5 Benefits of Sober Living
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Sober living homes offer those in recovery a means for gradually reentering everyday life after completing drug or alcohol treatment. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the sober living approach developed out of the residential treatment model, which started in the 1960s and 70s. This approach to drug treatment was designed to provide necessary ongoing rehab help after detox.
For people who’ve completed drug treatment, the prospect of picking up where they left off – at home, on the job with friends – can quickly get overwhelming without the needed supports in place. Under these conditions, the risk of relapse increases considerably.
Sober living programs offer a way for recovering addicts to transition from a structured treatment setting to the demands and pressures of “real world” living. Here are five benefits of sober living to consider –
1. Transitional Living
After completing detox and/or residential treatment, recovering addicts have obtained a wide range of knowledge and tools for managing drug-using behaviors. Integrating these new skills within the context of daily living may be a bit much to take on all at once for some people.
Sober housing environments provide a setting where recovering addicts can apply the knowledge gained in treatment within a semi-independent living setting. In effect, residents can develop the mindset and habits needed to live drug-free lives on a long-term basis.
2. Recovery-Focused Living Environment
More than anything else, destructive living environments can quickly derail even the most determined person’s recovery efforts. Likewise, many people coming out of drug treatment have no choice but to return to their previous living situation, which may or may not foster a drug-free lifestyle.
Sober living homes offer a recovery-focused living environment where recovering addicts can build upon the principles and practices of recovery while carrying out normal, daily living responsibilities.
3. Structured Lifestyle
A structured lifestyle can go a long way towards helping a person maintain abstinence on a day-to-day basis. Sober living programs emphasize the importance of structure by requiring residents to follow certain rules or guidelines as a condition of their stay.
Program rules may take the form of –
- Attending 12-Step meetings on a regular basis
- No alcohol or drug use
- No alcohol or drugs on the premises
- Getting a sponsor
- Household chores
- Periodic drug testing
4. 12 Step Programs
Most all sober living programs use the 12-Step model as a guideline for how residents should treat themselves and others on a daily basis. This model centers around the importance of asking for help and maintaining honesty as integral parts of the recovery process. In turn, along with regular 12-Step support group attendance, each resident is actively working through the 12 step program.
5. Support Network
As of day one in detox treatment, recovering addicts learn the importance of having a support network. Whether it be a 12-Step group, family, friends or clergy, having someone to talk to when times get tough can mean the difference between making it through another drug-free day or relapsing.
Sober living programs encourage an atmosphere of mutual support and encouragement. Likewise, residents with the longest time in the program are encouraged to offer support and guidance for those just starting out. In effect, this “giving back” approach not only helps those in need, but also reinforces a person’s commitment to recovery.