Sober Living & Transitional Housing
Getting sober is one of the most challenging journeys one can undertake. Alcoholism is one of the biggest problems facing Americans today. Nearly 15 million people in the country have been diagnosed with Alcohol Use Disorder.
A total rehaul of your life is a noble and complicated endeavor. Luckily there are programs and professionals to help.
If you or someone you know struggles with drugs or alcohol, you may want to consider changing the environment in which the behavior occurs. That is where sober living comes in.
Whether you have completed a treatment program (inpatient, PHP, IOP, or OP) or are coming in fresh, sober living can be a vital support in your journey to long-term sobriety.
Read on to learn more about sober living, how you can find housing, and what benefits it has to your success in sobriety.
What Is Sober Living?
As the name implies, sober living means that you live in a controlled environment that supports the goal of sobriety from drugs and alcohol. There is educated staff on deck to assist you through any difficulties and to help keep you accountable. Sober living requires you to cut off the people, places, and situations that encourage addictive behavior. Living in a safe and secure environment makes the transition from your past life significantly easier.
A sober living environment encourages you to start over and be centered around people trying to accomplish the same goals. Sobriety may be a scary step, but remember, you don’t have to face this alone.
In fact, about 9% of adults in the United States are recovering from drug or alcohol abuse. It is vital to remember that when you are taking this journey, many others can relate to what you are going through. Sober living allows you to be around people trying to improve their lives in the same way while in a supportive and safe manner.
Signs of Needing Sober Living
Before you step into sober living, you must accept the fact that you need help fully. You may be unsure whether or not drugs or alcohol have impacted your life enough to make a major change. Reading through this guide will illuminate some of the most significant warning signs that you may have a problem with drugs or alcohol. Below we will cover a few of those points.
One sign that drugs and alcohol significantly impact your life is if you struggle with big mood swings. These mood swings can occur because you have gone an uncomfortable amount of time without drugs or alcohol. It can also happen when you finally use the drugs or alcohol you have been craving, which causes you to have a notable change in your mood.
Next time you drink or utilize drugs, pay attention to your irritation level and how your emotions are possibly dysregulated.
Another sign that you may have a problem with drinking is if you partake alone. Are you drinking just to drink? Do you feel you have lost the option of not having that drink? If this describes you, you may want to reevaluate your relationship with alcohol.
One of the most destructive signs of alcohol abuse is if you choose to drink instead of fulfilling your responsibilities or obligations. An example of that can be drinking on the job or calling out of work because you are too hungover to perform.
However, avoiding responsibilities is not exclusive to work. It can also be when you were supposed to meet with friends or show up to a family function. If drinking has caused you to bail on these sorts of events, it may be a problem.
If you notice any of these patterns, you may want to evaluate how much control alcohol has over your life.
Talk to Friends and Family
An important step in understanding the relationship you have with drugs or alcohol is to talk to people in your life that you trust. Ask them if there are any signs that they have seen that may indicate you need help. Ask them for support in what you are going through. The more people supporting you, the better.
If those you reach out to are not currently living with you, they may be able to help get you out of your environment and stay with them until you are ready to move to the next step.
Another benefit of sharing your struggles with friends and family is that they can help hold you accountable. When you share your goals with them, they may be able to help guide you in the right direction.
However, if you do not have people you are comfortable reaching out to, the next best thing you can do is isolate yourself from your current situation until you choose how you want to proceed in your sobriety. In the next section, we will review some options.
Once you have accepted that you have a problem and need help, you must decide what kind of help will best serve you. You may need treatment to beat this disease, and if you have been drinking heavily, you will need to detox safely in a medically supervised environment.
The first phase of sobriety is the hardest. However, when you reach out for the right help, it is easier. A safe, secure, and supportive environment with medical, therapeutic, and addiction expertise will be the best means of securing a better and brighter future for yourself.
Therapy during any of our programs can help you get to the root of substance abuse and help you discover why you drink in the first place. From there, you can work on ways to combat this.
Starting treatment will support you by placing you in an environment 100% focused on sobriety. It is easiest to take yourself away from people, places, and situations that tempt you to use drugs or alcohol. Additionally, you will be surrounded by others dealing with the same struggles as well as trained staff who are experienced in combatting addiction.
After completing treatment and participating in sober living, the time has come to return to the “real world.” Depending on what treatment plan you took part in, this may be the first time you get to spend quality time with friends and family and return to work. Transitioning directly back into the life you had before may still be too much in the early stages of sobriety. Luckily, there are options for a more flexible but equally secure environment, and that is transitional housing.
Transitional housing does not require supervision to the level of sober living or inpatient treatment. Instead, you live in an environment with others at the same stage of their recovery journey. Accountability to staff is no longer needed. Rather, you can be accountable to the sober community around you.
Transitional housing allows you to be more independent while relying on a community of recovering individuals. Much like living in traditional apartment housing, you will be responsible for groceries and your portion of the rent but will not be reporting to anyone.
There are shared responsibilities where residents collaborate to maintain the common areas, and rent can be divided by everyone living in the transitional housing. Transitional housing is a great middle step before returning to living alone or in an environment with memories of using.
Adjusting to a New Normal
Switching to transitional housing means that you will adjust to a “new normal.” You may have to change jobs. You may lose non-supportive friends and family during this stretch. You will use the tools you’ve learned to deal with your emotions instead of drinking or drugging them away.
The point is there will be many new things thrown at you when you live a sober life. One of the hardest parts may be that the world around you has not changed while you have. For example, there may be that liquor store or bar within walking distance from your home. There may be people from your old life trying to get you to fall back into your old ways. Participating in sober living alleviates those concerns.
Most important to your success in long-term sobriety is to keep growing and moving forward. The best thing you can do for yourself is to surround yourself with people who understand what you are going through, and with sober living and transitional housing, that is what you get.
Start Your Recovery
Sober living is a big step in recovery, and it is not just a physical location but a mindset. Sunshine Care Centers is here to help you through every phase of recovery from addiction and mental health struggles.
Contact us today to get started!