According to a UN report, 200,000 people die every year due to substance abuse. Money spent on rehabilitation and recovery of addicts is an investment to rebuild the youth. Treatment of substance abuse is made more effective by the concept of an aftercare plan in the form of sober homes.
A sober living facility, like this one in Connecticut, is a living space shared by sober people who have just completed their addiction treatment and are trying to preserve their sobriety. People share these spaces with other people wanting to transition to normal lives smoothly. The sober homes are an effective transition from rehab life to the ‘real-life’.
People discharged from rehabs struggle to go back to the ‘normal life’ after being under strict supervision for long periods. Sober homes don’t only provide that intermediate living space that is controlled but not too controlled but are also a great intervention tool to avoid relapse to addiction.
These spaces make long-lasting amendments because of their approach to moderation and practicality. These sober homes have proved to be very effective in stopping the drug and alcohol abusers from going back to their addictive habits. Few intervention techniques being practised at sober homes are regular check-ups, keeping you away from bad company and attending your therapy sessions. Let’s look into details of how sober homes help with the intervention.
Peer support, support groups and meetings
The efficacy of support groups is undeniable. People at sober homes build strong companionships, share their struggles, and attend group meetings. Peer support and support groups have been observed to help with treatment acceptance and retention. Another retention technique is avoiding people, places, or things that are tied to previous drug or alcohol use.
A sober home, being a partially controlled facility, doesn’t allow alcohol-based foods, visitors, drugs of any kind, and other things that might affect the post-recovery of drug and alcohol abuse. Another intervention technique is surrounding yourself with positive and supportive people. Sober homes are the best supportive environments for people trying to maintain their sobriety.
Monitoring has been proven effective to improve abstinence from drug abuse in sober living homes. It is rule no. 1 that you stay sober 24/7 while you stay at a sober living house. To ensure that this rule is being followed, the housemates are regularly checked. The drug/alcohol use is monitored with several tests. Sober homes also hold periodic drug screens to ensure the person is not altering his doses of prescribed medication. Blood, urine, saliva, and hair follicle tests are conducted and there is no cheating or escaping from these tests. To ensure that housemates are not asked to leave the facility, they try their best to stay sober.
One advantage of staying at a sober living facility is that sessions with therapists are regular and mandatory. Different forms of therapy are widely used to help those fighting against drug addiction. The people at sober homes might get different therapy depending on a number of factors like their drug addiction stage and recovery time etc.
One of the techniques that is widely used at a sober house is motivational interviewing. This technique is used to increase the willingness and eagerness to change destructive behaviour. This method also boosts their confidence and motivation to quit drug abuse for good and forever.
Spending maximum time in a trigger-free space
A sober house is a controlled yet not too controlled space. People can come and go out of the house as they please, they can go back to work and spend time with their friends when outside. But they can’t be using any drug/ alcohol, or use vanilla and other ingredients in their food (because they alter the drug tests) and bring any friends inside the sober house. The sober house is completely trigger-free; even the internet is controlled so they can’t go back to any kind of addictive behaviour.
Avoiding demotivating friends and environment
It is the most effective intervention technique as most of the time when a person is discharged from a rehab facility; it is his/her drug abuser friends who don’t wish the sobriety of their friend. Those who are not sober will pull you in the addiction with them. It is important that you avoid these friends to completely quit the abuse.
It can prove to be hard when you go back to your normal life but when in a sober house, you can avoid these till you feel completely detached from such friends, events and environment.
Living a disciplined life
Living a meaningful and disciplined life automatically gets your life on track. Setting up goals for yourself and devising plans to achieve those goals can help you stay disciplined. Another important aspect of a disciplined life is to invest in self-care. At a sober living house, you learn positive ways to take care of yourself without indulging in harmful activities. To maintain discipline, quiet hours are observed at sober houses when you have to dim the lights and lower your voices as sleeping on time is considered a big factor to keep the addictive behaviour at the farthest end.
Choosing to live in a sober living house for a while after the rehab can make a huge difference. These sober houses help you with interventions that double the recovery process and minimise the chances of an individual going back to his addictive behaviour.
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Peter Wallace has been an advocate for mental health awareness for years. He holds a master’s degree in counselling from the University of Edinburgh.
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