about addiction, their own recoveries, and themselves as well as what it’s like living after treatment. And the kind of support found at one of these facilities can make a person want to take their recovery as seriously as possible.
Drug and Alcohol Free Living
For many individuals, leaving treatment means going back to a world of temptation, triggers, and easy access to all the dangerous substances they’ve been trying to leave behind. According to the NCBI, “Lack of a stable, alcohol and drug free living environment can b a serious obstacle to sustained abstinence.” It can also make it much harder for the individual to stay committed to their recovery which began in a place where it is much easier to not abuse drugs and other substances. Especially in inpatient treatment, alcohol and drugs are not available.
These types of facilities, along with halfway houses, provide the kind of environment those coming from controlled settings in inpatient treatment are used to while giving individuals more freedom to go out into the world and do what they need to in order to get their lives back on track. These facilities merely make the concept of relapse less enticing as doing so can often lead to paying a fine or being asked to leave the facility.
Help from Others
You will receive help from other individuals who work and live in the facility if you choose recovery housing. While there are often volunteers and counselors who visit the house, you will also receive help from:
- Those who own the house
- These individuals want to see you get better and are dedicated toward helping you.
- They make rules for all residents to follow that must be fair to everyone.
- They are often willing to help you find a job, become more financially stable, continue your treatment, and find new housing after you decide to leave the facility.
- Those who live in the house
- Other residents want to help you stay focused on your recovery as they also are focusing on their own.
- You check each other and make sure both of you are working toward your common goal.
- Most facilities encourage roommates so each resident has someone looking out for them and providing extra encouragement for their recovery.
When you are living somewhere with many other individuals who want to help you succeed, you may have more motivation to be continually committed to your recovery, if just not to let down the others who care for you and want you to continue to be healthy and drug free.
Structure and Accountability
As stated by the BOP, there are many ways in which halfway houses, or residential reentry centers, are accountable and provide structure to residents. “In-house counts are conducted throughout the day at scheduled and random intervals.” Also residents must sign out when they leave the facility for any “approved activities” including:
- Seeking employment
- Visiting loved ones
- Support group meetings
- Certain recreational purposes
Sometimes, halfway houses also do random drug tests when a resident returns from an outing. These kinds of facilities provide structure to a person’s life, and agreeing to be governed by these rules can help you commit to your recovery and take it seriously so that you will not be reprimanded in any way or asked to leave the house.
While sober living facilities are a bit more lenient when it comes to residents coming and going, there are certain rules an individual must follow in order to stay at the facility. According to the NCBI, there are seven conditions clean and sober transitional living facilities ask residents to abide by. They are:
- Not drinking alcohol
- Not using mind altering substances
- Attending five 12-step meetings every week
- Attending the “mandatory Sunday Night House Meeting” where residents talk about how they helped their recovery during the week and discuss their goals
- Obtaining a sponsor and attending a 12-step program
- Sleeping at the facility “at least five nights per week”
- Being accountable for their own whereabouts while they are not at the facility
These kinds of rules help patients to remember to take their recovery as seriously as they would their living situation; sliding backwards in recovery may cause them to do the same in all things. In the case of many facilities, a resident can stay for a very long time if they do not break any rules and continue to be dedicated to their recovery as well as respectful toward others.
The Importance of Encouragement
Individuals in treatment are immersed in beneficial and nourishing thoughts and ideas that will help them stay away from drugs and alcohol, but it can be more difficult for them to do so when they leave this kind of controlled facility. Though recovery housing can control a person’s environment somewhat, it cannot control every aspect of their lives as they need to leave to work, meet people, and transition themselves slowly back to their regular life.
This is why the conversation that occurs in recovery housing is so important. Residents living in these facilities are hearing encouragement from all sides (the owners of the home, counselors, other residents, etc.) that their recovery is worth protecting. Even if friends and family are telling former addicts the same, many individuals who have not been through addiction do not realize how important constant encouragement is. This is why those who really understand what a recovering addict is going through understand and provide that type of encouragement.
Recovery housing can give residents another transition between treatment and regular life or it can even provide help to someone who is struggling with a long-term recovery. This is because committing to recovery and being serious about that commitment is necessary for all residents of any facility like these.