Contrary to your feelings, you may not be ready to face the world after rehab. Though you may desperately want to re-engage you may not be able to trust your old habits. One way to make sure you don’t gatecrash your own party is to check into a sober living home before you re-enter your life.
You may balk at the idea of spending more money on something that sounds similar to rehab but sober living homes consolidate your sober state while helping make the transition to your old life smoother. And all of this in just three months.
Here are eight benefits for living in these transitional communities:
1. Group Therapy
All sober living homes are big on group therapy. There are tremendous benefits to be derived from this caring and sharing experience. You identify collective triggers and brainstorm ways to address them. You identify a common goal for the day and later assess it with the help of supervisors or “house parents.” You could, for instance, discuss ways of making better use of the time that was taken up by addiction. Through this interaction, you help build a support network of peers which you can make use of beyond your stay in the home, making your post-rehab life that much easier.
2. Separation of Men and Women
Most sober living homes are for one gender. Research has shown that men and women recover better when they’re apart. They have different reasons for turning to addiction and they experience it differently. For a woman, addiction may be linked to difficulties in conforming to an acceptable mode of behavior while for a man it could be linked to job loss. A coed facility may not adequately deal with the differences. People also tend to be more inhibited in the presence of the opposite sex. In a gender-specific setting, people of the same sex can form a connection more easily and articulate their views more freely.
Gender-specific homes are also a deliberate means of discouraging romantic involvements. Since you are working towards a successful re-entry into your life, you will need to stay emotionally stable. Addiction recovery is a draining enough experience without the added emotions of romance. A messy breakup is also a possibility and it will most probably direct you back to your addiction. Although coed facilities strictly prohibit romantic relationships, gender-specific setups make the occurrence more unlikely.
Most homes have specific rules and structures to ensure compliance. Structure encourages routine and stability, both of which are essential to recovery. It helps residents to regulate their lives. There are established routines for residents to wake up and go to bed; do household chores; go to a job, school or search for employment; and attend both the internal house meetings and the nearby counseling meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. There is also a curfew to regulate movement.
4. Individualized Care
The very best sober living homes have a holistic approach which includes one-on-one counseling with qualified staff to unravel your deep-seated problems that may remain tucked away in a group setting. Addiction is often related to emotionally-charged family situations so family members may be brought into your individualized sessions to help you confront and begin the process of healing past wounds. Restoring the family in this way is important because a supportive family promotes success.
5. Setting Personal Recovery Goals
The homes will also require that you set personal goals and be accountable on a personal level. In the individualized setups, there’s more monitoring and accountability. For instance, if you’re seeking a job, you’ll need to show advancement towards that goal. If you’re looking for a suitable place to live, you can procure the help of a sober companion outside the home.
6. Zero Tolerance of Drug and Alcohol Use
Sober living homes absolutely forbid the use or possession of alcohol and drugs at the facility. They have random tests and toxicology screenings. This way you won’t easily revert to your old habits. Those found to have lapsed will likely be evicted at once because they’ve become a disruptive influence on other residents. In fact, concerned family members welcome this form of accountability and will regularly communicate with the home to check that their relative continues to be drug free.
7. Nutritional and Fitness Assistance
Good nutrition and physical activity are encouraged because they promote both body and mind health and help you to channel your boredom productively. Individualized care institutions will additionally give you a personal trainer to formulate exercises that suit your body type and fitness level and advise you on how to maintain your fitness regimen once you return home. You will likewise get an individualized nutritional plan to take away with you.
Life coaches in individualized care settings can help you find a new place to stay and organize it to prevent renewed addiction. They may advise on job choices and refer you to a host of recovery experts in your area so you have a support system in place when you return home. They may also monitor all aspects of your life until you can do so yourself while remaining addiction-free.
The benefits of transitional living homes cannot be overstated. Studies have shown that substance and alcohol free levels can improve steadily in a period of six to 12 months. With that said, be sure to choose a facility you can feel comfortable in and is accredited by NARR (National Association of Recovery Residences). This indicates that they conform to commonly recognized standards for your health.