About 10% of the U.S. adult population struggles with a substance abuse, and relapse rates for addiction can be as high as 60%. But people who make a recovery plan experience lower relapse rates than people who do not actively participate in recovery programs. Once sobriety is achieved, which is a huge accomplishment, treatment for drug addiction doesn’t just stop after successfully detoxing from alcohol and drugs. There are many life adjustments that have to be considered to maintain sobriety.
Sober living homes are extremely beneficial for people at any stage of recovery. People seeking recovery from alcohol and drugs who choose to go to Sober Living homes arrive from treatment centers, detoxes and sometimes directly from home. It’s normal for people to question the effectiveness of a sober living home and if we can make a difference in continued abstinence. We have compiled a list of specific ways that sober living homes are effective in providing a supportive environment for individuals seeking recovery.Fundamental Goals of Sober Living Homes
Lack of a stable, alcohol and drug free living environment can be a serious obstacle to sustained abstinence. Destructive living environments can derail recovery for even highly motivated individuals. Sober living houses are alcohol and drug free living environments for individuals attempting to abstain from alcohol and drugs. The philosophy of recovery emphasizes 12-step group attendance and peer support. We would like to highlight the effectiveness of 12 Step Sober Living here for the alcoholic or addict and their family members who may not be aware of this part of the recovery process.
of addiction, and serve a different purpose than rehab or detox. As per NARR (National Association of Recovery Residences) standards, the primary purpose of a sober living homes is to provide a safe, sober, and supportive living environment. Sober living homes provide supportive and structured living settings that limit the chances of high-risk situations and triggers people confront each day in newly found sobriety. This support gives clients of sober living homes the time they need to practice living sober and lowers the risk of relapse during this time of reentry into stable life.
Gaining time free of alcohol and drugs is an adjustment and many people need support navigating through the process of early recovery. Transitional housing programs or sober living homes allow residents the opportunity to establish healthy routines that do not involve alcohol or drugs, as they slowly adjust to new life of sobriety.
Recovery is a lifelong process, taken one day at a time, and it comes with many challenges and obstacles. Sober living homes are also designed to help people in recovery maintain their sobriety. Knowing very little about living a sober life, people can find themselves facing triggers, cravings and stressors, and a sober living home can serve as a life preserver at a delicate time in the recovery process.
By living with their peers, they have even more opportunities to practice healthy relationship building skills with other people who want to stay sober. Most people start establishing a network of sober peers by attending 12 Step meetings. A quality sober living home will require its’ residents to attend 12 Step meetings.
is important to building life skills. To be successful and build self-esteem, the newly sober alcoholic and drug addict needs to gain employment and get involved in their community. They need to learn how to shop then cook healthy meals, get regular sleep and exercise, and plan and budget their finances. Sober living homes help them physically, mentally and socially. 12 Step meetings help them spiritually to get back to a well-balanced life again.
Research studies reinforce the benefits of 12 Step recovery programs, developing a support network of friends seeking recovery and choose sober living housing. Social support found in 12 Step fellowship has the best outcomes because it discourages drinking. Those who had a network of sober friends of other recovering alcoholics and drug addicts after completing treatment have a much better chance at sustained sobriety. A critical component of one’s social network is their living environment.
Alcoholics and addicts who were seeking to quit drinking and using drugs find that social support for sobriety by getting involved in Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. Recognizing the importance of newly recovering person’s living environment and 12 Steps Sober Living is paramount to choosing a different solution. The idea to remove clients from destructive living environments that encouraged substance use, so they could create new social support systems was born. This led to a proliferation of outpatient and inpatient treatment programs. Some programs created halfway houses where clients could reside after they completed residential treatment or while they attended outpatient treatment. The term halfway house sometimes refers to government funded housing, so the term Sober Living Housing or Transitional Housing is more appropriate in the private sector. Today, Sober Living Housing is independent of treatment centers in most cases.
And like anything, the amount of effort and dedication put towards your recovery is what matters most, and Sober Living Housing is one more tool in the recovery wheel.
It is strongly recommended that all recovering alcoholics regularly attend support groups, especially early in sobriety. Support groups are groups of recovering alcoholics (and other substance abusers) and sometimes their families who meet and discuss shared issues. These issues range from how they came to realize they needed to get sober to how specific medications can impact them. Support groups provide many benefits, including offering a judgment free atmosphere where members feel understood, giving a sense of stability and people to fall back on in hard times, and being a source of advice and information.
The vast majority of support groups are classified as 12-Step programs. These programs generally break down recovery into steps that all members are expected to follow. 12-Step programs are modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous, by far the best known and most widely attended substance abuse group in the world. While Alcoholics Anonymous in particular and 12-step programs in general are the most popular support groups, many others are available for individuals who feel a different approach would work best for them. Although it is difficult to accurately gauge the success rate of individual groups, studies have shown that regularly attending a support group substantially increases the likelihood that a recovery alcoholic will remain sober.
The philosophy of AA and NA members is to give support to each other by going to meetings regularly and “working” the Twelve Steps to maintain abstinence from alcohol and drugs (according to AA World Services). Members of both fellowships recognize that their life greatly improves when they stop drinking or drugging.
The 12 Steps improves effectiveness of abstinence, in part by, increasing confidence to stop and stay stopped, increasing social support for sobriety and improving coping skills, which in turn increases the likelihood of long-term abstinence. Sober living combined with the 12 Steps assists the newly recovering person to conduct self-inventory of their character flaws, to face the consequences of their drinking or drugging, and promote ongoing motivation and commitment to abstinence. People who chose Sober Living Housing and actively participate in the 12 Steps maintain ongoing recovery, learn and implement positive social skills, and make other lifestyle changes that positively impact their recovery from substance dependence.
The role of social support found in Sober Living and the 12 Step fellowships is critical to aftercare planning following formal inpatient treatment. There is also a positive relationship between overall psychological health and AA/NA involvement, because the person who had been suffering alone while drinking and using now see that they are in fact not alone. 12 step groups offer those in recovery a supportive environment where they can receive encouragement and advice. The camaraderie present in 12 step programs also gives people access to safe and confidential environments where they can develop more effective strategies for coping with stress and managing their recovery.
IN SUMMARY –
The transition from rehab back to life in the community is one of the most vulnerable periods for a person in recovery. Sober living homes provide a secure, stable environment where can continue to practice their coping skills in a drug- and alcohol-free setting. Sober living homes have rules and help provide structure and accountability which can contribute to more days of sobriety. People who stay abstinent and sober after rehab often attribute their success to participation in 12-step meetings and volunteer activities that support sobriety. These activities can help you stay connected to other people who share your goals and values and can motivate and inspire you as you create the future you really want.