When you first transition from a treatment center into regular daily life, there’s a lot to get used to.
In the majority of rehab facilities, you have a controlled environment supplemented by aspects important to recovery, such as peaceful surroundings, an engaging support network, and proper access to nutrition. You also have no pressure to do anything but focus on wellness, removed from the hassles of your previous life and from people or situations that represented your trouble with drug or alcohol abuse.
When you leave in-patient treatment, it may feel as though you’re being thrown off a cliff. Suddenly, you have to put all your coping mechanisms into action, resist triggers, and present yourself in the world without everything you used to do to mask, avoid, or deal with emotions and issues. You also may not have the comforts of your rehab facility readily available.
Without the proper guidance and support resources, you’re at risk for relapse. This isn’t a fear tactic: studies prove that 40–60 percent of people in early recovery suffer relapses from the chronic disease of substance use disorder (SUD).
Sober living homes replicate the nurturing environment of residential treatment centers. By providing a safe, substance-free atmosphere filled with peers who have common goals, experiences, and challenges, sober living homes ease the transition from in-patient treatment to a new life in the real world.
How Sober Living May Help You
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines recovery as “a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential.”
The SAMHSA also identifies four crucial areas that reinforce sobriety:
- Health: making healthy, educated choices that support recovery from SUD and ensure emotional, mental, and physical well-being
- Home: living in a safe and stable environment
- Community: engaging with people who support you and your sobriety with hope, friendship, and love
- Purpose: having meaningful activities in daily life, such as school, work, volunteerism, creative endeavors, and family; as well as the means and freedom to be a part of society
Recovery support services, such as peer-operated services, housing, and community treatment, to name a few, are factors of sober living environments that are evidence-based practices for long-term wellness.
Sober living may also highlight the following benefits for you:
- Associating with like-minded people. Part of the crucial community aspect of sobriety, if you have the chance to interact with individuals on a recovery journey, you don’t have to explain anything. They get it. This understanding provides comfort and instills confidence as you move forward. Building your community also helps you avoid loneliness, provides access to healthy people, and connects you with others when you eventually live elsewhere.
- An environment designed for wellness. Some people who suffer from SUD often lived in a home or neighborhood that contributed to addiction triggers; other individuals simply need a haven from the stressors that compounded issues which led to addiction. A sober living home provides the mental, emotional, and physical stability to make recovery more complete.
- Time to adjust. The transition from inpatient treatment to sober living provides stepping stones to engagement with the real world, including considering future prospects of employment, education, and other aspects of renewed purpose and direction. Sometimes people stay in recovery homes for up to 18 months. This allows plenty of time to understand and embrace a new way of living.
- Developing new behaviors and resources. Is it reasonable to expect someone to learn all there is to know about managing a chronic illness over a period a few months? Not really. Remember: addiction isn’t forever, but how you learn to direct your life without it requires patience, coping skills, accountability, and support networks. These individual tools of self-care allow you to heal from within.
Researchers continue to evaluate the effectiveness of sober living housing. In general, preliminary studies report when patients in early recovery have the opportunity to transition to this type of environment, there’s a reduction in arrests, relapse, and psychiatric symptom severity; and an increase in employment and engagement in 12-step programs.
Each sober living environment has particular rules. This accountability is often critical for maintaining sobriety. Most of them include factors such as:
- No drinking or taking drugs of any kind
- Cigarette smoking, if allowed, is permitted only in designated areas
- No violence
- No sexual contact with other house residents
- Maintain respect for house property, contents, and residents
- Pay program fees promptly
- Active participation in self-directed recovery programs
Once again, if mistakes are made, they’ll happen in an atmosphere of support and guidance, with time to assess triggers and implement aspects of a treatment plan.
Ease into Your New Life with the Proper Support
We understand how much you’ve accomplished in your quest for sobriety. We’re not about to let you continue on alone.
At the Valley Recovery Sober Living Environment (SLE) in Sacramento, you’ll have a structured home life that supports you through:
- Access to outpatient programs
- Connections to sober support networks such as NA, AA, Celebrate Recovery, and others
- Opportunities for employment, education, and volunteerism
- Integration of newly-acquired skills with the rigors and routines of daily life
You’ve made the first vital step through treatment to change your life for the better. Now create a path of assured wellness by using all the tools available to you.