Early recovery brings forth many milestones, and one of the biggest milestones is successfully completing drug treatment. If you have recently completed or about to complete drug treatment, you should feel a sense of accomplishment and pride. You have spent many hours uncovering the roots of your addiction, and through hard work, tears and perseverance you are coming out the other side and to the light. You feel physically, emotionally and spiritually strong and you look forward to starting a new chapter in your life. While this is an exciting time, leaving treatment doesn’t mean that your recovery is done and over–it is just beginning.
Recovery Starts Once You Leave Treatment
It is often said that recovery truly begins once you leave treatment. As you transition back into your normal life, you may need continued support in order to help you keep your recovery first and foremost. Fortunately, many drug treatment centers over excellent outpatient treatment services that help those new in recovery make that transition smoother and with more confidence. One service that can help recovering addicts learns to live a life of recovery outside of treatment is living in a sober living home.
What are Sober Living Homes?
Sober living homes provide those who are newly recovered the structure they need as they transition towards independence. Also known as halfway houses, the residents that live in these sober living environments are in varying stages of recovery. Additionally, the staff that is employed as these sober living facilities also have significant recovering time and continue to work their own program of recovery. As a result, addicts who live in sober living homes can receive ongoing peer support and guidance that is needed to motivate them to stay in recovery as well as being held accountable for their actions during their stay.
While in a sober living home, residents are expected to be proactive in working their own program of recovery. Residents are expected to continue attending 12-Step meetings either on grounds or at a separate meeting place. Residents are also expected to follow house rules and attend regular house meetings. Additionally, residents need to be active in looking for their own housing, securing employment and working on mending relationships and friendships that were ruined as a result of one’s addiction.
Most importantly, many sober living houses have strict no tolerance policies in place when it comes to drug and alcohol use on the premises or in off house grounds. If people who reside in halfway houses are caught using drugs and alcohol, they are often evicted from the home and not allowed to return. This is done for their safety and the safety of the residents and staff
What Should You Look For in a Sober Living Home?
If you are looking to reside in a sober living home for a period of time following treatment, you must approach finding a sober living home, in the same way, your approached finding drug treatment. You need to do your research and take the time and energy to really think through what you want to get our of your sober living experience. The following are some basic, but crucial tips in finding a sober living home that is right for you.
First and foremost, you need to find a sober living home that you can realistically afford given your income. At most sober living houses, you are responsible for rent, utilities, groceries and other necessities. By keeping a realistic budget in mind, you can narrow down your choices and eliminate the options that are out of your price range, as well as any options that you feel are too expensive for your needs.
Location, Location, Location
Another important factor in choosing a halfway house is its location. The house that you choose should be close to work and family, be close to your 12-Step or other sober support group meetings, as well as being close to health care providers. It is also important to choose a house which is away from the triggers and temptations that can lead to relapse. You may want to choose a sober living home in a rural location or one that is located in another city.
Keep in Mind Your Specific Needs? What are They?
You also need to find sober living housing that can cater to your specific needs. For example, does the halfway house you are looking at geared towards those that are married and/or have children. You also need to find out if the sober residences you are looking at is able to cater to your unique needs depending on if you are male or female. You also want to pay close attention to the recovery philosophy. If you have come from a treatment facility that was non-traditional and are considering a home that has a 12-step based philosophy, it more than likely will not serve your needs.
What Do I Need to Avoid?
There are things that you absolutely must avoid in your search for a sober living home. You may be surprised to find out that not all halfway houses are required to be regulated. There have been instances where “sober living” residences were opened by realtors or slumlords as a means to collect rent and profit off of addicts and not provide them the structure and services they need to maintain sobriety. In your search of sober living homes, you need to be sure that the facility has a license to operate and has staff who is in recovery. You also want to avoid those halfway houses that may not have 24-hour supervision. Sober living houses that have a low staff to client ratios also need to be avoided.
You should also avoid sober living homes in which staff is not trained or equipped to deal with those in recovery. If a facility does not perform drug testing or offers little or no educational programs, life skills training or support groups–stay away. Additionally, if the facility does not provide referrals to medical or mental health professionals, you need to look elsewhere.
Recovery Isn’t An Event, It Is a Journey
In order to have the best chance at long-term and lifelong recovery, completing drug treatment isn’t enough. Aftercare programs such as outpatient and sober living are crucial to your success. Dream Center for Recovery features drug treatment programming that is time-tested, effective and proven to work. For expert care and individualized treatment plans that are created with your specific needs in mind, Dream Center for Recovery should be your first and only choice.
Call us today and make lifelong sobriety a reality in your life.