Is There Youth Sober Living?
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The sober living treatment model has been around since the 1970s, offering a stable, structured living environment to people at the early stages of the recovery process. Though originally established for adults, sober living programs for youths have grown in number in response to the rising rates of addiction among young people.
Detox and inpatient treatment opens up a whole new world of perspectives and principles for addicts coming out of a lifestyle of addiction. Once a person completes drug treatment, being able to apply these newfound principles on a daily basis pretty much determines whether he or she can maintain abstinence for any length of time.
Much like with adults, sober living for teens offers a bridge between the treatment environment and the real world of everyday living. In effect, young people get the opportunity to develop a drug-free lifestyle within the protected environment of a sober living home, rather than having to develop these crucial skills in the absence of needed guidance and support.
Sober Living Programs
Sober living programs exist inside a residential setting where residents carry out the affairs of everyday life within a supportive living environment, according to the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. Sober homes implement strict house rules that residents must follow in order to stay in the program.
In general, sober home rules include –
- Drug and alcohol use is prohibited
- No drugs or alcohol on the grounds
- Regular 12-Step support meeting attendance
- Curfew guidelines
- Drug testing
- Getting a sponsor
- Finding employment or attending school
In effect, youths fall into a routine and lifestyle that promotes continued sobriety.
Transitional Training Ground
Sober living programs provide teenagers with a type of transitional training ground where they can apply the skills and tools acquired from drug treatment within a semi-independent living environment. Too often, recovering addicts are expected to hit-the-ground-running upon completion of drug treatment, which places them at considerable risk of relapse. The structure and supports available through sober housing programs offers teenagers a “practice run” before having to deal with daily temptations and pressures head-on.
Stress-ridden, dysfunctional home environments place recovering youths at great risk of relapse after completing a drug treatment program, according to the OLR Research Report. The risk of relapse still exists in cases where the home environment harbors little stress or dysfunction.
Sober housing programs make recovery the central focus of a person’s everyday interactions. This emphasis on recovery provides the level of support and guidance needed to maintain abstinence on a day-to-day basis.
Sober Living Benefits
Ultimately, sober living homes give teenagers the time and space to create a drug-free lifestyle in the place of the addiction lifestyle they once lived. As teens will no doubt encounter people and places that remind them of drug use, living in a recovery-centered environment helps them remain engaged in the recovery process.
Over time, benefits gained from living in a sober housing program include –
- Developing a healthy mindset
- Attitude improvement
- Improved academic performance
- Relapse risk decreases considerably
- Self respect
- Respect for others
By the time youths complete a sober housing program, they’ve established a lifestyle that supports drug-free living.