If you have successfully completed a drug rehab program, you should be proud of your accomplishment. It’s not easy to tackle a substance abuse problem. Congratulations on your determination to live a drug-free life. However, drug rehab is only the first step. Your continued sobriety is not a given. You must work on it every minute of every day. Some options that will help you are:
- Your rehab’s aftercare program. Be sure you take advantage of this crucial service.
- Your support system. You will need family, friends and other people recovering from addiction to help you stay on the right path.
- Consider attending a sober living facility for at least 90 days. 180 days to a year is even better.
- If you are involved with AA or NA, you must continue to go to meetings regularly. This means at least several meetings a week.
Never underestimate your risk for relapse. For a newly recovering addict, the risk is quite high, even with the very best in drug rehabilitation treatment. The longer you were addicted, the more likely you are to relapse. A few months, or even a year, of even the finest in drug treatment cannot erase years and decades of drug abuse and its associated thinking patterns.
Avoid all temptation as much as possible. You may miss your old associates, but if they are still using drugs, you need to stay away. Even if they’re now clean, it’s best if you don’t see them on an individual basis. Meet them at an AA or NA meeting. Invite them over for a group gathering with other sober friends and family. But don’t associate with now-sober, former drug-using friends alone. Together you may both relapse. If a friend is currently using drugs still, you shouldn’t see them at all.
Your best chance for continued sobriety is constant vigilance. Never, ever think your problem is cured. To some degree, you will always be at a relatively higher risk for drug use and relapse into your old ways. You cannot let a day go by without doing something constructive towards your goal of a drug-free life.
Staying Sober at a Sober Living House
After you leave your rehab facility, you may want to consider a sober living house to reinforce your goal of permanent sobriety. Sober living isn’t a prison. You are basically free to come and go, although you can expect a strictly enforced curfew. You can work, attend school and have a healthy social life. You can see your family. Most of all, sober living offers a powerful support system that you can take advantage of while you are still new in your sobriety. You will live among others who know and understand exactly how you feel. You will always have someone to talk to who understands. You and your housemates are all in this together.
Many sober living facilities house both sexes together, although sleeping and bathroom facilities will be separate. No sexual contact is permitted. But both men and women may eat together and socialize.
You will have to pay rent. Some houses are one big dwelling that may have private rooms, shared rooms or even small dormitories. Some will have a combination of accommodations, each priced accordingly. Some sober living facilities are actually small apartments that several residents share. Others may consist of converted motel rooms that are intended for one or two persons.
Most sober living houses have house meetings that you will be required to attend. You will be expected to pitch in with the chores, which may include cleaning common areas and kitchen duty.
Drug Testing at Sober Living
All sober living places will have some sort of drug-testing policy. It may be only with cause, but more likely, you can expect random drug testing for no reason at all. You cannot refuse. If you do, you will be asked to leave. A dirty test may get you the boot as well. You are there to stay sober. You must understand that the facility must take a hard line when it comes to drug use. Any use of alcohol is also forbidden.
Inpatient drug rehab followed by a reasonably long period of sober living housing is your best chance for permanent sobriety. Think of it as an investment of time in yourself.
If you’re looking for a sober living facility, we can help. We are available 24 hours a day at 833-762-3739. If you’re concerned about a substance abuse problem, we can help you with that, too. In fact, we are here to help. Trained staff will listen to your concerns and point you in the right direction for you. We look forward to your call.