Halfway House Living: Support Your Recovery While You’re There

Halfway House Living: Support Your Recovery While You're There | Transcend Recovery Community

Typically, once you’ve made the decision to acquire sober living, you must first enter a treatment center. This is a medical facility that tends to the physical withdrawal as well as the psychological demands of ending the addiction cycle.

When you’re ready to leave a medical treatment center, you might not be ready to return home. For this reason, halfway houses or sober living homes serve as excellent transition facilities. They provide sober help and a drug and alcohol environment you need to continue your sobriety.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) defines a Sober Living Home as being “alcohol and drug free living environments for individuals attempting to maintain abstinence from alcohol and drugs.” They typically do not offer formal treatment but often require or strongly encourage attendance to 12-step Alcoholic Anonymous meetings.

There might also be courses on money management, employment searching, and improved coping skills. Furthermore, they might have a culinary artist on board who prepares healthy and organic meals and who is able to make special dietary considerations for their patients.

Also, a halfway house serves as a lower cost option while a recovery addict eventually makes his or her way back home. However, they are not a place where an individual sits around all day and does nothing. Instead, sober living homes often require involvement in work, school, or an outpatient program and active participation in recovery meetings. In addition to these required tasks, the following are additional endeavors that a recovery addict can engage in to help mend his or her life:

1. Look for employment. Often part of the downward spiral of addiction is the loss of a job or the inability to work due to physical, emotional, and psychological impairments. It can be an exciting opportunity to return to the workplace. This can be rewarding in many ways, including the chance for an individual to review his or her particular skills and the opportunity to feel a part of a community.

2. Arrange housing. Sometimes, along with employment, the loss of a home was also a part of the damaging ride of addiction. It might have meant the loss of a marriage or the inability to pay the mortgage. Whatever the case, an individual might need to find a place to live after being a guest in a sober living house. Often, the schedule at a halfway house or sober living home allows for the repairing of life, including finding a job and home.

3. Mend fences. Part of the recovery process is healing past relationships. Although the number one relationship to focus on is with oneself, other relationships with friends and family are part of this process. In fact, this is the 8th step of the 12-step program that invites that a person in recovery “makes a list of all persons we had harmed and become willing to make amends to them all”. The next step in the program furthers this with “make direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

4. Adjust to sobriety: While housed in a residential inpatient program, a patient often has very few liberties. Back at home, the sudden burden of making responsible decisions can be too much to handle. A halfway house or sober house program will have rules to follow, but these rules always have an emphasis on the eventual transition back to independence.

The path to sobriety can be a challenging one. However, with the right amount of support and the right amount of willingness to face and overcome obstacles, achieving a sober life is possible.

 

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Margaret’s Story: From Self-Medicating to Sober Living

Margaret’s Story: From Self-Medicating to Sober Living | Transcend Recovery Community

There are many options for rehabilitating from an addiction. They include a live in residential center, sober living homes, halfway houses, community-based services, and a rehab center that also includes mental health services.

Regardless of the level of care you’re in – an outpatient treatment program or a residential treatment center, it’s important to heal from the psychological undercurrents of an addiction as well, and not just the addiction itself. Of course, in the beginning, withdrawing from alcohol dependency and healing the physical body will be central. However, later in the recovery process, healing the emotional and psychological ailments will also become necessary.

In fact, more recently, it has become a common trend that drug rehab centers and sober living facilities also address mental health issues. It is frequently found that a drug or alcohol addiction will accompany a mental illness and that often the addiction began because of the illness. Research indicates that approximately, 60-75% of those who abuse drugs or alcohol also have a mental illness. Mental illnesses that tend to co-exist with addiction includes (but is not limited to):

  • Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Anxiety
  • Major Depression
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Reactive Attachment Disorder
  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Margaret was diagnosed early with Bipolar Disorder. She is a waitress living in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, and has a difficult time managing her emotions. To make matters worse, her home life is not supportive and hasn’t been for years. When Margaret thinks about her childhood, she cannot recall a time when her mother was completely attentive to her needs. One time, they were waiting in the lobby of a physician’s office where she and her brother we bothering all of the other patients who were also waiting and their mother ignored them despite their misbehavior.

Because her mother was never really tended to her, Margaret never learned the important skill of emotional self-regulation. It’s something that most healthy adults do naturally. When sadness takes over in the middle of the workplace, most people can put that sadness on the shelf for a time being and attend to their responsibilities.  Furthermore, many adults experience sadness as an emotion separate from their sense of self. Yet, Margaret and most people with Bipolar Disorder tend to easily lose their sense of identity, particularly when they experience intense emotions.

The inability to regulate emotions can easily lead to drug use, which was the case with Margaret. Two years ago, she began drinking and hasn’t stopped. She knows that a drug abuse rehab center and/or a sober living facility would be good for her. Since she’s already been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, she also recognizes that the drinking is only a symptom to a larger problem. What she needs is to find a rehab center that will not only address the addiction but also her mental illness.

When this is the case, sober living rehab treatment must thoroughly address the addiction, the mental illness, as well as any underlying issues that might also be contributing to substance use. There are drug rehabilitative centers are clinically oriented and do their best to address both the substance addiction as well as the mental illness. However, there are facilities that do not. This usually leads to chronic relapse because the primary cause for the addiction was not addressed and treated. When an addiction is the way that a person self-medicates, just like Margaret’s attempt to regulate her emotions through alcohol, treating the addiction alone will not permanently resolve the problem. The underlying issues must also be treated. This means not only the mental illness, such as Bipolar Disorder, but also the factors that might have led to the mental illness in the first place.

For Margaret, drug abuse rehab might include drug counseling, therapy, if possible, family therapy, learning new coping mechanisms, a physiological and psychological examination, and more. If her underlying issues are thoroughly addressed, she’ll have more of a chance of staying sober and avoiding relapse.

 

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The Halfway House Life After Cocaine Rehab

The Halfway House Life After Cocaine Rehab | Transcend Recovery Community

Cocaine is a stimulant. It’s a powerful drug that causes euphoria, elation, and a feeling that is hard to beat with any other drug. In fact, cocaine is one of the most addictive drugs out there because of the unequaled high that it produces. Continue reading “The Halfway House Life After Cocaine Rehab”