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Sober Living

Sober living environments (SLEs), also known as sober living communities or sober houses, are dedicated interim environments designed to support recovering addicts as they reintegrate with everyday life. Sober living is a skill that needs to be learned, with residents given access to accommodation and support services while they look for permanent accommodation and employment. SLEs are available throughout Washington and across the United States, and homes are either privately owned or operated by charity organizations. If you believe that you or someone you know could benefit from a sober living community, it is important to reach out for help as soon as possible.

What is sober living?

Sober living facilities are designed to house recovering alcoholics and drug addicts as they reintegrate with everyday life. While these facilities are mostly used by people who have been through a rehabilitation program, the completion of residential or outpatient rehab is not required. These facilities are designed as safe and supportive spaces where addicts can recover and receive ongoing therapeutic support. Facilities are often based around conventional 12-step support programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), with other psychotherapy and relapse prevention systems also used throughout the recovery process. Depending on the individual and facility in question, people may be housed for a period of weeks or months until they have a more permanent living solution. Some sober living communities provide comprehensive support for dual diagnosis conditions, a term used top describe the co-existence of a mental illness and a substance use disorder.

Benefits of sober living

Sober living communities provide both practical and psychological support to people in a time of need. While some people are ready to return to everyday life immediately following rehab, others need an extra level of support. Sober living provides stable accommodation and gives people an opportunity to apply the lessons learned during rehab. Depending on the institution in question, additional psychotherapeutic support may be available, including cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy, motivational enhancement therapy and other programs. Sober living environments in Washington provide much more than other transitional environments, and residents are generally required to attend therapy sessions if they want to keep their residential status.

Sober living rules and regulations

Sober communities generally implement a set of rules and guidelines that must be followed. While some of these regulations differ between facilities, there is a core set of rules typically applied. No drugs or alcohol are allowed on the premises at any time, and some facilities also ban overnight guests, as well as violence of any form. Active participation in recovery meetings is also enforced, with people not allowed to stay at a facility unless they participate in 12-step meetings and other support programs. Some facilities also require residents to participate in additional work or study programs, both at the facility itself and on an outpatient basis. Random drug and alcohol tests may be performed at any time, with some facilities instigating a “three strikes and out” approach, and others making people leave with a single positive drug test. Other rules include on-time payment of fees and general acceptance by therapists and peers.

Relapse prevention

Relapse is a common outcome of drug addiction, with dedicated measures needed to prevent relapse and promote long-term recovery. Relapse prevention programs are often administered in sober communities, with therapists helping clients recognize triggers, avoid high-risk situations, and cope with the challenges of life as they arise.

Help is Only a Phone Call Away

If you or anyone you know is struggling with any kind of drug addiction, it is important to contact an addiction specialist today to learn more about the benefits of sober living.