How Sober Living Homes Help You Achieve Long-Term Sobriety
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Addiction leaves an indelible mark on the mind and body of those who struggle to overcome it. While detox, residential and outpatient care are often essential steps along the road to recovery, making the ultimate transition from treatment to everyday living can be an overwhelming experience for people coming off long-time addictions.
Sober living homes provide a much-needed bridge between the structure and guidance found in drug treatment programs and the “hit the ground running” world of everyday life. Sober living home environments enable recovering addicts to apply the knowledge and tools gained in treatment within the real world while offering just enough guidance and support to keep them grounded in recovery.
Structured Living Environment
Chaos and loss of control best characterize the addiction lifestyle. One of the foundational premises of drug treatment works to re-establish structure and order within the life of the recovering addict. By doing so, a person has a better chance of regaining control over the effects of drugs in his or her life.
Rather than leave recovering addicts to start from scratch in terms of “creating” a structured lifestyle in the midst of everyday life, sober living homes act as a transition phase where a person can fully integrate the principles of drug treatment inside a daily living environment.
Transitional Treatment Setting
Residents at sober living homes have a considerable degree of independence during their stay in the program. As long as a person spends his or her nights at the sober living home, daytime hours can be spent at work, school, socializing or attending to family obligations.
Sober living homes also require residents to assume responsibilities around the house much like a person maintains his or her own residence. In turn, these conditions provide a type of training ground where recovering addicts can get a feel for what it’s like to live drug-free outside a controlled treatment setting.
Social Support Model
Social supports remain a large part of recovery regardless of what stage a person is at in the recovery process. Likewise, sober living homes promote a community environment where social supports become a central part of each person’s recovery. For this reason, these homes base their treatment approach on the 12-Step support group model.
Residents are required to attend weekly 12-Step support group meetings. Other “house rule” requirements include –
- Obtaining a sponsor
- Working a 12-Step program
- Volunteering at meetings
These requirements best prepare recovering addicts for life on their own, as even those with years or even decades of sobriety under their belts still turn to 12-Step support meetings when the urge to use arises.
According to the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, sober living homes provide recovering addicts with a firm foundation for living a drug-free lifestyle in everyday life. Benefits to be gained from sober living home programs include –
- Improved relationships with family and friends
- Healthy attitude and outlook
- Better prepared to balance the demands of daily life with the principles learned in recovery
Upon completion of the program, recovering addicts can re-enter the “real world” with a better understanding of what it takes to maintain sobriety on a long-term basis.