One of the best choices that you can make as a recovering addict is to live in a sober house, or long term treatment of some sort.
~By Patrick Meninga
These are generally set up to house about a dozen recovering addicts or alcoholics, and they usually have a set of rules that you must follow in order to live there. For example, you usually have to stay alcohol and drug free, as well as to attend 12 step meetings on a regular basis. The general idea is that if you do not follow these rules, you will be discharged from the facility. This creates a good level of accountability that can help the struggling addict to stay clean and sober.
In addition to this level of accountability, the level of therapy and treatment that you can get in a sober house is usually much higher than that of a normal treatment center. For example, there is usually going to be a counselor or therapist who runs the sober house and has weekly sessions with each of the residents who live there. This is a level of long term attention and therapy that can go beyond what is usually offered in recovery and can produce much better outcomes for people. In other words, the level of therapy is higher in long term treatment so you will generally see better results.
The real key to long term treatment is in the ability to focus on the transition to long term sobriety. With traditional, residential treatment–where the stays are much shorter–there really is not ample opportunity for addicts and alcoholics to get prepared to go back out into the real world and deal with their addiction. Instead they are in short term treatment only long enough to barely dry out before being spun back into the world, where they are likely to relapse rather quickly.
With long term treatment in a sober house, you have a big advantage over this type of situation. Because you are essentially living in a sober environment, you can take the time you need to really learn how to live again without relying on drugs and alcohol to medicate yourself or your feelings. This is important because if you don’t take the time to work on this transition then you are bound to end up relapsing eventually.
What is this transition characterized by? It starts with physical abstinence from the drugs and alcohol and it ends with your creating a new life of freedom for yourself. In the middle, you have to learn how to push yourself to grow holistically, start repairing your relationships, and focus on learning and growth as your new method of living. Spirituality is a big key but not as big as an holistic approach to recovery. That means you have to consider your health and growth on a number of different levels in order to be successful: mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally, socially, and so on.
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