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Recovering from an addiction to any chemical substance may very well be one of the most difficult things that someone can go through, and sober living homes can help to increase an addict’s chances of successfully transitioning back into a productive life. Addiction doesn’t just happen with that first sip of beer or with that first hit of coke at a party, it’s a gradual process where the constant addition of chemicals into someone’s system causes changes in brain and body chemistry. It only makes sense that it will be a gradual process to get back to “normal” life with healthy coping skills and habits. Drug and alcohol addiction recovery starts with detox to get the drug out of the system, rehabilitation facilities that teach a previous user strategies on how to cope with life stressors, sober living homes that help someone transition back into life, and then making healthy decisions for the rest of one’s life.

What is addiction?

Addiction can be defined as an intense single-mindedness on finding, consuming, and recovering from the next hit off a specific substance. People can become addicted to almost any substance, and that can include:

Behaviors of those who are addicted can range from fully functional to a complete alteration of thinking, behavior, and bodily functions. Clinical studies even prove that sections of the brain responsible for memory, behavior control, judgment, and decision making are distorted in drug abusers. Addiction doesn’t begin with the first hit. It is a road paved with decisions that led them to dependency. They either wanted to feel good and forget about life, be more productive, or alleviate stress — even if they are aware that they may be addicted, they either don’t want to stop or have tried and cannot. Addiction is accompanied by the following signs:

What does a typical addiction recovery process look like?

Many addicts try to quit on their own first, denying that they may have a problem; however, they typically have a more difficult time or have to try more often to achieve success. Treatment programs specialize in helping people successfully find the life of which they originally dreamed when they were young and hopeful, even after years of abuse. Each part of recovery offers a different benefit and all work in conjunction with each other. A typical program involves:

What is a sober living home?

Listening to the stories of addicts is a testament to how differently drug and alcohol addiction can affect the trajectory of someone’s life. While a functional alcoholic has held onto their family and job, another addict may have lost their career, home, and everyone around them, doing despicable things just for another hit. If anyone hopes to successfully overcome their addiction, no matter the category in which they fit, relying on professional help may be the best option. Some may need help only in maintaining sobriety by going to group meetings while others need residential treatment centers throughout the entire process. A sober living home (also known as a halfway house) offers a way for previous addicts to transition back into the “real world” with all its stressors.

Once someone is scheduled to return home after a few months in an inpatient facility, they may be finding it difficult to adjust back to a daily routine without the drugs they once used as a crutch. Sober living homes reinforce the coping skills and lessons learned in detox and rehab. Rehab may have taught them how to maneuver daily events, but sober living homes help them apply directly those lessons to their lives when they become overwhelmed. Stays generally last for at least 90 days, but it varies per person.

In residential rehab facilities, patients are constantly monitored and are generally not allowed to leave the premises. Sober living facilities allow residents to come and go freely. They still have restrictions, but it helps them to engage in life again while having the necessary support when they have the urge to slide back down the slope of addiction. Some of the benefits of opting to stay in a sober living home before going home full time include accountability, structure, and support with those in the same position as them. Typically, regulations can be among the following:

Along with the combination of freedom and structure, other services offered by sober living homes that help with the transition include:

Transitioning back into a fully functioning lifestyle can be difficult, and the lessons learned when staying in a sober living home can be of great help. Previous addicts are learning how to live on their own and see their peers maneuvering the trials of life. They witness their failures and successes and can learn from everyone around them. Studies have shown improved outcomes for drug and alcohol recovery when people take advantage of the atmosphere that is offered by a sober living home. No one wants to fall back into their old habits when they were addicts, but, sadly, it isn’t a rare occurrence. Those who want to improve their chance of success can do so by residing in a sober living home.

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