Addiction is a highly complex illness that takes time, effort and patience to gain control over. Stressful living environments or those that contain emotionally challenging mental health triggers can hinder the most well-intentioned individual in addiction recovery. For some people, the best way to heal is to change their environment entirely.
If this sounds like your situation, sober living could be the perfect solution. It provides you with a safe, clean environment and support when you need it most.
Sober living and relapse prevention go hand in hand. A sober living home bridges the gap between rehab and independent life that can trip some people up.
What Is Sober Living?
At inpatient treatment, you get the care, tools and resources you need to regain control over substance abuse disorders. However, it’s a highly structured place that doesn’t precisely replicate the outside world.
To help you get better, you need to have a daily life routine so you can complete your addiction treatment. However, to thrive once you’re sober, you’ll need to learn how to structure your everyday life. In a sober living house, you live independently among fellow survivors in shared accommodations during your length of stay.
Each person follows the house rules you all agree on as a collective, and you’re free to come and go as you please. You’ll attend regular house meetings and have access to help with housing, education and job hunting. And you’ll learn how to live harmoniously as part of a support group.
How Sober Living Is An Effective Aftercare Treatment
A sober living community helps you avoid relapsing back to drug use for several reasons.
The Structure of a Sober Living Program
You’re expected to wake up at a specific time, and have to live by a curfew each day. You’ll eat meals together and attend regular meetings, groups and classes. Once you’re fully independent, routine will form the basis of your healthy lifestyle, and sober living helps you develop good habits.
Independently Live Within a Community
Your first home when you’re living an independent sober lifestyle might be in shared accommodations or in apartments where you live closely with neighbors. If you’ve had complicated relationships in previous homes, it might be more challenging to relate to new people. Sober living is a safe and supervised way to learn how to set boundaries and be assertive without getting defensive.
Peer Support and Accountability
In a sober living house, you’re among fellow substance use survivors and you all share a common goal. This means you always have people to talk to, have a close-knit therapy network and provide each other with accountability. Peer support is effective because it puts the responsibility in your hands as you learn to guide new members of the community and become a role model in the process.
What Are the Chances of Relapse?
Your chances of relapse in a sober living environment are slim because you’ll be practicing a healthy lifestyle. The social support from your peers and staff forms a protective support system around you. Additionally, because you’ve removed yourself from the stressors within your previous home, you can focus on your long-term recovery. The more you achieve, the stronger you’ll get — whether that achievement is one single day of sobriety or a new job.