Sober Living and Aftercare

Sober living and aftercare are essential aspects of the long term recovery process. This is because you need additional help even after having been through an accredited addiction treatment and rehabilitation program.

By participating in sober living and aftercare, you would be able to receive ongoing care to ensure that you do not relapse after leaving a drug rehab center. This will typically involve participating in counseling, outpatient care, support group meetings, and sober living.

What Does The Treatment Program/Process Address?

Sober living and aftercare refers to the plan that you create to support yourself especially in the early stages of your recovery. The goal of this plan would be to reduce, eradicate or completely prevent your risk of relapse. Further, it will help you work towards your goals in life so that you do not feel the temptation to start using drugs and drinking alcohol again after you have already been through an addiction treatment program.

In general, aftercare will include various resources, interventions, and activities that can help you cope with your cravings, stress, and triggers once you have gone through a drug rehab center. As such, it may involve:

  • Attending group and individual counseling and therapy sessions
  • Attending support and recovery group meetings
  • Participating in the alumni program run by the treatment center you attended
  • Reaching out to sponsors and others in your new sober support system
  • Staying in a sober living facility for certain time period

The goal of sober living and aftercare is not to just reduce your risk of using drugs and drinking. Rather, it would be to ensure that you are engaged in your long term recovery while you make the transition from treatment to your normal day to day life. In general, these services can improve your outcomes by:

  • Giving you access to a supportive group of individuals who can help you in your recovery journey
  • Helping you to make healthy choices with regards to your activities, lifestyle, and relationships
  • Reducing your risk of relapse
  • Reinforcing all the skills that you learned in rehab
  • Teaching you how to cope with stress and other strong emotions that might increase your risk of relapse
  • Teaching you to identify your triggers
  • Teaching you to minimize the damage caused by a relapse in case you go back to drugs and alcohol

How Long Does It Take?

In general, sober living and aftercare should start from the moment you enroll in an addiction treatment and rehabilitation program. However, since this form of care will continue way longer than your rehabilitation, it could last for more than the 30 to 90 days that are recommended for addiction treatment.

To this end, you can expect to spend anywhere between 30 days to 1 year - or even longer - working through your sober living and aftercare. While you are enrolled in a treatment program, you will start planning for your life after rehab.

Once you have checked out of the program, you can activate this plan. For instance, you could check from an inpatient treatment center and go straight into a sober living facility. Further, your aftercare plan might require that you go into an outpatient treatment program.

Irrespective of the format of your sober living and aftercare plan, you can be sure that it could end up lasting for several months or a couple of years. The duration will largely depend on your ability to maintain your recovery in the long term.

How Much Does It Cost On Average?

The cost of sober living and aftercare will depend on the type of plan that you have created. If you check into a sober living facility, you would be expected to pay weekly or monthly fees as well as commit to a certain period of stay.

Although the duration of your stay will vary, you should know that these residences are not supposed to be for the long term. Instead, you would live in the facility for as long as it takes to establish your sobriety before moving to another type of support center or back home.

That said, you will be required to pay for your expenses and rent. However, rent tends to be inexpensive and could range from $400 to about $1,000 for every month you spend in the center.

Apart from these costs, you should also budget for the other additional costs that you will incur from other aftercare plans that you participate in. for instance, going into an outpatient program as part of your aftercare could cost you several hundreds of dollars a day.

What Are The Typical Day To Day Routines During Treatment?

The typical schedule will depend on the type of sober living and aftercare option that you choose. These options include:

  • Counseling and therapy
  • Family counseling and education
  • Case management
  • Relapse prevention therapy
  • Outpatient recovery services
  • Staying in sober living homes

As an example, the following are some of the things that you should keep in mind when you are in staying in a sober living facility or home:

  • Many residences will require you to go to school, work, or become involved in a volunteer activity
  • Some have visiting hours
  • The facility would prohibit all types of aggressive behavior
  • The program will regulate your private ownership and possession of medication
  • There would be strict curfews that you need to respect
  • You are expected to shop for yourself
  • You must engage in self-care, such as by keeping your living quarters clean and acceptable, picking up after yourself, and maintaining your personal cleanliness and hygiene
  • You must maintain your abstinence from alcohol and drugs
  • You must pay for your expenses and rent
  • You must perform certain routine chores
  • You must submit documentation to prove that you are actively involved in recovery and treatment through therapy, support group participation, and medical management where required
  • You must submit to routine alcohol and drug screenings and tests

How Successful Is It?

Research studies consistently show that participating in sober living and aftercare after having been through a professional addiction treatment program could increase your chances of full recovery in the long term. It could reduce your risk of relapse, and enable you overcome the stressors and triggers that could challenge your ongoing sobriety.

Who Should Get This Type Of Treatment?

Sober living and aftercare would be ideal if you have already gone through a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program but still need additional help to ensure that you do not relapse back to your former substance abuse habits. As long as you require assistance in maintaining your sobriety, this form of additional care can come in handy.

CITATIONS

https://cabhp.asu.edu/sites/default/files/session_5a_and_5b_substance_abuse_aftercare.pdf

https://narronline.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Primer-on-Recovery-Residences-09-20-2012a.pdf

https://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/p-15_Q&AonSpon.pdf

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/media-guide/science-drug-use-addiction-basics

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/substance_abuse_center/treatment/settings.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4553654/

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