The Journey Towards Sober Living

Having a family member suffering from substance addiction is difficult and as much as we desire to help them get better, it often takes a toll in our own lives. Right out of rehabilitation centers, the recovering addicts are expected to live their lives again and also to make sure that they will not relapse. This is a tall order, a recovering addict may have successfully completed his/her rehabilitation treatment, but the environment in his/her home life is very different from that of the rehabilitation center. The triggers and temptations that contributed and enabled the addiction may still be present in the home environment of the recovering addict, which will most likely lead to relapse. Studies have shown that recovering addicts who are released and immediately go back to their old environment are more likely to relapse within the first 3 months after being treated in the rehabilitation centers.

Getting treatment and being admitted to a rehabilitation center takes a lot of courage and commitment to get better, addicts have to endure physical, mental, emotional and social difficulties just to get better. They have to be separated from their loved ones, children, parents and spouses, they have to deal with their own emotional and psychological issues so that they are more able to understand their addiction. The effort and personal investment to seek treatment are high, and yet the danger of relapse is very high also. Based on several addiction intervention models, the most effective way to protect the recovering addict from relapsing is to remove the recovering addict from his/her old environment.

Removing the recovering addict from the environment that contributed to his/her addiction makes sense, the process of recovery is long and difficult, and this should be done without having to struggle with the temptations and bad influence from peers. It is important that the recovering addict take all the time that he/she needs to put back his/her life together and to be completely sober in the process. Being sober means living a life free from addiction and the substances that caused the addiction, and based on the personal experiences of recovering addicts, the temptation is always there. True recovery happens when the recovering addict no longer crave the addictive substance of choice, and be able to function effectively without it.

Sober living is a daily struggle, the recovering addict has to navigate all through the emotional turmoil, doubts, mental anguish and fears that he/she may not make it on a day to day basis. The recovering addict is expected to pick up where he/she left before the addiction, but reality is, this rarely happens. A former addict can never go back to the way he/she was before the addiction destroyed his/her life. But there is life after addiction, and this only happens if the former addict can be sober all throughout his/her life.

 Sober living is a concept that bridges the experience of the recovering addict from the rehabilitation center and recovery, and is a means of transitioning the recovering addict to the real world. This also helps in providing the much needed support and assistance that the recovering addict needs to prevent relapsing. A single episode of relapse will undo all the good things that the rehabilitation treatment has done, therefore the most important thing to recovery is to ensure that the recovering addict do not relapse. At the same time, trying to be sober is not for the faint hearted, it takes utmost will and dedication to control their urges and impulses, they often think about the substances they are addicted to and fear that they might not stop themselves from using again.

Sober living are living facilities that cater to recovering addicts and which provide the emotional, psychological and moral support that they need. It is more like a dormitory than a rehabilitation center, but there are well-trained personnel who will be able to assist the recovering addicts with whatever they may need, even if just to have a companion or someone to talk to when they are feeling the most vulnerable. Moreover, the living condition is supportive of recovery, to some degree, there is still that amount of control in which addictive substances are banned from the premises. Also, there is that positivity, genuine acceptance and understanding that the recovering addicts need in order to feel better about themselves and to continue the process of recovery and change.

In a sober living facility, the recovering addict lives in a community with the same plight, and with shared experiences, trials and difficulties, the recovering addict is more able to pursue recovery since they will support and build relationships. The bond that they share for being in the same recovery process also inspires them to get better, as they are in it together. This sense of community and oneness will not be present if the recovering addict will go back to his/her old home or environment. There are a number of sober living facilities in the country, and one may be located very near to your place. Although it is advisable to choose a sober living facility in an entirely new place. This will signal a new start or lease in life.

Sober living is possible with the right combination of support and positive environment, where the recovering addict will be able to accomplish little wins and build their confidence in the long run. The daily struggles may be difficult and daunting but with unconditional positive regard, genuineness and acceptance in a sober living facility by its qualified staff and medical personnel, the road to recovery will be more possible. Moreover, the sober living facility will ease the transitioning to the real world, the objective of sober living is to actually equip the recovering addict with the skills and knowledge to take control over their lives and to live an addiction-free life. Indeed there is life after drug addiction, and it can be challenging but the end goal is all worth it, sober living can be attained.

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