When you first entered residential treatment, you had to transition from active addiction into a life of recovery. Now that you have finished residential treatment, you may have one more transition to make: going from residential to sober living. Leaving the structure and protection of a rehab center can leave you wide open to relapse, with all the stressors, triggers, and challenges of everyday life.
In this early stage of recovery, people are much more prone to falling back into their addictive and self-destructive behaviors, especially if they do not have a plan for continued treatment. Although not everybody chooses to enter sober living after a residential program, many people do. If you decide to begin sober living, here are some tips to help you manage the transition.
Recovery Isn’t Over After Residential Treatment
During this transition, the most important thing you can remember is that recovery does not end when treatment does. Recovery is a lifelong journey and residential treatment is just the beginning. You will have to consistently engage in activities and coping mechanisms learned in residential treatment to maintain sobriety afterward. Sober living provides you with the environmental factors to help you sustain recovery including peer support, stable housing, and an opportunity to practice life outside of treatment.
Find Post-Treatment Support
Finding support after residential treatment is an excellent way to stay engaged in your recovery program. A support group can help you safeguard your recovery against triggers and events that may lead to relapse. The additional structure of attending weekly meetings can also help you develop a daily routine that prevents boredom and thoughts of using. There are plenty of options for ongoing support, including:
- Intensive Outpatient Treatment (IOP)
- Peer Recovery Support Groups
- Aftercare/Alumni Groups
- Clinical Therapy or Counseling
There are many different types of post-treatment support groups tailored to various ethnic groups or cultural values such as the LGBTQ community. This can make it easier to connect to like-minded people. Finding a post-rehab support group is as simple as doing a quick Google search. In most cities, community centers and churches offer several different support group meetings such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), SMART Recovery, Celebrate Recovery, and more. If you need help deciding which type of post-treatment support is best for you, you can also ask a member of your treatment team to help.
Choosing the Right Sober Living
Choosing a sober living home is one of the most crucial parts of making the transition from residential treatment to sober living. To pick a sober living home that will adequately support your recovery, you will want to consider several different factors such as the cost, amenities, location, staff credentials, residents, and support services.
Structure Is Your Friend
If you are ready to gain more independence after residential treatment, remember that a little structure can go a long way in helping you achieve your recovery goals. Sober living homes are less structured than residential rehab, but they still require that you maintain accountability regarding your recovery goals and maintain complete abstinence from drugs and alcohol. Structure keeps you from having downtime. As someone who is in recovery, you may know that idle time can become a relapse trigger. Having a routine can also give you a sense of familiarity, as you will be doing the same things on a set schedule. This familiarity can be comforting for you as you enter into the unfamiliar territory of living a sober lifestyle outside of treatment.
Practice the Tools Learned in Treatment
Living in a sober living home may take some time to get used to, but there will be plenty of opportunities to use the life skills and tools you learned in residential treatment. Doing so will not only make the transition into a sober living home more manageable, but it will also prepare you for life on your own afterward. You can take the time spent in sober living to practice the coping skills you learned in treatment and practice taking care of yourself by doing things like cooking and cleaning.
Make Friends With Other Residents
Early recovery can feel lonely at times. You may be surrounded by friends and family who support you, but unless they are in recovery, you may feel that they cannot be there for you all the time. However, your sober living roommates can be. In times of loneliness, you can play video games with your roommate or attend a recovery meeting. When you live in a sober living home, you are surrounded by others who are in recovery and understand the issues and problems that come with getting sober. If you feel triggered or just need someone to talk to, there is always somebody who is just a room over.
Transitioning from residential treatment to a sober living home can seem like a daunting task. However, you can follow tips to help make the transition easier. You can make friends with other residents, practice tools learned in treatment, choose the right sober living, and find post-treatment support. Most importantly, remember that recovery is not over after residential treatment. You will have to consistently put effort into maintaining your sobriety. If you are struggling with the transition from residential treatment to sober living, Hired Power is here to help. We have developed a team approach to support you or your loved one with these difficult changes. Depending on individual needs, we offer Recovery Care Managers, Personal Recovery Assistants (PRAs), or sober companions who work one-on-one with each client to implement healthy changes as they transition back to independent living. When you choose Hired Power’s sober companion service in Orange County, CA, you can feel confident that you will engage a qualified team of professionals. For more information on our services, call us today at (800) 910-9299.