Drug and alcohol recovery is a difficult and unpredictable journey. After completing an in-patient treatment program, individuals may face obstacles in the ongoing process of recovery once they leave. Medical doctors and chemical dependency experts often provide suggestions or guidelines for how to best handle recovery. Studies show that, “addiction is a chronic relapsing disease.” So there will be many emotional and psychological hurdles that remain even after treatment is over. This is the nature of addiction.
Research has demonstrated that “addictive drugs change the brain, genetic studies show that alcoholism has a substantial heritability, and addiction is a persistent, destructive pattern of drug use.” Consequently, the weeks following in-patient treatment can be challenging, which is why many addiction specialists encourage drug and alcohol addicts to find a suitable transitional living home as a way to prevent relapse.
Studies show that recovering addicts have a lower chance of relapse if they live in a sober living facility. One of the many benefits of sober living is the opportunity to fully realize potential triggers, harmful influences, the origins of addiction, and boundaries that need to be set.
There are a wide variety of sober living homes. But regardless of their offerings, they all serve as a home that requires substance free living. Through strict rules on keeping the home substance free, visitors, relapse, and random drug testing, they maximize residents’ potential for holding onto their sobriety. Even if a sober living home is located within a bustling city, the staff makes sure that the atmosphere within is controlled, quiet, and stress free.
Learning About Triggers in Sober Living
After treatment, stress may be one of the biggest challenges for a recovering drug or alcohol abuser. Sober living offers a residential substance free environment that cannot be found anywhere else. Even returning to a family home where members are sober does not provide the same rules, support, and therapeutic offerings that sober living provides.
Triggers are especially important to address because many of them are unknown by addicts. A person is completely different under the influence of drugs or alcohol versus when they are sober. Transitional living also provides another element that cannot be found anywhere else, which is a community of support. Residents who live in sober living homes will find a support system in one another. Additionally, group therapy and twelve-step meetings provide this, too.
Recovery is a full time job that must be addressed every day. Housemates and recovering peers can also help recovering addicts cope. This kind of support cannot be found in people who are not familiar with chemical dependency. Even if parents or family members have never had a substance addiction, they are not equipped to deal with the ins and outs of recovery and the challenges that it presents. People who choose alternative arrangements, like returning to their former homes, may face increased risks in relapsing.
The staff and mental health professionals that work within sober living homes are familiar with the specifics of chemical dependency and what it takes to recover. They enforce rules, provide round the clock support, and do everything in their power to keep residents and the home drug and alcohol free. Sober living is the safest place to heal and to change lives for the better.
The transition back to the outside world can be daunting. Longer stays at sober living are recommended as a way to increase sobriety. However, people may choose to stay for as little as a few weeks. Sober living facilities help people create new routines, learn alternative coping tools, restore their physical health, and participate in frequent therapy.
A calm environment is not a matter of chance. There are firm rules that are enforced that help establish this environment. Residents must attend regular twelve-step meetings, therapy sessions, and participate in house activities. Peer support is a part of the recovery process that is established through communal interaction.
The transition to independent and sober living occurs through the encouragement of routine. Residents are often urged to keep a schedule. They may rise at an early hour, and depending on the home and individual, they may be permitted to leave for school or work. Homes provide a fully equipped kitchen. Residents may prepare their meals and may also be encouraged to have certain meals together. The homes usually offer entertainment and Wi-Fi. Communal areas promote engagement among house residents.
Residents will notice shifts in their minds and bodies during this time. Sober living is a chance to change harmful behavior for good and learn how to live in a healthy way. However, these changes do not come without challenges. The inclinations to use are always present due to the relentless nature of chemical dependency. But the home provides safety and the chance to practice the principles of twelve-step programs so that people will have no trouble adjusting to life, once it is time to leave sober living.
Sober Living: The Crucial Step
Sober living provides numerous opportunities to work on understanding the root causes of a person’s addiction. Individual counseling, twelve-step meetings, and the nurturing atmosphere of sober living, provide a safe place to work on all aspects of psychological and physical recovery. Residents work on learning how to cope with potential stressors through challenging conversations in therapy, positive support, and physical activities like gym usage, yoga, outdoor excursions, or sports.
Sober living is a crucial step in drug and alcohol recovery. Its offerings cannot be found anywhere else. And within the halls of the home is the opportunity for residents to create their own path for recovery that will serve them for the rest of their lives.
While addiction physically affects people in the same way, the way they heal varies. Sober living helps each individual find the activities they need, the kind of therapy that suits them, and the tools to learn how to live in a new way.