After seeking help for drug and alcohol addiction, sex and love addiction, mental health breakdown, or unresolved trauma, everything is supposed to get better right?
Although there is usually immediate relief after treatment, it is often temporary. The responsibilities of the real world still exist and have been waiting for your return.
Supportive and sober living is a solution that has been proven to help individuals integrate back into everyday living and help us gradually face life, without further damage.
What is Sober Living / Supportive Living?
Sober living, also known as supportive living or transitional living, is a temporary living arrangement to help those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, sex and love addiction, mental health disorders, or unresolved trauma.
Sober living helps people transition from in-patient treatment back into everyday society.
Many addicts need assistance transitioning between newfound recovery and a normalized everyday life. Most residents stay in their sober living home for three months to a year so that they can gain the tools and community support they will need for long term recovery before transitioning to the real world.
Benefits of Sober Living / Supportive Living
It’s not difficult to stay sober and safe in a treatment facility – you are in a closed space far from any illicit substance or ability to act out and are under close supervision. Once you leave treatment you’re thrust back into a world where there could be alcohol in your home, drugs at a nearby street corner, or a number of triggering events.
Practice & Apply Coping Skills
While you’ll always have to deal with temptation, temptation is usually most difficult during early recovery. You have yet to practice and apply the tools you learned during treatment in everyday living. Sober living / supportive living assists in bridging the gap. The lessons you learn plus time sober, coupled with the practical application of your coping skills, will have you ready for real-world temptation once you leave.
Sober living / supportive living wouldn’t be very effective if everyone was laying around the house all day. Sober homes are much more than alcohol and drug-free homes – they’re learning tools and building blocks.
Sober living / supportive living generally requires you to:
- Attend an outpatient program, individual therapy, or work
- Attend a certain number of recovery meetings per week
- Help the local recovery community
- Work with a recovery sponsor
Every requirement is designed to keep you busy and to better increase your chances at long-term recovery once you leave. You can get kicked out of your sober home even if you’re not using drugs or alcohol if you’re not following all requirements.
Build Basic Living Habits
Were you unemployed during your active addiction? Was your house constantly a mess? Sober living focuses on your recovery but it’s also a place to build basic living habits.
Many people who struggle with addiction or mental health challenges let everyday living habits fall by the wayside. They don’t clean their homes, they don’t brush their teeth, they don’t look for work. Sober living arrangements require residents to work, attend school, or attend an outpatient treatment program, perform tasks or chores to keep the house in good condition, keep their rooms neat, and keep their personal hygiene in check.
Early recovery is a lonely time. You can be surrounded by friends and family but unless they’re in recovery too they can’t meet all of your recovery support needs. Your sober living roommates can.
Instead of sitting in your room staring at the ceiling you can play games with your roommate, talk with the house manager, or attend a recovery meeting. When you live in a supportive living environment, you’re surrounded by others who are in recovery and understand the issues and problems that come with the recovery journey.
If you can’t sleep because you’re having obsessions or just need someone to talk to, someone’s just a room over. At a sober home, you substitute friendship and fellowship for isolation and loneliness.
Who is Sober Living / Supportive Living Good For?
Sober living / supportive living is particularly beneficial to those with chronic relapse problems.
There are many people who feel great during primary treatment but are quickly overwhelmed by the problems and stumbling blocks found in everyday life when they leave. These addicts alleviate stress by drifting back towards their old habits and before long they’re using again.
A few months of sober living helps give you a much more solid recovery foundation, better coping skills to deal with triggers and impulses, and a community to help you through loneliness. A few months of preparing for the real world greatly increases the chances of sobriety sticking.
Sober living is offered by both certified treatment centers and other private companies. Call a local treatment center, detox facility, or visit MyAzRHA.org for a list of sober living homes near you.
Coming back from addiction is like coming back from a personal prison. If you need help between primary treatment and a full return to everyday society, look to sober living / supportive living for help. Sober living gives you the fellowship, time, and accountability to gradually get you back on your feet and is truly an integral part of the recovery process.