Fortunately, alcohol abuse treatment is no longer confined to only medicinal treatment in completely closed hospital-like facilities. While such facilities continue to exist and make a great contribution, especially in the most difficult cases, many specialists consider it important for the patients (or soon-to-be former addicts) not to be separated from other people during the time of their recoveries; such separation can seriously hamper social reintegration efforts.
One of the options that has recently come to the fore and attracted much deserved attention is a sober living home.
What are sober living homes?
In a sober living home, the patients are given the chance to reinforce and strengthen the skills they have started to learn while in the acute treatment facility. Instead of being surrounded by a hospital-like environment, though, they are living in a house that is comfortable, calm and conducive to self-reflection and meditation. While some required procedures, alcohol testing, and group activities are part of such a program, the patients also have more opportunities to think, adjust and prepare for their new lives with as much social integration as possible.
Peer to peer support is supplemented by addiction professionals’ support, all in a comfortable and positive environment. A number of studies have shown that such an approach can work miracles on social reintegration skills, personal development, long term life planning, relationships and so on, which is why a growing number of people turn to this option with every passing year.
What to look for in a quality sober living home?
A good sober living home arrangement follows a high quality addiction treatment program that is more intrusive and medicinal in nature. Sober living involves much more than just defeating the craving for alcohol; it includes the much deeper processes of social reintegration and personal growth. A professionally managed sober living home would take this into account through access to financial management training, employment assistance, academic counselling, and education on time structuring. All of these are important skills that make post-treatment life much more structured, positive, and successful. Usually, a sober living home would work in conjunction with an outpatient treatment program that makes it easier to adjust and stay on course during and after treatment.
Why is this a good approach to confronting addiction?
As opposed to the more traditional long-term invasive treatment, a sober living home does not create a deliberately untruthful picture of the world for the patients. The addicts are not detached from society, the world and other people, which makes it imperative that they learn socialization techniques, coping methods and self-improvement approaches throughout their stay at such a home. As a result, when the program is finished, the patients feel much more confident and are able to communicate with people with more ease than if they experience the sharp change between treatment and “real life”.
What many people don’t know about sober living homes
Interestingly, in recent years a number of sober living programs have appeared that have made it possible for the patient to live in a very comfortable home with beautiful natural surroundings—this is certainly a big step forward when compared to the sterile realities of chemical treatment centers, hospitals and labs. Some sober living homes have recently taken it a few steps further, introducing rich and active schedules for their clients that include such things as camping, rafting, fishing, sailing, snow sports, and so on and so forth.
Available data shows that such an approach has a very positive impact on the patients’ perceptions of life, their decisions to seek treatment, and their willingness to do everything to achieve and protect their new way of life. If you do your research well, you should be able to pinpoint such interesting programs in your area (given the fact that this sphere is currently growing fast, it’s a good idea to research several options at the same time and make sure that the program that you find fits all of your needs and requirements).
Of course, such programs cost more than conventional treatment, but you can be certain that they are every cent more than worth it. When it comes to battling addictions, results are what matters.
This article was written by Anthony Cooper, who spent time in sober living homes when he was in recovery and knows how the good ones work.