Of those who seek treatment for drug dependency, between 40% and 60% eventually relapse. This is due to a number of factors but is commonly brought on by a lack of stability and structure outside of rehab. After getting out of rehab, you should pursue a structured sober living environment, maybe even in the form of a structured sober living home.
The question; however, is how to start a sober living home of your own. What rules and regulations must you put in place for yourself? We’re going to discuss some below, helping you create an environment in which it’s easier to maintain a sober lifestyle.
Understand the Difference Between Sober Living and Structured Sober Living
There are both sober living and structured sober living facilities available out there. The question is, what’s the difference? Put simply, structured sober living facilities are stricter.
A sober living facility is a home in which various ex-addicts live together and provide support to one another. These individuals build friendships and talk about their problems. However, they’re typically allowed a great deal of freedom in how they interact on an everyday basis.
A structured sober living facility, on the other hand, is highly regimented. It expects its residents to follow strict rules. Not only must they stay on a tight schedule but they must also complete chores, meet curfews, and go to formal group therapy sessions.
Structured sober living house rules vary from house to house. Regardless, they’re designed to regulate your everyday life and ensure that you have as little need for illicit substances as possible.
If you truly want to take advantage of a structured sober living environment, you should enter a formal structured sober living program. These programs show their patients how to be sober and give them the tools and resources needed to succeed. They also hold their patients accountable, something that can be extremely difficult for a newly sober individual to do on their own.
If you’re interested in entering a structured sober living program, you should simply search for one in your area. You can do this by getting on Google and typing something to the effect of “structured sober living near me”. This will return a list of results, all of which you can compare through reviews and ratings.
Create Sober Living House Rules for Your Own Home
First and foremost, you need to create sober living house rules. To do this, you should borrow from the strategies utilized by professional sober living homes. We’ll review some of these strategies below.
Did your substance abuse tend to happen late at night or in the early hours of the morning? That’s certainly the case for many addicts. If that’s the case for you, we strongly advise you to set up a curfew.
Abiding by a curfew ensures that you’re safely secured in your own home, away from past temptations. If you don’t have a curfew set, you’ll be much looser with your schedule and might happen to stumble into bad situations.
You can set your curfew for whenever you want. That said, we advise setting it up no later than midnight.
Not only should you set a curfew for yourself but you should also create a chores list. Getting chores done throughout the day gives structure to your life.
It also provides a sense of accomplishment. Structure and accomplishment keep your mind satisfied, and thus reduce the urge to reach out for illicit substances.
Now, this doesn’t mean you need to run yourself ragged every day. However, you should be cleaning, washing clothes, and doing dishes regularly, at the very least.
You should obviously still keep in contact with your friends and family. However, this doesn’t mean that you should maintain contact with all of your friends and family. Bad influences should, more or less, be cut out of your life. At the very least, you should minimize contact with them.
So, if you have an old friend who still indulges in your drug of choice, you’re advised to avoid them. Keeping in contact with them is going to put you in a position to return to your drug habit, and will jeopardize your recovery.
When it comes to clean and supportive friends and family, you should still maintain some boundaries. Try to see them during the least vulnerable hours of the day, particularly before nightfall. And when you do see them, make sure to engage in activities that won’t stoke old cravings.
The goal of creating a sober living environment isn’t to punish you for making mistakes. In fact, self-punishing behavior could lead you back to addiction. That said, there need to be repercussions when you fail to abide by the rules you’ve established for yourself.
Let’s say you miss your curfew. You could respond to this by implementing an earlier curfew for the next night.
Even after you’ve gone through treatment, you should still be making active efforts to keep yourself sober. For instance, you might go to weekly Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. Or you might engage in a 12-step program.
These will give you someone to talk to about your experience. They’ll also help keep you regulated during hard times.
It’s difficult to walk this journey alone. Attending weekly meetings will give you a support system, thus allowing you to thrive as much as possible.
Need Help With Structured Sober Living?
In truth, maintaining a structured sober living home environment is difficult to do. It requires a great amount of accountability to one’s self, the likes of which can be difficult to find during dark times.
This is why it’s often wise for addicted individuals to join a formally established sober living facility. These facilities are heavily regulated and thus help to keep former addicts on the right path toward sobriety.
Interested in joining a sober living program? Need help finding one? Taste Recovery has the resources you require.
Check out our selection of resources now!