Sober Living: The Right Way to Start Over
Surmounting Obstacles on the Road to Recovery
There are a number of critical steps on the road to recovery from substance or alcohol addiction. The first is admitting you are addicted. The second is seeking help. The third is spending time in a rehabilitation center. It is after this third step that you’re at the greatest risk of relapse, especially if you have spent some time in a residential recovery treatment center and then return to your home community. While life will invariably be better when you are not using alcohol or drugs, it may not always seem that way at first. For some, the responsibility can be too much to handle and the temptations too much to resist.
Sober Living for a Smoother Transition
This is the point where a sober living program can significantly reduce the chances of a relapse and make your drug or alcohol recovery a more sure process. Taking up residence in a sober living halfway house is an important transitional step between the necessarily rigid and protective structure of residential treatment and the complete derestriction of life back at home. While staying at a halfway house, you will remain relatively protected from environmental influences which may cause a relapse. At the same time, you will continue to receive outpatient treatment for your addiction. Unlike residential rehabilitation centers, sober living homes allow you certain freedoms, while also placing responsibilities and accountabilities on you in a graduated way.
Peer Support and Professional Guidance
During your period of sober living, you share an environment with other recovering addicts, in which mutual support is encouraged and cultivated. You will attend regular meetings with your housemates and take on your share of household chores and responsibilities. As well as supporting and being supported by your peers, a caring and compassionate staff of professionals will be on hand to help you regain the skills and confidence you need for an eventual return to unsupervised life. These sober homes are not places where you can wallow in a life of leisure. You will be required to find full-time employment as a condition of your tenure or, alternatively, to do volunteer work in the sober community. You must also stay sober throughout the duration of your stay. If you are unable to do so (and you will have to agree to be tested for alcohol or drugs on occasion), the halfway house management may ask you to leave for 72 hours. The good news though, is that the vast majority of recovering alcoholics and addicts are able not only to stay sober, but with the help of their peers and the halfway house management team, become strong and confident enough to step forward into alcohol and drug free, independent living within six months to a year from joining a sober living facility.