When you first went to rehab, you made the transition from a life of active addiction into a life of recovery. Now that you’re sober and you’ve finished rehab, there’s yet another transition to make: going from rehab to sober living.
Although not all people in recovery choose to enroll in a sober living program, many people do and there are several benefits of doing so. If you choose to go the sober living route, here are some tips to help you manage the transition from rehab to sober living.
Life After Drug and Alcohol Rehab
Life after rehab is different than it was before. You have the knowledge of how drugs and alcohol affect your mind, body, and spirit, and you’ve committed to living a life without them. You don’t associate with the same friends anymore, your family may not be sure what to do with you, and you may not even be sure what sober life looks like for you.
On top of it all, leaving the structure and protection of a rehab center leaves you wide open to relapse, with all the stressors, triggers, and challenges of everyday life. In this early stage of recovery, people in recovery are much more prone to fall back into their addictive and self-destructive behaviors, especially if they don’t have a plan for continued treatment.
Fortunately, after rehab, there are plenty of options for ongoing recovery support and treatment, so you never have to go it alone. Some of the options include:
- Outpatient rehab (IOP)
- Sober living program
- Peer recovery support program
- Aftercare/alumni group
- 12-Step Program meetings (AA/NA)
- Clinical therapy or counseling
While all of these treatment options are beneficial for someone seeking lifelong sobriety, a sober living program is especially beneficial because it provides a safe place to live that is supportive of sobriety, which is something many people in recovery lack after leaving rehab.
Sober living homes bridge the gap between inpatient residential treatment and living life sober on your own, so you can take your time applying the tools and life skills you learned in rehab with the support of your peers, sober coach, and sponsor. You can also combine your sober living program with a personal monitoring program, therapy, IOP, and 12-Step Program meetings to reap the benefits of a robust recovery support program that encourages lifelong sobriety.
Do I Need to Enroll in a Sober Living Program?
Anyone who is recovering from addiction can benefit from a sober living program. However, certain factors may make a person more likely to need the extra support that a sober living program provides. If you identify with one or more of the following factors, a sober living program may be the right choice for you.
- You have a history of chronic relapse.
- You are recovering from severe addiction.
- You don’t have a sober place to live that is supportive of your recovery.
- In the past, you’ve been very resistant to addiction treatment.
- You don’t have a plan for ongoing addiction treatment after rehab.
Sober Living Rules and Expectations
At a sober living home, residents are expected to adhere to the rules and expectations set by the staff and management. This helps ensure that the home remains a safe and sober place for all residents. While you’re living there, you’ll have a set of daily chores to complete, a set schedule of recovery groups to attend, curfew hours, and community events that may be mandatory or optional.
Although sober living homes maintain a certain amount of structure, they do not provide formal treatment for addiction. Instead, they offer a recovery-friendly environment and recovery support services to help you learn how to live sober on your own.
When you leave rehab, you might feel like you’re jumping from a safety net that has helped keep you sober, but if you land at a sober living home, you’ll receive ongoing support to help you establish a daily routine that is good for your recovery and that can be sustained even after you leave the sober home.
How to Make the Transition from Rehab to Sober Living
If you choose to enroll in a sober living program after rehab, here are a few tips to help make the transition a little easier.
- Make sure you choose a high-quality sober living home that offers the recovery support services you need. Choosing a sober living home is the most important part of making this transition. In order to pick a sober home that will properly support your recovery, you’ll want to consider several different factors such as the cost, amenities, location, staff credentials, residents, and support services.
- Make sure the sober living home can accept you right away. If there is a waiting list, you may need to wait weeks or even months before you can move into a sober home. The lag time in between could be detrimental to your recovery, especially if you don’t have a sober and supportive home environment in the meantime.
- Continue working the 12-Step Program. Once you choose a sober living home and move in, it’s essential that you continue working the 12 steps on your own. Although sober living homes don’t offer formal addiction treatment, many of them (including Eudaimonia Recovery Homes) offer tiered recovery programs to help keep residents on track. These programs require that all residents attend a certain number of 12-Step Program meetings in the community.
- Remember that structure is your friend. If you’re ready to get out and spread your wings after rehab, just remember that a little bit of structure can go a long way in helping you achieve your recovery goals. Sober living homes are less structured than residential rehab, but they still require that you maintain accountability regarding your recovery goals and maintain complete abstinence from drugs and alcohol.
- Take every opportunity to practice the tools you learned in rehab. Living in a sober home may take some time to get used to, but in the meantime, there will be plenty of opportunities to use the life skills and tools you learned in rehab. Doing so will not only make the transition into a sober living home easier, but it will also prepare you for life on your own afterward.
Recovery Isn’t Over After Rehab
The most important thing to remember during this transition is that recovery isn’t over after rehab. In fact, the completion of residential treatment is just the beginning of a new way of life. Your sobriety journey will continue while you’re enrolled in sober living and long after.
Transitional housing plays an essential role in your sustained recovery by providing peer support in recovery, safe, stable housing, and an opportunity to “practice” living sober before you live on your own as a sober individual.
If you have questions about sober living programs, don’t know where you will live after rehab, or you would like us to help you make the transition from rehab to sober living, contact Eudaimonia Recovery Homes today. A member of our friendly admissions team is waiting to help you.