How to Maintain Sobriety After Treatment Ends
You put so much time and effort into your struggles to get clean and sober. During the initial phase of your rehabilitation, you fought through the detoxification process and the intense therapy sessions only to find yourself feeling not ready to go it on your own yet. You are realizing that you need additional support to leave the safety and security of your treatment center and re-enter the real world. You may need a sober living facility. A sober living facility can provide that much-needed step between an inpatient or outpatient treatment center and a life of long-term sobriety.
What is A Sober Living Facility?
There are many types of sober living facilities but they all provide the same general services. Also known as halfway houses, transition homes or group homes, the facility provides drug and alcohol treatment support for men and women struggling after their short-term treatment. A sober living facility fills the void between a residential treatment center and living at home by providing a safe place to continue the journey to sobriety. The environment encourages men and women to feel empowered to lead sober and independent lives during and after your stay. Sober living homes have been shown to successfully improve the overall well-being and lifestyle of substance abusers.
As a member of a sober living home, you won’t ever feel like you’re alone. You will be surrounded by like-minded peers with similar experiences, stresses in life, and physical and emotional obstacles. You will find that all house members are just like you in their struggles to stay sober.
What To Expect From A Sober Living Home
All sober living homes have rules that all house members are obligated to abide by. The house provides the structure and expectations that are crucial to your success. The rules will vary and depend on the type of home but most homes expect the following behaviors from house members:
- Refrain from drug and alcohol use
- Pass random drug tests
- Look for or maintain employment or attendance in school
- Participate in counseling or therapy
Many sober living homes require the completion of a residential treatment program prior to admittance. But even if you haven’t successfully completed an inpatient program, some sober living homes will admit you if you can show you can stay clean and sober.
As your home away from home, a sober living facility allows you to develop strong relationships with other house members, and re-establish healthy bonds with your family and friends. Because the sober living facility is a place that encourages and promotes assimilation back into the real world, members are allowed to leave the house during the day for work or to attend school. Members feel empowered to make good decisions in their daily lives while understanding they have a sober place to return to at the end of the day.
An important part of staying sober is learning how to cope with life outside of the house. Although each house is managed differently, the staff is there to teach you the skills you will need to deal with stressful situations without turning to drugs or alcohol. You will learn new and healthy ways to communicate with family and friends, deal with peer pressure, and manage being alone. You will learn what triggers your substance use and how to avoid those situations and people. You will learn to recognize and manage your negative emotions in positive ways. Some sober living facilities have staff available 24 hours a day to mentor you, help you refine your skills, and reinforce your efforts with honest feedback.
Admittance to a sober living facility usually requires an initial assessment. The staff will determine if your needs can be met at the facility or can be better addressed with another type of treatment. Each house member will participate in an Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous 12-step program with required daily meetings. Recognizing that each house member’s needs may vary, you will also have the opportunity for individual or group therapy sessions. Some sober living facilities encourage families to participate in your treatment through therapy sessions.
Because the reasons behind your substance abuse can be varied, the approach to your continuing recovery involves treating many factors, which is why you should also continue seeing a therapist. Your therapy may include cognitive behavioral treatment and dialectical behavioral treatment, two highly effective modes of psychotherapy that will help you stay sober.
Many sober living facilities understand that men and women have different reasons for their substance abuse, such as domestic abuse, childhood trauma, and mental illness. Many sober living facilities are designed to meet those needs and cater to those problems by providing gender-specific environments. Surrounded by individuals like you, you are more likely to feel comfortable and find it easier to relate to your support group.
Your road to long-term recovery doesn’t have to end when you leave inpatient treatment. If you have the willingness to change your life, you and your family can continue to get the support you need at Ethos Structured Sober Living. Located in the heart of West Los Angeles, Ethos is an all-male sober community designed to give you the space and freedom you need from the real world while focusing on your recovery.
The staff at Ethos is uniquely qualified to help you with your fight against substance use. Each staff member is a recovering addict and understands the physical and mental struggles you’re experiencing to stay sober. The highly-trained staff understands successful long-term sobriety is a daily challenge. Each staff member is dedicated to helping you face those challenges. At Ethos, we use the biopsychosocial model of addiction as part of your therapy. This innovative treatment gets to the root of your substance abuse by looking at the biological, psychological, and social aspects behind your use.
Through brotherhood, accountability, and open-mindedness, the staff at our recovery facility help you find purpose and value in your life. We provide mentorship and peer guidance to help rebuild your life. If you or someone you know needs support, Ethos Sober Living is here to help.
Author – Chris Howard
Chris Howard is the Founder and Director of Ethos Recovery. He has a B.A. in Psychology from UCLA and has served as a community advocate/mentor for men and women in recovery since 2010.