A Better Today Recovery Services understands that nothing is more intimidating than entering the real world after drug and alcohol treatment. Thankfully, though, sober living facilities can help people find the support they need as they transition out of treatment.
Will I abuse drugs and alcohol again?
Relapse is one of the biggest fears that people who have graduated from treatment share with us. Sometimes this fear can seep into dreams causing nightmares, even night terrors. This is why aftercare, which includes sober living, can play such a big part in long-lasting recovery from drugs and alcohol.
Sober living environments or transitional housing are temporary living arrangements for individuals who are recovering from substance abuse and are transitioning from the safety and structure of an inpatient treatment program, back into the real world. Sober living facilities provide a place where recovering individuals can practice tools and techniques in the real world. In this environment, those recovering are still surrounded by a support group of staff and peers in recovery.
Patients in sober living environment can benefit from having a safe place to rest their heads away from drugs and alcohol while they work to rebuild their lives without abusing substances. Call us today to learn how a sober living facility might help you or a loved one transition out of addiction treatment.
Sober livings facilities offer a wide variety of lifestyle arrangements and levels of accountability. Before treatment ends, many effective treatment centers provide tours of sober living homes as part of their aftercare recommendations. We highly encourage a sober living lifestyle after treatment to ensure those recovering are surrounded by people with the same goals after they graduate from an addiction treatment program.
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A Better Today Recovery Services’ Guide to Finding a Quality Sober Living Arrangements
When dealing with drug and alcohol abuse, ABTRS knows there must be a standard to good quality care to ensure positive change. It is important to have structure and a supportive environment when fresh out of rehab. It is so important to be in an environment that encourages long-lasting recovery and enforces the positive behaviors you have learned in treatment.
Those who run the households must understand what level of care a patient needs and answer any questions about the sober living community. Exploring sober living arrangements is a strong foundation for long-term aftercare when first venturing out into the real world.
The best thing about finding a sober living program is that they are all different and the house managers that provide resources and structure are unique to the environment. What varies the most between them is the level of restrictions and the amenities provided. Based on our graduated patient’s feedback, ABTRS has compiled aspects about sober living arrangements that might better prepare you. Here is brief guide to finding the right sober living housing arrangement.
#1: Having a Safe Environment Fresh Out of Rehab
When people get ready to leave treatment, they often wonder if there is any sober living homes near them. If you are in this situation, know that we are always happy to provide resources that will help them find what they need in the location the reside in. Unfortunately, going back into the same environment that you used to abuse drugs or alcohol in could be one the biggest danger zones for those who are newly in recovery.
Whether it is the drug dealer down the road, the same group of friends who you did drugs with, or even that same gas station you pass every day on your way home from work; triggers or urges to abuse mind-altering substances are what haunt recovering addicts – especially in early recovery.
Picking a sober living house that is far away from your past lifestyle during active addiction removes temptation and offers positive influences for times of crisis. Many sober living establishments offer curfews, experienced house managers, and peers to help you through whatever comes your way. House managers enforce rules and are responsible for providing a drug-free environment. ABTRS believes it is important to find best sober living homes with a strict code of ethics and proper certification.
If you live in Arizona, there are many options for finding treatment. For example, My AZ RHA has an extensive sober living network of transitional houses that follow state certifications and operational codes of ethics. Many sober living establishments do random pee tests (UA) to ensure that everyone who puts their trust in a sober living house lives in a drug-free environment. Sober livings that are structured this way provide healthy boundaries and consequence for those who may not have had it during their active addiction. Safety is one of the key elements of finding the right transitional housing establishment.
Can a Sober Living House Strengthen Your Aftercare Plan?
Achieving your own version of success can take time and dedication. Sobering living houses help you stay on that path to accomplishing your goals in recovery.
#2: Short-term & Long-term Living Arrangements in Sober Living Establishments
Treatment for drug and alcohol abuse takes time and patience. Many sober living or transitional houses do not put a time limit on how long someone can stay. A majority of the transitional houses encourage a minimum of 90 days.
Sober living facilities often suggest that the longer people stay influenced by the structure and culture of the sober living environment, the more confident they become in their recovery. Many ABTRS graduates still live at sober living houses because of the bonds that are made within the community. Others seek house manager jobs because of the level of support they offer their roommates.
Sober livings offer individuals the ability to set long term and short term goals like saving for an apartment, completing court order obligations for Child Protective Services or parole, securing a job, paying off debt, or enrolling in school and becoming a student. The more time spent in a sober living community, the more they wanted to get involved in meetings, sponsorships, volunteer work, and fun sober events and conventions.
#3: Various Levels of Rules and Restrictions at Sober Living Establishments
Many sober living programs will provide levels of intense structure based on time sober. Many recovering addicts who are fresh out of drug and alcohol rehab need stricter guidelines to prevent relapse. Increased frequency of 12-step meetings, sponsorship obligations, and curfew can be adjusted based on progress through each individual’s aftercare program.
Intense Sober Living Arrangements
This level tends to be common for those who need the strict structure due to their extent of drug and alcohol abuse or court order stipulations. This level may require more frequent UA tests, weekly 12-step meeting slip requirements, 5 p.m. curfew requirements, and locked medication. All these regulations are subject to change as the recovering addict follows continues a positive direction with his or her aftercare plan.
Less Intense Sober Living Arrangements
Not all sober living or transitional housing establishments have such strict rules. Several months of sobriety and cooperation often grants a relaxed curfew, decreased frequency of random UA tests, and more freedom to come and go. A stable job and step work provides a comfortable routine with plenty of support if needed. These types of recovery homes are called “three-quarter houses.”
Talking to the house managers before committing to a sober living house will answer any questions regarding level of restrictions. Surveying each establishment will help you make a good decision on where to start anew.
Top 3 Ways Many Sober Living Programs Hold You Accountable
- Random UA tests to ensure drug free living environment.
- Completing meeting slip signature requirements.
- Chores and 12 step service commitments.
#4: Developing a Healthy Routine and Being Held Accountable in Your Recovery
The best thing about sober living communities is the variety of programs and houses with different rules. Some transitional houses require meeting slips to be filled out by 12-step meeting hosts. If fresh out of drug and alcohol rehab, house managers will require and increased number of signatures of attendance from meeting hall than those who have been at the sober living for months.
This type of requirement offers a routine that balances everyday life and step work commitments. This balance deters triggers or destructive negative thought patterns that are commonly associated with recovering from alcohol and drug abuse. This not only provides a sense of structure and routine but demonstrates a commitment to your sobriety for parole officers and other court ordered paperwork requirements.
Sober livings are generally community-based with same-sex living arrangements. This gives each individual the opportunity to learn from example and develop better communication skills that active addiction may have negatively affected.
Responsibilities like household chores or cooking and cleaning should be expected. Sober living housing creates a type of family camaraderie offering nonjudgmental support every step of the way through recovery.
#5: 12-Step Meeting Obligations
Many transitional houses require its residents to attend 12 step meetings on a regular basis. In most cases, meetings are hosted at the sober living houses to make sure everyone has an opportunity to attend. The 12-step approach has such a high success rate of sobriety and abstinence from drugs or alcohol that these types of meetings whether it is Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Crystal Meth Anonymous (CMA), or Heroin Anonymous (HA) are often required in certain sober living establishments. These sober living houses can enforce this routine by using meeting slips that require signatures. This level of accountability can benefit those who need this type of structure in their life.
House managers usually have resources that will help newcomers explore what 12-step meetings can do for them in recovery. Sober fellowships are free support groups that offer literature and guidance in sobriety, and support through difficult times. These support groups offer sponsorship and access to individuals who are involved in the sober community. Sober living houses could offer transportation to and from these meetings but be sure to ask the house manager before depending on others to take you to meetings.
Many fellowship meetings plan events or provide information about AA, CMA, HA, NA conferences that unite recovering addicts across the country.
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Having an experienced mentor to guide you through the steps of your recovery gives you confidence and enforces what you learned in drug & alcohol treatment.
#6: House Managers & the Services They Provide
Sober living or transitional houses are usually run by experienced recovered addicts that are qualified and knowledgeable about the sober community. At A Better Today Recovery Services, some people we have assisted in the past have shared with us some of the major stressors that cause a relapse. One of those stressors is dealing with the devastation in their life as a result of the impact of their addiction. Drug and alcohol addiction tends to leave a person broke, homeless, and friendless. No one trusts you because of your behavior during active addiction and dealing with a criminal record because can feel overwhelming when getting sober.
House managers can work with parole officers, CPS case managers, or guide you to organizations that can help you get government assistance. They can provide general direction for acquiring medical insurance, dental insurance, help you find a job, and share information about child care services. One of the biggest resources that a house manager may help you with is getting you in touch with government agencies that offer food stamps, employment aid, and IOP options.
House managers are required to have years of sobriety under their belt and enforce a comradery lifestyle in recovery. Dedicated during a crisis and trained to defuse problems appropriately, these people genuinely care about the quality of your life. They organize the functions of the household like chores and rule enforcement, as well as, providing basic necessities like toilet paper, food, and cleaning supplies.
#7: Evening Outpatient Programs for Aftercare
Some sober living programs provide transportation to a patient’s intensive outpatient programs where they will continue peer support, therapy, pain management, and/or group therapy sessions. Intensive outpatient programs are an extension of treatment that emphasizes educating about addiction as a disease. Intensive outpatient sessions focus on how to identify relapse triggers, relapse prevention techniques, introduction to the 12-steps, identify unhealthy relationships, practice effective communication, and management of stress.
Continuing Outpatient Therapy
Graduated patients are encouraged to utilize individual sessions with their therapist after graduating treatment. Receiving continued support from a therapist you trust provides guidance in relapse prevention. These sessions are important to those struggling to adjust to their dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder without self-medicating with drugs and alcohol.
Effective approaches to intensive outpatient programs inspire long-term recovery when they are confident in overcoming their cravings, surrounded by friends and family that support their efforts toward sobriety, and have a weekly routine of meetings that enhances their quality of life.
Whether your graduating from a treatment program or looking for an aftercare program, exploring aftercare options after rehab will give you the strength you need to refrain from using drugs and alcohol.
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