After undergoing intensive treatment for drug and alcohol addiction, sometimes long term support isn’t available. When individuals in recovery have an abrupt transition from rehab into day-to-day life, they experience new hurdles managing their sobriety alone. Long term support with recovery could come in aftercare, follow-ups, alumni services, or continued therapy.
Sober living homes are a positive environment that offers peer support and can act as the “gap” between inpatient care and life at home.
With the structure that sober living communities provide in combination with their built-in support network, residents are better prepared to transition into their everyday responsibilities and have a better chance of maintaining their sobriety.
Sober living communities are great for people who have been through rehab on one or more occasions, that don’t have a support system at home, are generally resistant to treatment, or have medical or mental health issues in addition to addiction issues.
When in a sober living community, residents are encouraged or even required to attend meetings and participate in a 12-step program. Social support is the heart of sober living communities. Studies show that having a place where you can share stories or receive mentorship is incredibly influential to long term recovery.
Studies on Long-Term Recovery and Sober Living
In a recent study of individuals in long-term recovery from substance abuse, 30% of participants cited that having support from their peers was a significant experience that helped them start and maintain their recovery. It was also reported that the majority of individuals in long-term recovery commit to attending meetings and continue to be involved with a 12-step program.
Having access to 12-step programs is vital to individuals in recovery or promoting their long-term recovery because these groups engage members for a longer time than intensive treatment programs. Being part of a group with shared experiences also provides a necessary buffer to stress, helps participants with coping strategies, and connects them with role models as they continue working in their recovery.
Sober living communities themselves and their impact on residents have also been examined. The National Center for Biotechnology Information studied 300 individuals that entered 2 sober living facilities. Surpassing the national Institute on Drug Abuse recommended a stay of at least 90 days, residents also significantly reduced and/or stopped their substance use between baseline and 6 months. These same improvements were noted even after 12-18 months. Other notable successes were improvements in employment, psychiatric symptoms, and arrests.
Relapses for drug addictions are between 40-60%. However, factors that lead to relapses like isolation, failure to deal with new or increasing stresses, or complacency can be avoided by being in a supportive environment like a sober living community. As sober living communities have a zero-tolerance policy for drugs and alcohol, the longer someone remains abstinent, the better chance they have at avoiding a relapse. By staying in a sober living community, residents can develop healthier habits and gain more effective communication and coping skills that promote long term recovery.
Start Your Sober Living Journey With Stairway to Freedom
The path to sobriety is dynamic. Each individual must determine their motivators and choose the treatment and social circles to help them reach their goals. Take the next step in your recovery by consulting with a Stairway to Freedom counselor.