For recovering addicts who are trying to remain clean and sober the choices made upon graduating from treatment program can be crucial. Many people graduate from treatment programs and are then returned back to the exact same place and situation they were in while they were using. For a recovering addict this can be a big mistake.
Transitioning back in to the community and trying to avoid the negative aspects that lead them to addiction can be very difficult. Especially if they are surrounded by the same negative conditions they were in before their treatment.
This is where sober living comes in. These homes can provide the recovering addict with the structure and stability needed to keep them focused. This allows them to transition back in to society without any of the stress and temptations they would face if returning to their old environments. During this time they are able to seek outside treatment, attend meetings for addicts or self-help groups, maintain employment and build bonds with their friends and families. Unlike treatment facilities, sober living residents can stay for as long as they need to rather than being sent back to the streets after a set amount of time.
There are many benefits to residing in a sober living home. Below are just a few:
Many people leaving treatment facilities may be on fixed incomes or not have enough income to pay a first months rent, deposit, utilities, etc… Most sober living homes provide all utilities and do not ask for credit checks or rental deposits. The average sober living home in California charges around $500 a month and provides free cable TV, phone and internet.
Another benefit is the support system. All residents of the home share the common goal of trying to remain clean and sober. This means that there is always someone around who is willing to help when they may need the support of someone else to keep them focused.
Most homes are located in central areas so that residents have access to public transportation, shopping, AA/NA meetings and other resources.Z
Although not as restrictive as treatment programs, residents must follow many guidelines designed to keep them on the right path. Residents must actively attend AA/NA meetings or some other form of outside treatment for addiction. They may not bring drugs or alcohol in the home and must refrain from using drugs or alcohol for the duration of their stay. They are expected to respect others, clean up after themselves and help maintain the cleanliness of the home. Most homes have curfews as well.
Sober living is not the solution to addiction. However, it can play a major role in helping the addict remain clean. Combined with continued treatment, peer and family support many recovering addicts are now living positive lifestyles free from drugs and alcohol.
About the Author
Chris Price is the owner of Atlantis Independent Living Services of San Diego, CA. For more information about San Diego Independent Living [http://atlantisils.org] please visit [http://atlantisils.org]
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