The Importance of Recovery Housing

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.”

 

Outpatient Treatment Alongside Recovery Housing

Whilst Outpatient programs have the advantage of containing costs relative to Inpatient Facilities and enabling clients to continue normal activities (work, family, education, etc.), there are disadvantages to these programs in their purely singular use. Relapse rates are high for clients who do not live in environments that support recovery and the progress made while attending programs can be strongly undermined by the characteristics of the social environment in which these clients live.

To restate, these programs face significant challenges treating clients who reside in destructive living environments. These clients face daily stresses and sometimes actual social encouragement to use substances. These social factors have and will vastly eclipse the gains made in Outpatient Treatment. The lack of supportive living environments for Outpatient Treatment clients is a significant concern given a variety of scientific studies having shown the provision of a socially-supportive and community-based living environment as being directly related to better outcomes.