No Relapse! How a Sober Living House After Rehab Can Help
Many people with loving, supportive and sober families waiting for them outside of rehab, can transition out of the intensive therapies of inpatient drug or alcohol treatment, and integrate the lessons of drug rehab to the daily realities of living.
An equally many people, with long histories of addiction, with mental disorders, or without stable or sober housing and family support, are greatly at risk should they transition out of rehab and back into an environment conducive to relapse; and for these people, sober living housing (halfway housing) can be a great alternative.
The degree of therapy as offered in a sober living house will vary greatly, and some better sober living homes do continue to provide reasonably intensive group therapies in the home. But even those that don’t can offer a lot to addicts coming out of rehab, and participation in a sober living home is statistically correlated with a greater long term participation in aftercare therapies, and a greater percentage chance of long term sobriety.
What is a sober living house?
A sober living house is a transitional environment for people coming out of intensive drug or alcohol rehab, but not yet ready to face sobriety as a completely independent person. Residents in a sober living environment can stay for a minimal rent, provided they abide by strict rules of sobriety and general conduct.
Most will demand that all residents gain employment, all will demand sobriety and maintain a no drugs, alcohol, or outside visitors on the premises rule; and most will have certain other rules of conduct, such as curfews and behavioral guidelines. The somewhat strict rules of residency are enacted for the benefit of addicts in recovery, and are designed to reduce the possibility of temptation in the home.
And that's important, because what sober living housing really offers to recovering addicts is sanctuary. They have to get out and face the world eventually, but those first few months after rehab can be very tough and the temptations of further use and abuse can be great, and without a place of safety from temptation and a respite from continual access, too many people fall back into old habits and are using again only weeks or months after rehab.
Who benefits from sober living housing?
Sober living housing offers inexpensive and stress free accommodation in return for acceptance of a certain code of conduct. Transitional housing after rehab may not be for everyone, and for some people, with relatively short histories of addiction and with a strong sober support network, the family home is a far better choice.
But for anyone worried about finding a place to live after rehab, for anyone without a single sober friend or family member they can rely on, and for anyone suffering from a dual diagnosis; a period of sober living housing can shield from the worst of temptations for those first craving filled months, and allow recovering addicts to get back into full society at their own pace, and as they're ready to do so.
All major cities have sober living environments, and any health clinic, doctor or drug treatment facility should be able to recommend local options.
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