Recovery is a process that continues long after an individual graduates from an inpatient treatment program – recovery is a process, in fact, that lasts a lifetime. Early sobriety revolves around an individual learning to re acclimatize to society without the use of drugs or alcohol, a process that often takes somewhere near a year depending on how severe their past substance abuse was. After completing detox and graduating from a treatment program at a drug rehab, it is highly suggested that a patient transfer directly to a sober living facility in order to maintain sobriety while growing more accustomed to a higher level of freedom.
The most important factor in maintaining sobriety after completing a treatment program is the type of living situation one will be entering immediately after the program has been completed. Of course, moving into a sober environment with a strict drug and alcohol-free policy is more conducive to prolonged sobriety – especially because many addicts and alcoholics come from dysfunctional, chaotic households in which substance abuse is common and condoned. Most sober living houses emphasize a daily routine that reteaches the newly sober individual how to live efficiently and successfully, while working a job and maintaining other staples of everyday life. By moving into a sober residence after completing treatment, an individual intensifies their chances of prolonged recovery immensely.
The majority of houses greatly emphasize a social model of recovery, strongly recommending and often requiring integration into a 12-step organization (either Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, or another variation). Clients are usually required to find a sponsor within the first couple of weeks, and communicate with their sponsor on a daily basis. This is important because it forces accountability, and also helps clients form a relationship with another human being in sobriety – something that will undoubtedly be unfamiliar and require some practice. 12-step meetings also instantaneously provide an extensive support system for newly sober individuals, and sober supports are one of the most crucial elements of maintaining early sobriety.
Additionally, sober living houses require clients to participate in daily activities that they may have neglected while using, such as household chores, cooking, and holding down a regular job. Clients will also be drug tested regularly to ensure the house remains safe for all of the residents. The transition out of drug rehab can be filled with obstacles and setbacks. It is essential that the newly sober addict of alcoholic have immediate support available. The house manager often acts as this support, usually on the premises close to 24 hours. The house manager will also be sure clients are home by curfew – again, instilling accountability and also making sure no relapse-prone behaviors are taking place late at night. For these reasons amongst many others, sober living is extremely crucial to maintained sobriety, and acts as a pertinent step of the overall journey into recovery.