Inpatient addiction programs allow people to step away from their hectic, work-filled, day-to-day lives and really focus on the hard work of addiction recovery. When the programs are complete, these participants have a deeper understanding of what they’ll need to do in order to keep the addiction under control for the rest of life, but transitioning from the controlled environment of the rehab program to the freeform environment of everyday life can be challenging. Some people find it overwhelming, and they return to drug and alcohol abuse as a result.
Sober living communities aim to fill the gap between inpatient programs for addiction and standard, everyday life. Here, people have the opportunity to live with others who are also struggling with addiction, and they learn how to pull together their own lives without drug or alcohol abuse. Rules are key to making a sober living house a comfortable place to live.
Sober living homes often rely on the traditions, belief systems and policies of Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step groups, according to a study in the journal Recent Developments in Alcoholism. This means that the programs often ask residents to share leadership, share knowledge and participate in decision-making tasks. Healthy families often operate in this manner, and all members of the family know just what they’ll need to do to keep the household running smoothly. An addiction can disrupt this process, bringing chaos into the life of the person and making it hard for the person to even remember what a “normal” life was once like. Rules in sober living homes help the person to regain that structure.
Sober living homes often require residents to:
- Perform chores
- Go to work each day, or volunteer in the community
- Stay sober
- Obey curfew rules
- Attend in-house meetings
Residents might also be required to attend 12-step support group meetings. According to a study in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, attending meetings like this is key to long-term success in addiction recovery, and sober living communities help to reinforce that success by making their members attend meetings on a regular schedule. Residents might be asked to provide proof that they are attending addiction therapy sessions as well.
Learning to Comply
These rules help to ensure that the sober living home functions efficiently, but they also ensure that the community helps to support those in the fragile, early stages of recovery. The rules ensure that no drugs or alcohol enter the house, and that conflicts are kept to a minimum. It’s an efficient way of ensuring that a group of strangers, all with their own issues to work through, can live together without derailing the recovery they’re all trying to attain.
Breaking the rules can result in swift and severe punishment. In some homes, a transgression means losing any and all privileges the person once had. If that person had earned the right to visit friends and family away from the grounds, for example, those visits might be banned for a specific period of time. In other homes, breaking the rules means expulsion. It’s best for people to understand what they’re expected to do, and ensure that they can live up to those expectations, before they agree to move into a sober living home.
At Axis, we offer sober living homes to our clients who have completed inpatient addiction programs. Our homes are lovely, the communities are both supportive and beneficial, and the rules are designed to protect our residents and the communities they live in. To find out more about those rules, please contact us.