In the standardized sequence of different levels of care within addiction treatment, after completing detoxification and inpatient treatment (typically lasting about 30 days), the next and last step in the process is moving into a sober living environment. Because of the more lackadaisical nature of monitoring within the SLE (sober living environment), if one is not careful, they can run the risk of slowing progress in their recovery and regressing back to old patterns of behavior. Because the SLE is the home of the recovering addict between the 2nd and 6th month of their initial recovery, it is important to understand that this is typically when most relapses occur. While this isn’t necessarily the fault of the SLE, an under-supervised and loosely ran sober living program can be a breeding ground for a return to maladaptive thinking and actions.
If we happened to be a family member who is helping during the transition phase into the SLE, it is crucial to understand the level of monitoring and accountability that is being provided before thrusting our loved ones into this environment. Due to the lack of requirements within the SLE, private facilities can often get away with hiring minimal staff who often times lacks the qualifications for this type of job. Now of course it is not the responsibility of the SLE to keep the recovering addicts sober, the individual is best served in a SLE that provides structure, accountability through drug testing, and adequate levels of monitoring as leaving recovering addicts to their own devices in the first 6 months seems to be ill-advised at best.
Recovery from addiction, in general, doesn’t allow us much time to merely survive. True recovery requires that we at least make an attempt to thrive because the moment we begin to become complacent and apathetic in our recovery is the moment we risk slipping back into the momentary comforts and unwavering horrors of the addiction cycle. Another tip for those entering into a SLE is to utilize your resources! Make the efforts to meet with case managers, drug and alcohol counselors, and psychotherapists. Through the initiation of these actions we will not only be provided with the help we need, but we will gain a sense of empowerment due to the fact that we are taking agency over our recovery program. When we become the architect of our sobriety, and subsequently, our lives, we increase the chances of maintaining it exponentially.
Tree House Recovery of Portland, Oregon is a men’s addiction treatment center that teaches our clients how to roll with life’s punches and use the tools they’ve learned throughout the treatment process to stay on top of anything life throws at them. Call (855) 969-5181 to see how we can help you today.