Sober Living

While attending a formal treatment center for addiction is an absolutely great way for an individual to begin their road of recovery, there is far more that can be done afterward to fortify a person’s sobriety. Since recovery is a lifelong conviction that one works to maintain, it is important to continue treatment or activities that are conducive to a life of sobriety once discharged from an inpatient treatment center.

One such type of continued care that can be contributive to long term sobriety is sober living. Sober living homes can go by several different names such as halfway house, recovery house, or transitional living. Sober living is essentially moving into and residing in a recovery house or transitional living house for a period of time of greater or lesser length, dependent upon the need of the individual. These residences can provide a suitable environment for the individual to be able to transition into once out of treatment.

In fact, a study done in 2011 upon the effectiveness of sober living homes, shown in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, displayed results showing how beneficial they truly are. The study was done upon 300 individuals and abstinence rates showed a large improvement when an individual attended a sober living home. One sober living home had abstinence rates increase from 11 percent up to 68 percent at 6 and 12 month follow ups. Another sober living home showed an increase in the abstinence rates from 20 percent up to 40 percent when followed up at 6 months. These figures are extraordinary increases of abstinence for these individuals who attended the sober living homes.

The Importance of an Environment Conducive to Sobriety

An individual in inpatient treatment has the benefit of an environment that is drug free, safe, stable, supportive, and set up to be contributive to their recovery. This way they can go through their inpatient treatment without having concerns of external factors creating issues while they are going through any difficulties in their recovery. Unfortunately, this is not the case when they return to their day to day environment. Their previous environment was in some way contributive to their substance use, and so now they have many adjustments to make and situations to figure out how to handle properly. It can be quite a disparity between the treatment center and the environment they return to, so it can be quite a shock to suddenly have to handle so much at once.

Sober living can circumvent this issue of jumping right into that old lifestyle in a way. It allows the individual to gradually adjust back into day to day life and put their new coping skills and trigger handling into use without having to handle all of the possible difficult situations at once. There are a multitude of benefits to sober living, including, but not limited to:

  • Routine - Sober living can help the individual to get into a day to day routine that avoids their triggers, and incorporates productive activities.
  • Job Skills - Sober living often requires the person to get a job while living there. So whether they have to obtain a new job, or head back to their already established one, it helps to bring responsibility back into the individual’s life.
  • Responsibility - Responsibility can play a large role in a person’s recovery from addiction. Sober living homes work to increase an individual’s responsibility during their stay. They have rules such as chores, curfews or required meetings. While this may sound kind of frightening or unappealing, this allows the individual to build responsibility, as well as reside in a stable environment.
  • Support Network - Since there will be others residing in the home along with the recovering individual who share a common purpose, fellowship and friendships can be created. These individual’s all attempting to stay clean and live a sober life can help to support and encourage each other along the path of recovery.

Since relapse is most common within the first 30-90 days after discharge from an inpatient treatment center, it is important that an individual maintain their sobriety and remain extra vigilant during this time. Jumping right back into their old life with the same environment, groups of people, or situations can be detrimental during this particularly more sensitive time, hence why sober living can be a perfect route to take when freshly out of treatment. While it may seem unappealing, as opposed to one’s own bed and home, the truth is that it can assist the recovering person to bolster their sobriety, which is extremely important. It can take a significant amount of time to truly become stabilized in addiction recovery, so taking care to fortify it when fresh is important. In fact, according to an article from HBO, in regard to addiction, “Recovery is not fully stabilized (point at which future risk of future lifetime relapse drops below 15%) until four to five years of sustained recovery.” So not only is it important to work proactively on your recovery immediately following treatment, but as well as for years after. While it is not necessarily needed to reside in a sober living home for that amount of time to stabilize your recovery, a stint in one can absolutely be beneficial.

Admitting you have a problem, and seeking help with an addiction is not always an easy thing to do, so being able to is commendable. Finding the right treatment center and type of treatment plays a large role in the obtaining of long term sobriety and recovery. With so many different types of treatment and treatment centers, it can seem to be a difficult task to find the right one, but we can help with that. Our staff is experienced and knowledgeable in the treatment centers across the nation and can help you to sort through them. If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, give us a call today. We will help find the perfect private inpatient treatment center to fit whoever is struggling.

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