Top 5 Things in a Sober Living

What Are the 5 Most Important Things to Look for in Sober Living?

If you are familiar with the disease of addiction, it is safe to assume that you are aware of the struggles individuals will face on the road to recovery. When making the decision to get sober, or helping a loved one to get sober, setting yourself up for success should be your top priority.

For many, that includes choosing the right sober living after a medical detox or inpatient care. Sober living facilities specialize in creating a safe environment for addicts to continue their emotional and physical recovery from drug or alcohol addiction. Sober livings often serve as a healthy transition from a highly structured treatment program to a less-restrictive environment. There are countless sober living homes to choose from. It is important to choose a sober living home that offers the necessary qualities that effectively support an individual during this crucial time in addiction recovery. Here are the top 5 things to look for in a men’s sober living:

  1. Recovery Community:

     

Addicts often feel shame about their drug and alcohol use and this can lead to intense secrecy and isolation. It isn’t uncommon for addicts to struggle with addiction without their closest friends and family members ever truly understanding the full extent of the problem. While isolation in active addiction is common, isolation in sobriety can be extremely detrimental and lead to relapse. Sober living homes offer an opportunity for an individual struggling with addiction to be supported and encouraged throughout the addiction recovery process. A recovery community is essential for achieving long-term sobriety. Early recovery is emotionally and physically challenging. Making the decision to get sober, and stay sober is no easy feat. There will be bad days. A recovery community provides the necessary encouragement for an individual to overcome challenges that may arise during early sobriety.

  1. Structure:

     

Early recovery can be both a challenging and infinitely rewarding time. Despite the many rewards associated with sobriety, the challenges can often leave individuals feeling overwhelmed. Addiction is a destructive force in our lives. Once an individual enters recovery, it is imperative that they develop positive and healthy routines.

Early recovery is more than just abstaining from drugs and alcohol; individuals must establish new routines and patterns conducive to sobriety. During this time, structure is imperative. A sober living home offers the necessary structure that allows individuals to establish healthy routines and habits. Structure decreases idle time while helping to create positive new thinking and behavior patterns. Structure provides a sense of stability and purpose that helps to decrease anxiety, worry, procrastination and cravings. Structure helps the individual remain on the desired path without falling back into unhealthy and destructive patters of drinking and using. When choosing a sober living, it is important to find one that offers a structured daily program.

Related article: What is a structured sober living?

  1. Peer Accountability:

     

The word “accountability” is a key word when it comes to drug and alcohol addiction. A symptom of drug and alcohol addiction is selfishness. During active addiction, many addicts have led lives in a selfish and self-centered manner. Individuals in early recovery need to learn how to be accountable. In order for one to achieve long-term recovery, they must be responsible for their actions. Sober living homes offer the opportunity for addicts to learn how to be accountable to themselves, others and how to hold others accountable for their actions. Peer accountability is one of the most influential aspects of sober living homes. The most effective drug and alcohol treatment is when an individual learns to change maladaptive behaviors and lead a life of integrity and purpose. When an individual is accountable to others, they begin to focus on their character, values and begin to show growth in the recovery process. When choosing a sober living home, it is important to look for a program that values and encourages peer accountability.

  1. Family Involvement

     

Addiction is commonly referred to as a “family disease”. Addiction causes immense amounts of stress within a family, impacts the stability of the home, causes financial insecurity, and breaks down the mental and physical health of all those affected by the disease. An effective sober living not only addresses the needs of the addict but addresses the needs of the entire family. When a family is involved in the treatment process, they are able to receive proper education about the disease, are able to voice concerns and are able to truly support their loved one throughout the recovery process. When choosing a sober living, it important to look for a program that values the involvement of family and that provides regular opportunities for families to participate in their loved one’s recovery. Choose a sober living that offers family support meetings, visiting days and communication throughout the recovery process.

  1. Safety and Success

     

The last thing you want to be concerned about is whether the living situation is going to jeopardize physical safety. It important to choose a sober living home that is located in a safe neighborhood.  It is important to choose a sober living home with a strong staff and support team. When evaluating a sober living staff and support team, is important to find a staff that truly cares about the well-being and success of its residents. It may seem difficult to determine the overall success rate of a particular sober living home. One way to measure the success of a sober living home is by alumni involvement. A sober living home that has high rates of alumni involvement shows that the treatment program was not only effective but a valuable experience that individuals want to remain a part of.

There are countless sober living homes to choose from. It is important to choose a sober living home that offers the necessary qualities that effectively support an individual during this crucial time in addiction recovery. The recovery community that surrounds someone during their early sobriety plays a huge impact on their chances of staying clean long term.

 

2 Comments
  • Debbie O-A (graduate mom)
    Posted at 19:24h, 30 March Reply

    Thank you so much Howard for this valuable post. Whenever I speak to parents who are struggling with addiction in their lives, and searching for direction after acute treatment, I will direct them to this article. I have learned not to place these types of decisions in other people’s hands, but take an active role. The problem is, parents new to addiction are ignorant and naive and we suffer from denial, guilt, anger, fear, and everything else that can cloud the decision making process. What a gift this is, having a handful of qualities! Thank you again!

    • Howard Barker
      Posted at 23:04h, 03 April Reply

      Of course! Thank you for always providing keen insight into what it is like for a recovering family member in Al Anon as well!

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