A sober living facility is a home that provides a safe and nurturing environment. They are sometimes also referred to as a halfway house, transitional sober living home, a structured living facility, or a place to receive post-care services. Yet, regardless of the name, they exist to assist individuals in recovery to take the steps they need to begin a new life.
Often, they are for those who making a transition from an inpatient treatment center for drug and alcohol abuse. There, a recovering individual might participate in drug counseling to address substance abuse, therapy to treat mental illnesses, and other forms of therapeutic treatment to address behavioral issues that often contribute to addiction. For instance, some inpatient treatment centers are beginning to employ behavioral health therapists to ensure that behavioral concerns are well addressed. The level of services are intense and often available 24 hours a day.
When that intensive treatment comes to an end, most recovering individuals are not yet ready to move back home. While the inpatient treatment program facilitated the withdrawal from the addiction, there is still plenty to heal. There continues to be the many internal patterns, poor decision making, and old wounds to restore to health. Furthermore, if there are co-occurring disorders (such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, and PTSD), a sober living home can be a safe place to get the treatment that’s needed. Although some sober living facilities won’t be able to provide all the psychiatric or psychological services you need, they can serve as central point to help you coordinate those services so that all your needs are met.
Each sober living facility can provide a variety of services to assist in the transition from inpatient drug and alcohol treatment to transitional living. The aim of these facilities is to assist individuals during this precarious stage and help them become re-integrated into day-to-day life.
However, there is a deeper message of sober living facilities. They serve as a haven and a bridge. In order to meet the demands of your life, as it was before you left, you’re going to need a kind of inner strength that didn’t exist before. Let’s face it, if you had the strength to meet the emotional, psychological, and daily responsibilities of your life, you probably wouldn’t have reached for the drugs or alcohol.
So, it’s not just a matter of getting off the drugs or stopping the drinking; recovery is also finding a new you. Recovery is putting the pieces together again so that you are stronger than you were before. Recovery is finding the inner resources that were buried while you were in the cycle of addiction, and it is uncovering the wounds that the addiction was trying to mask.
Recovery is a full and rich process of self-discovery and incredible transformation, if you’re ready for it. There’s a joke in the mental health field that goes like this:
How many therapists does it take to change a light bulb?
The answer? Only one, but the light bulb has to want to change.
And it’s true. And for this reason, a sober living home is more than a place to transition from a drinking life to a non-drinking life; it’s a place to finally come home to yourself.
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