Once you leave a drug or alcohol treatment center, are you magically cured? The answer is no. For most people, recovery is a lifelong process. Life after rehab can be the most difficult time. That is when people with a substance use disorder can be vulnerable. Sober living and participating in an alumni program can support relapse prevention.
What Is Sober Living?
Sober living, or extended care, is where people leave a residential treatment program or stay during outpatient care. Sober living puts them in a home or community with people facing the same struggles. It provides a transitional living arrangement to bridge the gap between treatment and their return to normal life.
In a sober living environment, everyone is in recovery, sometimes including the administrators. Sober living allows for the monitoring of sobriety to minimize some of the things that might trigger drug or alcohol use, like family relationships, friends who like to party, and the stress of recovery.
What Are the Benefits of Sober Living?
Some common benefits of sober living include:
- Guidance and support from people who understand what recovery is like and can help.
- The chance to develop sober relationships
- Restored or enhanced life skills
- More independence than treatment but with some supervision
- Living in a positive environment that supports recovery
- A chance to pursue new vocational opportunities
People in sober living can go on to mentor new residents as they transition out of treatment.
What Is Sober Living Like?
It will vary from place to place, but, in general, sober living programs provide stability. For some, that is done by instilling rules that everyone in the program must follow, such as curfew and visitor restrictions. Some communities require participants to attend school, go to therapy and peer groups or hold a job.
Most sober living environments have staff that provides 24-hour support to residents. Often, they are people in recovery themselves, so they are better in tune with the challenges.
Why Is Sober Living Important?
There are many benefits of sober living, but one of the most critical is relapse and overdose prevention. Drug and alcohol abuse changes the way the brain works. Because of those changes, the body can develop a tolerance. That means you must take more of the drug to get the same effect.
Once a person goes through detox, that tolerance disappears. That is why it is easy for someone to overdose if they relapse. They take the same amount of a drug, such as an opioid, as they used before treatment, but now it is too much. What used to be a safe dose because of the body’s tolerance is now an overdose.
Sober living can protect those transitioning into life after rehab from returning to drug use and a potential overdose.
Addiction Treatment at CeDAR
CeDAR is a comprehensive drug and alcohol treatment program affiliated with UCHealth. We are located right across the street from UCH Hospital, but our facility is more like a college campus than a drug and alcohol rehab.
We provide residential treatment with gender-specific living arrangements and extended treatment. Other services at CeDAR include:
- Medical detox — A starting point for most of our patients.
- Outpatient services — Our outpatient program include a 12-week curriculum with day and evening appointments available.
- Family program — Once a month, we host families with members 16 years old and over.
- Alumni services — We continue to provide support after the patient completes treatment.
- Professional program — This includes both inpatient and outpatient treatment options.
Addiction doesn’t have to ruin the life of you or someone you love. Give a call at 720.848.3000 or go online and fill out our contact form to find out more about CeDAR and sober living.