While we are in active addiction, we are usually continuing to use drugs or alcohol to keep ourselves from withdrawing. But in the beginning, when we first started to pick up a drink or a drug it may have been to socialize or wind down after a long week of work. There comes a point in time where it becomes more than just to socialize every weekend or for the holidays. It becomes necessary for us, or so we think, to use the drink or drug whenever there is some sort of emotional, psychological, or physical issue.
We use at a drop of a hat when we are in the cycle of addiction. When we get emotional, like feeling stress, trauma, embarrassment, or some other uncomfortable emotion. Another reason may be a psychological one such as a feeling of inadequacy or we may need to have a boost of confidence. And a physical feeling of needing a boost of energy or maybe a need to relax or go to sleep. Whatever the causes are of using, it is a temporary fix for these feelings, not a solution, and will bring on more life difficulties. As we continue to use whenever we feel these feelings, they become triggers and it becomes an automatic reaction to use therefore, we fall into this cycle of addiction.
Sober Living Can Turn Your Life Around
When we had enough and are ready to make that change to turn our lives around we ask for help or some of us may get an intervention or legal issues made us quit using. Whatever the case may be, the steps toward recovery usually start with discontinuing the use of drugs and go to detox for a bit and continue to a treatment center and hopefully complete with a set of coping skills that we can use when life shows up.
No matter how much time we have or how much education on recovery we’ve obtained, relapse will always be fear. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), More than 85% of people with addictions who stop using a drug begin using it again within a year. Relapses can be pretty dangerous especially for persons that have been off substances for a long period.
When a person is sober for some time, they lose the tolerance they once had for the drug they were using frequently. When that person relapses and goes to use the same amount they were used to without having the same tolerance, their chance of overdosing is very high and they risk death.
When we have completed treatment or coming from a detox center and are ready for the next step in transitioning back into reality, it can be scary. Life is waiting for us with all the same people, places, and things. The only thing that has changed is you. We now have skills to cope when those triggers, those people, places, and things that bring back all those feelings that made us want to continue to use in the first place.
Transitional Living Helps You Stay Sober
Hopefully, while we were in detox or treatment we have maybe gone to a few support groups such as AA or NA and met some good sober people. We may have grown a relationship with a community of sober people and found a sponsor. We have people we can call when things get rough. But we still may be in need of a stable, alcohol and drug-free living. This is where a halfway house or sober living or home can be the difference between life or death.
Sober homes are alcohol and drug free-living environments for individuals attempting to abstain from alcohol and drugs. They are usually a transitioning step after detox or a treatment program. They are not licensed or funded by state or local governments and you have to pay for the rent yourself. This being said this is a good step as it gives the client sense of responsibility. There are many structured rules and guidelines to follow such as cleaning and daily chores as well as having a full-time job. Sober homes also have a no drug policy and tests for drugs randomly. Any evidence of using drugs or alcohol is cause for immediate dismissal. Most sober homes also follow the philosophy of recovery and emphasize 12-step group attendance and peer support.
So not being ready to go straight from detox or treatment back to reality right away is ok. Still needing that structured drug-free environment for however many more days, months or a year is strengthening your recovery. It is known that those that live in a sober house longer have a higher chance at relapse and here’s a breakdown as to why:
- THEY OFFER A HIGH LEVEL OF SOCIAL SUPPORT.
- THEY REQUIRE PARTICIPATION IN 12-STEP GROUPS.
- THEY TEST FOR DRUG OR ALCOHOL USE.
- THEY HELP YOU DEVELOP ESSENTIAL DOMESTIC SKILLS.
- THEY PROVIDE STRUCTURE.
Reduce Your Chances of Relapse With Sober Living
Sober living is helpful for those in early recovery, but because you live in a sober home doesn’t mean you automatically aren’t going to relapse. You have to put in the work and make an effort. You can improve your success in a sober home living situation by following the rules, engaging with your fellow residents, and offering as much support as you receive. Full engagement in your sober living situation promotes developing healthy, beneficial relationships, making good lifestyle choices, and gaining the skills you need to successfully fly solo down the road.
At Riverbend Residence, New Jersey’s Premier Recovery Residences, we offer safety and comfort for men and women affected by addiction. Strengthen your recovery in a caring, supportive, and structured environment. Call us now at (844) 505-3447 to continue down your road to recovery.