Individuals who have become chemically dependent on drugs or alcohol turn to transitional housing to bridge the gap between treatment and independent living. Studies have found that meaningful sober living is necessary for those in recovery for them to regain self-sufficiency and to feel at ease with their new found sobriety in everyday routines. Sober living, also called transitional living, was developed to assist recovering addicts in making the transition out of treatment and into a sober living situation.
While each who enters a sober living environment will come from a very different background, the ultimate goal is very much the same from one resident to the next. The goal is to regain independence and confidence in living drug and alcohol-free without the strongholds of treatment to restrict everyday routines.
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Each sober living program will have unique rules that accommodate the individual needs of the program and suit residents. Some transitional housing programs are very laid back with the rules that residents are required to adhere to while others have very stringent regulations. You can expect any combination of the following rules when you enter a sober living environment:
- Restrictions on visitors or visiting times
- Residents must be gainfully employed or in search of gainful employment
- Residents must be respectful of other residents in the home
- Residents must take part in support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) as recommended by the house manager or a treatment professional
- Residents must participate in continued treatment including but not limited to counseling, behavioral therapy, and medications
- Residents must submit to random drug and alcohols screenings
- Residents must remain sober
- If relapse occurs, residents must be committed to overcoming the decline and achieving sobriety once again
Putting Learned Skills to the Test
You learned a lot of different coping skills while in treatment, now it’s time to put those new skills to the test. The goal of sober living is to provide residents with enough freedom to feel comfortable and independent while fostering a living situation that is a close replica of entirely independent living. There will be times of stress, heightened emotions, boredom and frustration; these are the times when the new skills that were acquired in treatment can be used to ensure proper life management without relapse.
Although there is not 100% supervision in a transitional housing program, there are still times when supervision is provided. This monitoring ensures accountability for the actions and reactions that an individual partakes in as a result of normal stress. New life skills are tested with continued counseling and guidance that helps to reduce relapse during the early stages of independent living following recent treatment for an addiction to drugs or alcohol.
In sober living, freedom to make the right choices takes center stage teaching those in recovery how to utilize the critical skills that were learned in treatment. Although sober living isn’t a fool proof transition plan that is guaranteed not to result in relapse, these types of programs do help individuals by assuming their accountability for their actions while providing enough freedom to adjust to an independent living situation on a more gradual basis.