Many people decide to live in a sober living facility after discharging from a drug rehabilitation center.
Sober living facilities offer a transitional living experience – the perfect post-rehab headquarters for addicts.In a sober living house, there is always someone available to go to the movies with, shoot hoops with or accompany you on a shopping trip. Without time in a sober living facility or “halfway house,” the temptation of drugs and alcohol lurks in virtually every corner.
Sober living facilities provide a safe haven in which recovering addicts can learn to reintegrate themselves into society in a sober, meaningful way.
Why Choose Sober Living?
Addicts in early sobriety risk face unbearable challenges upon transitioning directly from an inpatient rehabilitation center to the “real world.” Rehab facilities offer a safe cocoon in which addicts are immersed in a culture of recovery.
Emotions that have been ignored under a sea of drugs and alcohol are beginning to surface. Addicts are uncovering hobbies and interests that may have been dormant passions in their lives. They are working hard to rebuild familial relationships that historically suffered as a result of behavior related to the drug addiction.
Patients learn to express feelings while in the sober living facility.
It can take several months to practice the art of communicating with others while remaining cleared of mind-altering substances. Voicing concerns, feelings and thoughts allows every client to strengthen their emotional muscles. Keeping things in is easier to do while isolating – i.e., not in a sober living home. Unfortunately, staying silent will not only breed contempt for others, it will breed self-resentment. Self-loathing is one of the primary culprits behind the addictive voice whispering, “It’s okay to drink or drug. You will eventually listen to me, and relapse down the road.” Thus, checking in with other housemates keeps the inner demons at bay. They are most active in early sobriety, so the timing of the sober living home stint is a key to long-term abstinence.
- Resident assistants and sober living managers are on-call 24 hours a day in the event of emotional turmoil. Sober living managers generally boast several years of sobriety. They understand the unique struggles experienced by many addicts and alcoholics in the early stages of recovery. Thus, sober living staff members offer hope, advice and strength in trying times. Simply having someone who has gone through similar experiences and sustained long-term sobriety can be valuable and inspiring in and of itself.
- Fellow clients trudge through the ebbs and flows of early sobriety alongside their peers. Leaning on a fellow addict can prove to be helpful and comforting.
- Sober living clients bond with the same intensity associated with fraternity-brother bonding. It brings to light the mantra “I can’t, we can” associated with Alcoholics Anonymous. Militaristic groupthink – acting in group conscious, “we are all in this together” and so forth – keeps the clients united and thus, invested in the process.
- Drugs are prohibited from the premises, keeping temptation at bay. Coming home to a non-sober roommate leaves plenty of opportunity for relapse.
- Daily schedules are busy and fulfilling, encouraging clients to stay active. The option of isolating in the bedroom — and ignoring meetings, errands, activities and fellowship — is simply not available.
- In many sober living facilities, maintaining therapy and/or drug and alcohol counseling is required. Transportation to and from the premises is often set up on a hierarchical basis – rides to and from therapy take precedence over rides to and from the beach, for example.
- Clients are required to check in with house managers on a regular basis, fostering transparency and accountability.
Entering the real world directly from a residential rehabilitation center can be shocking to the addict as they no longer have all the recovery-based activities available. Upon exiting inpatient rehab, the addict is faced with people, places and things that have historically served as impetuses to drink or use drugs. Coming home to safe living quarters is one of many different sober living home benefits and keeps temptation out of sight.
If an addict is going to relapse, his or her chances of picking up a drug or drink are greatest within six to nine months of discharging from an inpatient rehabilitation center.
Whether or not rehabilitation is part of the addict’s story, staying in the environment in which the addict has been accustomed to reaching for external sources to self-medicate certainly makes sobriety that much more difficult to bear.