Most every addiction recovery specialist will list inadequate aftercare and lack of transitional living arrangements as the leading factors of relapse. The National Institute of Health recently published an extensive study regarding Recovery Residences opening with, “Lack of a stable, alcohol and drug free living environment can be a serious obstacle to sustained recovery.
Destructive living environments can derail recovery for even highly motivated individuals.” The study concluded saying, “Many individuals attempting to abstain from alcohol and drugs do not have access to appropriate housing that supports sustained recovery. The study shows positive longitudinal outcomes for (all) individuals living in Sober Homes, which suggests they might be an effective option for those in need of alcohol and drug-free housing. Improvements were noted in alcohol and drug use, arrests, psychiatric symptoms and employment.”
Researcher and Journalist Johann Hari, having studied numerous modern and historical treatment cases for over half a decade, concludes that “the opposite of addiction is not sobriety. The opposite of addiction is connection.” The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) reports that “clients who had social networks with a higher number of abstainers and recovering alcoholics had better outcome three years after treatment completion.”
1. Sober Living offers a Network of Support
A supportive network is key to achieving long-term recovery. The old adage “It take a village…” is an appropriate viewpoint when looking at what a proper support system should entail early in recovery. It is easier and often safer to lean on the combined wisdom and experience of a group of likeminded individuals when making crucial decisions early on. Years of addiction have left the individual stuck in old patterns and old decision-making processes. Rather than trying to figure everything on your own, it is desirable to seek guidance from the lessons learned by those around you. In Sober Living you are surrounded with other people on a path similar to yours. This group of peers often become the sounding board and friend group. The best part about that is, that they are under the same roof and always close by.
2. Sober Living Offers the Needed Support to Rebuild Your Life
Finding the drive and the motivation to do what is needed to stay committed to recovery early on is difficult. Years of drinking or drug use have caused individuals to move away from a life of discipline. Late nights, sleeping all day, poor hygiene, and bad eating habits are not conducive to a life of lasting recovery. Sober Living offers the structure that will help build good, lifelong, habits moving forward. This reason is why homes that offer more structure, often tend to be more desirable. Living in a structured environment allows you the time to focus on a balanced, daily routine while providing the accountability needed.
3. Nothing is More Important Than Getting Better
As soon as a person gets sober, it often becomes a mad scramble to try and fix everything that was damaged to regain everything that was lost. This type of mentality, this need to have the damage of your drinking or using cleaned up in a short period of time is unrealistic. It goes without saying that repairing relationships and regaining stature are fundamental to a happy and sober life, but there is a lot of personal work that needs to happen first to achieve these things. Personal work is the key to not going back to using and drinking. A good Sober Living home allows you the time and support needed to deal with the issues that got you into trouble in the first place.
4. Sober Living is Fun
When faced with the decision to move to sober living, the idea that it is fun, is often not a consideration. It is normal to fear a life free from substances and wonder how there could possibly be any fun at all, even though for most, the final days before starting your recovery journey were dark and lacking any sort of enjoyment. The truth is that Sober Living is a lot of fun. There is always a group of guys around to go out with and discovery the joys of recovery with. Early Recovery offers a lot of laughs even in doing the simple things. You cannot help but have fun in a Sober Living if you have the right attitude.
5. Make New Lifelong Friendships
There is nothing quite like the camaraderie and fast friendships that are formed in sober living homes. It is nice to discover that you are not alone in your past, present or in your future. When living with other people that are on the same path as you, you cannot help but build friendships. These friendships are detrimental on the lifelong road to recovery. A lot of the old friendships from the active using days are no longer an option and are not healthy moving forward. It is extremely important to create new relationships with likeminded people as they become your support system. There are definite low spots and hard days in recovery and it is nice to know that you have friends that you can lean on when these come up.