I guess you can't fault parents for wanting to keep their child as comfortable as possible. But in the world of addiction treatment and recovery,...
Sober livings have not always been around and neither were drug rehabs. But when the recovery industry started getting larger and larger over the past few decades, the need for an interim environment between the rehab and a patient returning to their former lives grew to be more of a necessity.
I write a lot about my personal experiences in recovery relating to the 12 steps and things centered around the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, but not nearly enough about how I found these things. Though I attribute my success and newfound way of living to the program, it was my sober living and aftercare program, New Life House, which introduced me to this solid foundation.
Looking at Instagram last night, it occurred to me that 52 weeks ago, life changed. The pictures I posted showed my son and two daughters, smiling against the backdrop of nesting birds on Avery Island, Louisiana. That night, I would receive a phone call from my then 20-year old son, telling me that he was getting arrested for drugs. I felt the blood drain out of my body.
Getting a loved one sober can be an extremely emotional affair – hope, fear and anticipation are often all felt simultaneously. There can be a fear that if one thing is said or done incorrectly, the chance at helping your son or daughter will disappear and this fragile and hopeful opportunity for a new life could be lost.
When you first realize that a loved one needs to seek treatment for substance abuse, figuring out the right course of action can feel overwhelming. Where do I send them? What kind of help do they need? What is the best type of aftercare or sober living environment? What kind of community would they fit best in?
If it weren’t for the physical rehabilitation I acquired in primary treatment I wouldn’t be where I am today. The 30 days I spent in rehab were a great reprieve from the tribulations of daily drug use. It was like being on vacation; 30 days of healthy meals, exercise and ample free time to indulge in books, music, television and any other form of distraction I could get my hands on. It allowed me to get enough time away from drugs to know that the lifestyle of an addict is an unhappy, unhealthy existence.
Going through a drug rehab program can be challenging, exciting and healing to the individual. While in primary treatment (drug rehab), an individual is supported by counselors and sober clients in a setting that allows one to primarily focus on recovery from drug addiction. But what happens once one completes drug rehab? How can one continue to grow and be supported after the first 30-90 days of sobriety?