Importance of Sober Living After Inpatient Rehab
Inpatient rehab is one of the most effective ways to break free of addiction and to start the hard work of achieving sustained sobriety. With that being said, however, returning immediately to regular life isn’t necessarily ideal. That early on, the habits that are needed to maintain long-term sobriety haven’t really gelled. Readjusting to daily life as a newly sober person is challenging, and pitfalls abound. Therefore, rather than heading straight for home after rehab, patients are increasingly heading to sober living facilities. Sober living homes offer structured environments and community support to people who are new to recovery. Read on to learn more about the benefits of sober living after inpatient rehab.
Avoid Potential Pitfalls After Rehab
As long as you remain in inpatient rehab, you are in a bubble of sorts. This is done by design because the period of initial sobriety is so tenuous, and people in early recovery require intensive care and support. After leaving rehab, many people must return to living situations that are hardly ideal for those who are trying to maintain their sobriety. Whether you will return home to a stressful environment, contentious relationships or just an environment where it is too easy to access drugs and alcohol, being able to cope with all of that on top of the physical and emotional changes that go along with early sobriety is a tall order.
Sober Living: What to Expect
By definition, a sober living home or facility is a place that provides a safe, supportive environment for recovery following rehab. These homes serve as safe spaces for people who are on the path toward long-term recovery. While they are less structured than inpatient rehab facilities, where patients must remain for specific periods of time, sober living homes still enforce rules and guidelines that protect newly sober people and encourage their continued abstinence from alcohol and drugs. In a sober living facility, you can start to gradually adjust to various aspects of daily life, such as work or school, while enjoying ongoing support for your newly sober life.
Top Benefits of Sober Living After Inpatient Rehab
When someone who is in active addiction checks in to inpatient rehab, they are typically anxious to get through the experience so that they can get on with their lives. By the time their stay is over, however, they often have the clarity to understand that they probably aren’t quite ready to handle everyday life as a newly sober person. This is where sober living comes in. Here are some of the most compelling benefits of transitioning to sober living after inpatient rehab:
1. Gradually transition to “real life”
Sober living offers a nice balance of freedom and structure for people who are in early recovery. Being able to maintain extended periods of sobriety through rehab is a major accomplishment and one that you should be proud of. Still, maintaining that sobriety outside of the cocoon of inpatient rehab is another thing entirely. Sober living offers a more gradual transition, allowing you to hone the skills that you will need to make it successfully as a sober person in the real world.
2. Get social support from people who understand
It is normal to feel isolated and alone when coping with an addiction to drugs or alcohol. It is easy to feel like you will never be “normal” again, and this can be a major trigger for relapse. In sober living, you will be living alongside others who are in the same boat. These facilities promote an environment of positivity, and residents cheer one another on in their journeys. This sense of belonging is very motivational and can help you to stay on track more easily.
3. Rebuild self-esteem and self-confidence
Active addiction does a real number on a person’s self-esteem. Even after achieving something as amazing as quitting a substance, a recovering person often still feels hopeless, inadequate or even undeserving of happiness. Sober living gives you the opportunity to achieve small but important steps that help to rebuild your self-worth. In these facilities, residents must complete chores and otherwise take care of themselves. These things may seem like no big deal to healthy people, but they mean the world to those who are rebuilding their lives after active addiction.
4. Continue to focus on sobriety
Although sober living homes don’t offer all of the same benefits of inpatient treatment, they do impose requirements that residents must meet to stay. These usually include rules that encourage continued sobriety, such as required participation in outpatient addiction support groups and random testing. In this way, people in early recovery can learn how to incorporate self-care into their daily routines after returning home.
If you are ready to make a positive change by seeking help for your addiction, it helps to come up with a long-term plan. If at all possible, make sober living part of that. It is just one more way to increase the odds of achieving long-term sobriety and a better life.