The goal of a structured sober living (SSL) home is to incorporate a recovery-based lifestyle into the lives of all of the residents. This concept requires a complete overhaul of the individual’s thought process by incorporating a structured routine which teaches the importance of daily personal responsibility and accountability. In order for the newly sober person to accomplish this, they need a safe and supportive environment in which to practice their sobriety.
A SSL recovery house is a solution for those early sobriety who need continued structure in their life as they re-integrate into their daily activities. Living with others who are focused on a recovery based foundation before returning home to the challenges of daily living. A quality SSL home will allow the addict and alcoholic time to develop and practice their new found coping skills. After a some time (3-12 months) living in an SSL home, the recovering person can feel more confident returning home with an increased chance of maintaining long term sobriety.
What are Sober Living Homes?
Sober Living Homes are also referred to as recovery houses or recovery residences. No matter what you call them, the goal is to provide recovering addicts and alcoholics with a safe and clean environment. While the addict or alcoholic works toward long-term recovery, these houses can bridge the gap from a drug or alcohol treatment facility back into a daily living routine. Getting sober and staying clean for the long-haul are two different things.
A recovery house can be vital to an addict or alcoholic’s newfound sobriety. All too often, addicts and alcoholics are treated and discharged from rehab only to wind up back with “old friends” in unsafe environments that trigger old behaviors. Such temptations are powerful and overwhelming, often resulting in relapse. Spending some time in a sober living house with other addicts and alcoholics can provide the recovering addict with the strength needed to face the challenges of newfound recovery. It also allows the addict or alcoholic time to build quality relationships, both personal and professional, that are void of drugs and alcohol.
How do Recovery Houses and Sober Living Homes Help?
Spending a few months or longer in a quality recovery house allows the drug addict or alcoholic time to continue working on stabilizing their recovery in a safe environment with other like-minded people. The ability to live life on a daily basis without drugs or alcohol may seem daunting but structured sober living homes are designed to help put into practice the principles and tools learned in rehab. A sober living environment can be a building block placed upon the foundation laid in rehab.
Many times, even after in-patient drug or alcohol rehab has been successfully completed, extra time and support are necessary to reintegrate back into a healthy daily routine. The statistics show a large percentage of addicts and alcoholics that complete inpatient rehab but do not transition into a solid sober living environment will relapse back into addiction.
Support for recovery in a structured sober living home can decrease the odds of relapse and assist in maintaining a stable recovery. Sober living houses provide an extra helping hand needed by many. It frees the addict/alcoholic from the grip of drugs or alcohol, while providing a living environment that enables the addict to put the principles of a sober life into action.
How to Live Sober?
There are people who go through alcohol and drug treatment and stop using substances. However, they do not choose to integrate the concept of self-reflection and continued personal and spiritual growth. Oftentimes, this pattern of behavior can lead people to replace one addiction for another, such as replacing drinking with gambling, or drugging with work-a-holism.
This behavior can lead to a relapse or a life filled with pain caused by a new addiction. A sober recovery is one in which an addict or alcoholic seeks to live without self-destructive behaviors. Sober living, by its name implies that problems are addressed and handled immediately without the drama, extreme emotions, or self-destructive behaviors that accompanied drug and/or alcohol use.
The following are some components of a sober recovery:
• Being honest
• Sharing emotions
• Using a support system to address problems
• Avoiding isolation/maintaining healthy relationships
• Attending therapy (when needed)
• Engaging in self-affirming behaviors
• Healthy exercise/nutrition routines
• Attending 12 Step meetings
• Attending to spiritual needs
• Stress relieving therapies
• Establishing balance in recovery
What is the Role of a Sober Recovery House?
Sober Recovery Houses provide the recovering addict or alcoholic with healthy coping skills to face the challenges of daily living without the pressure of dealing with friends and family, (some of whom may or may not be supportive of the process). Riverhouse requires residents to participate in programs and activities including but not limited to in-house meetings, support groups, and household chores. Residents must agree to abide by a specific set of rules in writing before they can be considered for residency. Rules are unique to Riverhouse and include abstaining from drug/alcohol use and gambling, not engaging in violent behavior as well as attending active self-help or group meetings. Residents are given the opportunities and the resources needed to pursue employment, take care of issues with social services or legal problems and search for future housing.
Living Sober After Rehab:
Once drugs and alcohol are removed from the process of living, a person may be faced with the damage caused by drugs and alcohol. Putting down the drink or drug does not remove the financial problems or the legal problems created during active addiction. There are problems, challenges, losses, and successes that will confront all recovering addicts and alcoholics. Applying the tools and strategies learned in substance abuse treatment to their daily life will give the addict the confidence to continue to maintain sobriety. Sober living is far more rewarding then a recovery filled with relapses, new addictions and disappointment caused by unaddressed issues.