What Happens in Recovery Homes for Women?
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While the detox stage may seem like the hardest part of recovery, the months and years that follow bring their own sets of challenges. Drug and alcohol addictions change the way the brain works in fundamental ways. These changes account for why it’s so hard to maintain abstinence on a long-term basis.
Sober living programs offer people in recovery a means for getting a firm footing in everyday life after leaving drug treatment. Recovery homes for women exist as a specialized type of sober living program that addresses the specific needs women have in recovery.
The effects of addiction in a woman’s life can be devastating to the point where her life looks nothing like it did before. Even in cases where a woman is able to maintain a certain degree of self-sufficiency, the damaging psychological effects left behind by addiction can still hamper her efforts in recovery.
Recovery homes for women provide a safe, stable living environment where a woman can heal and grow while rebuilding her life in the process. While recovery homes for women may not be the answer for everyone, the benefits available through these programs can go a long way towards ensuring a successful recovery outcome.
Sober Living Programs
Sober living homes have been around since the 1830’s, developed by religious organizations during the Temperance Movement. According to the U. S. National Library of Medicine, these homes were put in place to provide people trying to get sober with alcohol-free living environments. Recovery homes for women evolved out of this treatment model, incorporating many of the same treatment interventions used by outpatient rehab programs.
The importance of having social supports throughout the recovery process plays a central role in how recovery homes for women operate. As re-entering daily life entails any number of different types of social interactions, recovery homes for women become a training ground for helping a person develop sound, daily living practices.
Transition Treatment Environment
Someone who’s gone from a life of addiction into drug treatment well knows how jarring this transition can be. Fortunately, drug treatment programs function as highly monitored and structured environments equipped to help addicts maintain abstinence.
Likewise, going from drug treatment back to one’s daily life routine can be equally jarring with many people experiencing considerable pressure not to relapse. Recovery homes for women function as a transition-type treatment environment where a woman can ease into daily life with the needed supports in place. In effect, sober living programs act as a bridge between a drug treatment program and “normal everyday life.
Most all recovery homes for women employ a strict set of house rules that residents must follow as a condition of their stay. Ultimately, the rules put in place by sober living programs are really no different than the daily obligations a person must meet when living on his or her own.
While each home operates differently, house rules commonly take the form of –
- Weekly chores
- 12 Step support group attendance
- Getting a sponsor
- Meeting curfews
- No drugs or alcohol on grounds
Special Needs Accommodations
Women with chronic or lengthy drug histories often find themselves starting at square one in recovery in terms of having lost most everything that once was their lives. Some women may actually become pregnant in the process or else have small children at the start of their recovery path.
Recovery homes for women are designed to accommodate the special needs many women in recovery have. Considering many of these needs involve major life issues, helping someone in recovery get a handle on these issues can greatly improve their overall success in living a drug-free lifestyle.
Special needs accommodations typically offered in recovery homes for women include –
- Job search assistance
- Vocational training assistance
- Food assistance
- Transportation assistance
- Parenting training
- Help for pregnant mothers
More than anything else, a person’s success in recovery begins and ends with the types of people she surrounds herself with on a day-in, day-out basis. Not surprisingly, drug treatment programs place a heavy emphasis on the importance of having a healthy peer support network.
Because of the way recovery homes for women operate, any one home’s residents act as a built-in support network made up of like-minded individuals. Recovery homes for women further enhance the importance of peer supports by mandating 12 Step support group participation and sponsorship.
Likewise, women who’ve lived in a recovery home the longest take on a mentorship role when new residents arrive, helping them get their bearings and showing them the ropes. As residents often end up living in sober living programs for months at a time, a person comes to value her support network as a necessary part of recovery.
Anyone who’s struggled with addiction for months or years at a time well knows the type of lifestyle addiction breeds. According to the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, breaking these lifestyle habits and routines becomes essential to eliminating addiction from one’s life for the long-term.
The enforcing of house rules plays a pivotal role in helping women develop the type of lifestyle that makes long-term abstinence possible. For this reason, recovery homes for women require residents to maintain employment for the duration of their stay in the program.
Recovery homes for women also require residents to pay rent rather than allowing them to live rent-free or use public assistance funding. These requirements enable a woman to develop a sense of accountability, which is essential to living a healthy lifestyle.
Who Should Consider Recovery Homes for Women?
As a general rule, the more devastating addiction’s effect in a person’s life, the greater the need for some form of ongoing treatment care. Recovery homes for women provide long-term guidance and support within a semi-independent living environment.
Women most likely to benefit from a recovery home for women may be facing the following challenges in recovery –
- An unstable home environment
- Little to no support system in place
- A long history of drug or alcohol abuse
- Mental health issues
- Single mothers
- Physical, sexual or emotional abuse issues
Ultimately, sober living programs help recovering addicts establish a solid foundation in terms of building a drug-free lifestyle before having to contend with everyday life stressors and pressures on their own.