How Will a Sober Living Program Help Me Stay Sober?
More often than not, addiction recovery takes longer than most people expect. Progressing through the various stages of recovery can be challenging and take considerable effort and time.
Once a person successfully completes drug treatment, reentering everyday life “treatment-free” may seem like the most logical, next step. For some people, this may well be the case; however, people coming off chronic, long-term addictions often require ongoing structure and support.
Rather than handling the stressors and pressures of everyday life on one’s own, sober living programs act as a much-needed bridge between the world of drug treatment and the world of everyday life.
The Challenges of Transitioning into Everyday Life
The daily routines and treatment sessions that take place inside a drug treatment program provide recovering addicts with a means for developing a healthy lifestyle. This day-in, day-out process goes a long way towards undoing the psychological aftereffects of addiction.
Transitioning back into everyday life means returning home. According to the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, an unstable home environment can greatly compromise a person’s ongoing recovery efforts. Likewise, resuming contact with people and places from your drug-using days also makes the transition back into everyday life especially risky.
Sober Living Programs
Sober living programs exist as semi-independent living environments where recovering addicts can receive ongoing direction and support in recovery while taking on the responsibilities of normal, everyday life. According to the U. S. National Library of Medicine, eligible candidates for sober living programs have successfully completed or are currently engaged in some form of drug treatment, be it residential or outpatient. Candidates must also have a record of ongoing abstinence from drug or alcohol use.
How Sober Living Programs Help
A sober living program offers a structured living environment where residents are required to follow a set of house rules as a condition of their stay. In effect, this structure enables recovering addicts to develop the types of behaviors and daily routines that support ongoing abstinence.
House rules typically include:
- Regular 12 Step meeting attendance
- No drug or alcohol use
- No drugs or alcohol on the grounds
- Residents must be employed or seeking employment
- Residents must pay monthly rent
- Curfew requirements
- Residents must account for their whereabouts when off the property
- Periodic drug testing
- Residents must have program sponsors
Recovery-Focused Living Environment
Much like the addiction lifestyle breeds its own sets of friends and associates, a person’s social network has a considerable influence on his or her progress in recovery. Sober living programs come with a built-in support system as everyone is working towards the same goal: to live a drug-free lifestyle. In a sense, residents become a community of like-minded individuals who support one another’s success in recovery.
12 Step Program Approach
The 12 Step program approach plays a central role in terms of how standard drug treatment programs operate, starting in detox all the way through to outpatient treatment. Sober living programs also implement a 12 Step program approach as a means for promoting personal development and equipping recovering addicts with the tools needed to cope with daily life on a drug-free basis.
Ultimately, the benefits afforded through sober living programs enable those in recovery to transition into everyday life while receiving much needed support and guidance along the way.