Addiction Recovery in a Sober Living Home
When people suffer from a drug or alcohol addiction, they may use a variety of methods to control their addictive behavior and work towards sobriety. These methods may include 12 step programs, counseling, medications and, in some cases, sober living treatment. Sober living treatment consists of a program where addicts can live together in a residence that is free of drugs and alcohol.
Many people report that sober living programs are a very effective way to treat drug and alcohol addiction. In fact, a study from the National Institute of Health confirmed that a sober living program can help addicts stay away from negative influences and achieve progress as they work towards sobriety.
What Is a Sober Living Program?
Sober living programs can take many forms. In most cases, these programs are conducted in a residence where multiple people with addiction problems can live under the supervision of one or more trained staff members. Most sober living facilities have connections with law enforcement agencies and recovery programs in the local area.
Many people are referred to a sober living home as part of a recovery program or as part of a court order. In these cases, a person will enroll at a sober living facility for a period of time, usually three to 12 months. While living at the facility, the residents are expected to abide by a set of rules:
- No drugs or alcohol on the premises at any time
- Random drug tests may be conducted at any time
- A requirement to hold a steady job or apply for employment
- Participation in 12 step meetings or recovery programs
Most sober living facilities require their residents to pay rent in order to keep the program running. The amount of the rent can vary from one facility to another. However, it is usually similar to the cost of renting a normal apartment or room in the local area.
In some cases, health insurance will cover some or all of the cost of rent. If not, some sober living facilities offer discounted rent or payment programs.
Do Sober Living Programs Actually Work?
Studies have shown that people who stay in sober living facilities while attending a recovery program and keeping steady employment have a higher chance of maintaining sobriety. These studies have also indicated that people who are struggling with addiction who live in negative environments where drugs and alcohol are present may be less likely to get and stay sober.
Sober living facilities offer a lot of advantages. Residents can experience what it’s like to live from day to day without using drugs or alcohol in a supportive environment. They can also get plenty of help and support from a recovery program and from keeping a steady job.
This combination of benefits is very powerful for anyone struggling with addiction. It can be difficult to work towards sobriety completely on your own. Seeking professional, experienced help is a guaranteed way to improve and increase your chances for obtaining and maintaining sobriety.
How Do I Find a Sober Living Facility?
Sober living programs can be found in many cities and towns. If there is not one in your local area, chances are that one is located in a large city or town nearby. Finding one is easier than you think. Some sober living facility may offer transportation services for residents who live a considerable distance away from the home.
Staying Sober During The Holidays
The holiday season is time for family, friends, lots of shopping, eating and hosting parties and gatherings. The holidays can be stressful, too. It’s not uncommon for people to find themselves extra stressed, tired, depressed and anxious.
For the person in recovery, this may especially be so. The holidays are a common time for relapse, particularly for those who are fresh out of alcohol treatment centers. Being that new in recovery when the holidays roll around may cause you some alarm. How are you going to make it through the holidays sober? What do you do about the company Christmas party? How do you handle your family?
Slow down, take a deep breath. No matter what your situation is, you can get through this holiday season with your recovery intact. Here are some suggestions to help make the holidays more relaxed, enjoyable and safe.
1. Utilize The Buddy System
Whether it’s a Christmas work party or your annual family gift exchange, if you can bring a clean and sober buddy with you, all the better. Also, you can always bow out if you don’t feel comfortable. You don’t owe anyone any explanations, by the way.
2. Take Care Of Yourself
Things can get busy during the holiday season. Take time to slow down. Take hot baths, drink some hot chocolate, read a good book, meditate or take a yoga class. This is the season to nurture yourself, too. You deserve it!
3. Ramp Up Recovery Activities
What are you doing for your recovery? Whatever it is, do more of it! Double up on any recovery activities you may be participating in, and if you aren’t, it’s a good time to start. You’ll find plenty of support with others in recovery who are going through the same things you are.
4. Spend More Time With Your Support Group
Similar to the above tip, spending time with your support group is a necessity during this time of year. Despite all the activity (or perhaps because of it), the holidays can be very lonely. This is especially the case if you are not on good terms with family members, or if you won’t be spending this holiday season with your children. It can feel incredibly discouraging to face the holidays when you feel like you’re going it alone. This is the time to hold on tight to the people who are in your corner. Find ways to celebrate, no matter what your situation.
5. Practice Gratitude
Even if your life and your holidays don’t feel ideal right now, it’s important to express gratitude for what you do have. Whether you are spending the holiday in alcohol rehab centers, or have recently completed a program, know that things will only get better from here.
6. ‘Tis The Season For Giving
Don’t think you have anything to give this year? Consider volunteering in your community. Organize donations to local shelters. There are people who need what you have to give.
7. Don’t Compare Yourself To Others
If you are feeling the financial pinch this holiday season, don’t let it get you down, and don’t compare yourself to other family members or friends who might have more money to spend this season. You have your sobriety, and that’s the best gift that you or anyone who loves you can ask for.
How To Have Fun Sober
One of the biggest fears people have when they enter alcohol treatment centers is that they will no longer have fun anymore. While some people would say this should be the least of a person’s worries, it’s a valid fear. After all, what is the point of life if we don’t ever have any fun? People need fun, it’s part of what makes us human, after all.
So, the fear that sobriety will limit your fun is a normal one, however, you have nothing to worry about. People in recovery will tell you that they are having more fun sober than they ever did before. While you may worry that you are somehow different, you aren’t
How Much Fun Were You Having Before?
This is something to take a look at. If you are entering treatment there is a good chance that life wasn’t going well. Perhaps you were encountering legal troubles as a result of your drinking or using, or perhaps your family and relationships were falling apart. That doesn’t sound like much fun. Were you blacking out and unable to remember all the “fun” things you were doing? If you’re honest with yourself you will see that you likely weren’t having all that much fun anyway.
The fear that sobriety will be boring is particularly prevalent among young people who are perhaps hoping that they can control their using enough to live a normal life of drinking after they leave alcohol rehab centers. Most people find this impossible. It’s worth it to at least give having fun sober a try.
How To Have Fun Without Drugs And Alcohol
It might take a little while to rediscover your fun, or it might happen right away. A lot of it is mindset. Are you willing to allow yourself to have fun sober?
Sometimes, people don’t have fun sober because they are isolating and not putting themselves out there. One of the best things you can do in your recovery is getting to know other people in recovery. What are they doing? Chances are they are going out to do fun things. They are going to concerts, hiking, camping, going out to dinner and for coffee. They are surfing, skiing and going on vacation. They are able to do these things because their lives are manageable enough for them to save money for vacations, skiing, and concerts.
They are also likely acting silly and laughing a lot. When you meet people in recovery, you’ll quickly learn that they seem to have great senses of humor and laugh easily. They also hug easily and cry easily. This seems to have something to do with being comfortable with themselves. They will often invite perfect strangers out to dinner and coffee after meetings. This is a great opportunity for you to see how possible it is to enjoy life in sobriety.
You can even start having fun while you are still in alcohol rehab centers. Contrary to what you might have heard, fun in recovery starts even in rehab. You may find that there are activities, meetings, outings and plenty of opportunities to get to know people, laugh and be silly.
Recovery isn’t a chore or a dull affair at all. It’s just you, the real you, enjoying life and the people around you. Recovery will give you the opportunity to do things you never thought were possible. Addiction limits you, recovery frees you. You can have as much fun as you want, and what’s even more exciting is that you’ll remember it, and it won’t land you in jail.