The early months of recovery are some of the most stressful and overwhelming times of an addict’s life. After living in active addiction for years, many alcoholics and addicts just don’t know what “normal” looks like. Often the only stable thing in life before recovery was isolation and chaos. It is extremely helpful for a person in early recovery to have a structured program and environment to learn how to live a sober, happy and productive life which is exactly what a sober living home provides. Sober living is a place where an addict can go to be in an environment of accountability, support, program, structure, nutrition, and fitness which we elaborate upon below:
- Accountability: Recovery homes breathalyze and/or drug test residents frequently. This creates an environment where residents know they will not be able to use without consequences. Additionally, recovery houses with curfews and live-in house managers provide round-the-clock supervision. Weekly check-ins and being surrounded by other individuals in recovery creates an environment of trust and safety.
- Support: Recovery homes are usually managed by individuals in recovery. Some of the best people to help individuals in early recovery are those who have successfully walked through it themselves. This also makes it easier for residents to get plugged into local 12-step fellowships in order to establish a life-long support system.
- Program: Working a 12-step program is actual work. Adopting new habits is often scary and confusing for newly recovered people. Staying in a recovery home that requires meeting attendance and working with a sponsor is a vital start. If the recovery home encourages daily spiritual practice, such as morning and evening meditation, that is even better.
- Structure: Active addiction dominates the addict’s time and mind and destroys everything else in its path. In recovery, newly sober people often don’t know what to do with their wide-open schedules and can quickly slip into old habits. Recovery homes that advise their residents to fill their day with work, IOP, school, self-care and/or volunteerism is another important benefit.
- Nutrition & Fitness: For many addicted people, keeping a healthy body wasn’t a priority. A recovery home that provides healthy, balanced meals & encourages weekly fitness is a great way to take the stress off residents while promoting their overall physical health which in turn benefits mental health as well.
Alcoholics and addicts of all types recover faster when they are able to learn a holistic lifestyle early in recovery. For newly recovered people, the connection between mind, body and spirit takes a while to rebuild. Giving the newly sober alcoholic or addict enough time to work a program and learn new skills in a safe environment is truly the best way to ensure their success.