The US Department of Health and Human Services reports that there are roughly 15 million people in the US that have alcohol use disorder (AUD.) Within these 15 million AUD patients, approximately 1 million (or 7 percent) will receive alcohol addiction treatment within the next year.
The road to living sober is a different experience for every individual. If you or your loved one is battling an addiction, then read further.
You can learn more here from this helpful guide on how to thrive in sober living. Let us help you recover from the nightmare world of addictions and bring you to your best good health.
What Does Sober Living Mean?
Sober living is a term that describes counseling programs that help former substance abuse addicts transition from their addiction treatment housing to independent living.
A sober living plan is designed to help residents leave the safe confines of the recovery center. They learn how to regain their autonomy while supervising staff and friends help keep them accountable.
What is a Sober Living Home?
Sober living homes are a transitional living environment between inpatient treatment and independent living care. This kind of sober living facility supports the treatment provided to patients in a formal rehabilitation program.
This “halfway” environment helps the patient transition back into independent living. Sober living homes are owned by a company or charity organization or even privately owned.
A sober living house tends to be located in a quiet neighborhood. These sober homes help facilitate a peaceful environment for patients to transition back to their obligations in the “real world.”
Sober housing facilities may specialize in one of the following methods:
A short-term treatment program offers rigorous but brief interventions. These treatment programs can last between several days to six weeks, depending on the client’s needs.
A long-term treatment program might last between six and 12 months long. The length of stay depends on the patient’s condition.
A therapeutic community is a sober living program where treatment clients and providers live onsite. This therapeutic community approach shows participants how to consider their current habits.
This review is important to promote a better lifestyle change. It also improves a patient’s ability to be responsible, honest, and willing to master new skills.
How to Thrive Living Sober
Sober group homes provide a specific regime designed to help patients develop new life skills or coping tools. If you are admitted to one of these facilities, your first step to successfully transitioning out of them is to come up with a treatment plan on how you’ll live alcohol-free.
A treatment plan outlines the patient’s goals and the expected time frame to transition back to independence.
These treatment plans should also outline how the client will continue their contact with family or friends to receive support. An effective sober living home treatment plan should include these core elements.
Treatment begins with a managed detoxification. This process takes place under a doctor’s care.
Detox programs take place at hospitals or inpatient treatment centers. These stays last between two and seven days.
Behavioral counseling is also a critical component to ensuring patients secure an alcohol-free home further down the road. Patients set goals and use self-help resources and habit-change techniques. Counseling can help patients harness the positive energy they need for their recovery.
Alcoholism is usually a symptom of another mental health condition. Counseling will help patients better understand their drinking problem. Patients will also learn how it could reflect other mental health disorders. These other disorders could include anxiety or depression.
Another component of treatment to ensure sober living includes dispensing medications. Medical practitioners dispense medications such as Naltrexone and Acamprosate.
These drugs block cravings once you stop consuming alcohol. Medical professionals will also administer Vivitrol injections once a month. Vivitrol blocks the good feelings caused by alcohol.
Support groups and aftercare programs help patients continue their hard work to recover. This means helping patients work through relapses and make necessary lifestyle changes. This support may include medical or psychological care or attending a support group.
Adopt Healthy Living Habits
Chronic alcohol abuse takes a heavy toll on both your physical and emotional health. You can safeguard your health by adopting these healthy habits that can secure a healthier lifestyle free from alcohol. These habits can include:
- Eat a healthy diet of whole foods and cut out processed foods
- Develop a regular sleep regime to get the right quantity and quality of rest every night
- Practice relaxation techniques like mediation and yoga
- Adopt a regular exercise program (about 30 minutes per day)
- Drink eight glasses of water per day to stay hydrated
- Supplement your diet with vitamins and minerals
Recognize the Signs of Relapse
Your behavioral counseling might have taught you what your triggers are for craving a drink. But it’s up to you to recognize and relapse warning signs that might occur.
These warning signs of a possible relapse include the following:
- Resuming self-defeating thoughts
- Looking for people or locations where drinking is taking place
- Thinking irrationally or unclearly
- Behaving irresponsibly
- Engaging in compulsive behaviors
- Relying on drinking to soothe any pain or disappointments
Next Steps for Living Sober
Get in touch with your doctor and ask them for their guidance on your next steps to living sober. They can recommend if short, long-term or therapeutic community treatment facilities are the best to help you draft your treatment plan to move towards sobriety.
Don’t beat yourself up if go through a relapse. The professionals you meet in a sober living home will welcome your return and offer you help to survive this relapse. Your family and friends will help you through this rough time as well.
Don’t forget to check our website for more information on what it’s like living in a sober living home. We will have the resources you need to find the right place to help you overcome your addiction. Get ready to start living your stronger life today!