We know that our environments play a significant role in addiction, but are they equally as
important during recovery? Social scientists understand that things like family dynamics, friend
groups, and learned environments can contribute to, and even trigger addiction, and many
believe that some of the same factors can determine the success of recovery. It stands to reason that if external factors might help cause addiction that they would also affect recovery. This might be most important as people are leaving inpatient facilities and reentering living arrangements that will undoubtedly pose more challenges.
Stability and routine are two of the most important factors in recovery. While a person is in rehab or another inpatient program their actions are structured and monitored, and the carefully planned and supervised schedule helps them form positive habits and routines that can be harder to maintain when they return to their homes and friend groups as these don’t always provide the same types of support. Sober living homes create an environment in which recovering addicts are able to find many of the same tools that they found helpful in rehab.
Some people are able to leave rehab and be successful in their recovery without transitioning to a sober living home. However, individuals that have a history of relapse after intensive care, have family members who still rely on substances, or don’t have a supportive social circle can benefit greatly from the time spent in a sober living home. In fact, studies show that sober living homes help people to stop using quicker and stay sober longer. They accomplish this by providing several important tools.
SOBER LIVING HOME PEER SUPPORT
Peer support is a powerful recovery tool. One of the driving focuses behind sober living is a
“sobriety now” mentality but helping to facilitate connections that are helpful for long term
recovery is also important. Your house mates will encourage and celebrate your positive
behaviors as well as hold you accountable for your mistakes. Learning how to connect to your
peers outside of the context of drugs or alcohol can be difficult. In a sober living home though,
where your housemates are in the same process as you, those connections come easier because of the intimacy shared amongst members. The people you meet in sober living will become your friends, mentors, and chosen family.
ACCOUNTABILITY AND RESPONSIBILITY
Sober living will be different than being completely on your own, but you’ll enjoy more freedom
than you had in residential treatment. The American Bar Association indicates up to 75% of
alcoholics relapse within their first year of recovery. Living in a sober living home, surrounded
by sober peers, and abiding by rules designed to help you maintain your sobriety can be an
excellent environment to begin to build responsible habits. Members who fail to adhere to the
rules of a home will be asked to leave. This ensures that all members are taking their recovery as seriously as their peers. Though it might seem harsh, this is an effective way to teach members to take responsibility for their actions.
SOBER LIVING HOME SOCIAL CIRCLE
While getting sober is an exciting endeavor it can also feel very isolating. When you return home from a residential treatment center it is likely that you’ll encounter members of your social circle that are either still using or not supportive of your recovery. Many people relapse in these environments because they haven’t allowed themselves time or the opportunity to cultivate sober friendships. In turn, they’re likely to either isolate themselves in fear of using leading to anxiety or depression or return to using under the influence of their friend group. The connections you make in sober living will begin to build the support structure that will make transitioning back to your old life easier.
When patients leave residential treatment, it is sometimes easy to underestimate the challenges presented by assimilating back into their regular environments. Sober living homes provide a safe space for recovering addicts to learn to rebuild healthy relationships, cultivate and respect boundaries, and develop positive habits then will help them in their long term recovery.
At Harmony Place in Woodland Hills, California, we provide a relaxing, comfortable environment for addiction treatment and recovery with many addiction treatment program options, including our Medication Assisted Treatment program. Contact us today at 1-(888)-789-4330 to learn more about our services and how you or your loved one can prepare for a successful rehabilitation from drug and alcohol addiction at our California treatment center.