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When leaving addiction treatment which way will you go: Home or Sober Living?

There are benefits which come along with sober living as opposed to discharging from treatment and returning to one’s primary residence.  There are three main points to expand on. Firstly, Addiction and alcoholism is not only a disease, it’s a habit. A habit requires addressing to change. Second, the subject “people, places, and things” is a common term in the recovery community. Lastly, fellowship will be discussed regarding peer support, team-building, and group accountability.

It doesn’t take long to create a habit. Some claim 21 days, others 60 days. Essentially, a drug addict or alcoholic habitually uses mind or mood-altering substances. This includes day-in and day-out routines which resemble Groundhog Day. Wake up, use substances or find a way to obtain substances, perform one’s favorite using ritual, find more, go to sleep. You get the idea. To suddenly depart this lifestyle for a short period and expect to return to where one drank/used is a set-up for failure. Here enters sober living—an opportunity to break a habit effectively for a longer duration in a safe environment. There are hundreds of sober living homes in NJ. Most have no support or structure. They also may tell families there is support or structure but upon closer review it is nothing more then a sober flop house.

In 12-step fellowships or rehabilitation centers, one will hear, “avoid people, places, and things!” In early recovery, to ask an addict/alcoholic to not use, no matter what, while surrounded by temptations or triggers is like ingesting a bottle of laxative and asking them not to poop. Yet another set-up for failure. One of the privileges of sober living is an escape from the people one used or drank with, a reprieve from the cop spots back home, or safety from the hidden bottles and drugs around the house. Often families or treatment centers ask the client where they want to go when they are finished. This is insanity. Asking someone to make a decision for their future after a quick 14 days in treatment is insane especially with young adults. They do not know how to choose a quality sober living over going home. It is imperative that there are others helping to mold this decision.

In a sober living home, each resident has a common problem and a common solution. The problem: they cannot get and stay sober! The effective solution: working a 12-step fellowship. Residents become supportive of one another, building them up when they are down. Additionally, through the fellowship within the sober living house, men are holding each other accountable for their actions. They learn to love themselves and begin to love each other. Peer support is crucial to recovery which is yet another reason why sober living is advantageous for the addict/alcoholic in early recovery.

Author: John Pelikan, Surfside Recovery Specialist. To find more about John CLICK HERE.