What is Sober Living?

For those who are new to recovery, choosing a safe and structured living situation upon the completion of inpatient treatment is essential to the maintenance of long-term sobriety. Sober living homes allow men and women to slowly and safely transition back into fully independent living, while maintaining accountability and receiving ongoing support. Early recovery can be a somewhat overwhelming time – but it certainly does not have to be. Committing to a sober environment after inpatient treatment allows for a continuation of care coupled with a greater level of personal freedom. At Immersion Recovery Center, we provide a comfortable and strictly structured environment in which those new to the recovery process can continue to grow, while remaining engaged in independent recovery work.

Addressed During Phase 3 of Treatment

At Immersion Recovery Center, sober living and intensive outpatient treatment are both components of our third phase of clinical care.  Two of the overriding treatment goals in sober living are a steady progression towards fully independent living and the completion of individualized treatment goals. These treatment goals varies on a person-to-person basis, though the structure of our sober living houses remains consistent across the board. We have rules in place for a reason – not only do the rules help residents remain accountable, but they help facilitate personal growth and further ensure relapse prevention once an individual completes his or her stay.

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Structured Living

Below are several consistent components of our structured sober living program:

  • Residents participate in an Intensive Outpatient (IOP) program, which will provide them with a continuation of group and individual therapy sessions. Group therapy is an important component of aftercare. The supportive group setting allows residents to work through concerns and issues that they are liable to face as they transition out of residential care. With a greater deal of personal freedom comes a greater amount of responsibility, and with a greater amount of responsibility can come an increased propensity to feel overwhelmed. Working through uncomfortable feelings in a group setting provides residents with a sense of belonging, and allows them to offer and receive support from like-minded men or women.
  • Residents participate in daily chores, keep their own personal space clean and work together with other residents to keep common areas clean.
  • Residents attend daily 12 step meetings. In most instances, Immersion Recovery Center support staff members transport residents to and from these meetings. In addition to meeting attendance residents must begin working a 12 step program while remaining actively engaged in their step work. Residents then are guided to find a sponsor and meet with their sponsor on a regular basis.
  • Residents then seek employment, return to school or volunteer on a daily or near-daily basis. Staying busy and involved in the community is extremely important to the maintenance of long-term recovery.

Sober Living – Treatment Goals

In sober living, all of the life skills, coping skills and relapse prevention skills that were learned in inpatient treatment will be given a practical application. During the third and final phase of clinical care, residents learn how to effectively and successfully interact with the world around them. They employ communication skills and build healthy and functional relationships with their peers. They stay actively involved in their communities and build self-esteem and self-awareness as a direct result. Residents become financially independent and learn how to successfully manage their own finances while saving money for their (now bright) futures. We believe in a comprehensive approach to sober living, and we provide our residents with the structure and support they need to phase out of clinical care and thrive on their own for the remainder of their lives.

It is very common for individuals to thrive in inpatient treatment, seeing as they do not usually come face-to-face with relapse triggers and they face far fewer real-life adversities while in a residential setting. Once they move onto sober living, they will face more unique challenges – and they will need to actively employ all of the life skills they learned while in group and individual therapy.

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Gender-Specific Treatment

When it comes to sober living, gender-specific treatment is especially important. Men and women experience unique challenges once they begin transitioning to independent living. Gender-specific intensive outpatient treatment allows residents to address these issues confidently in a safe and judgement-free setting. Men and women are separated in the sober living houses themselves for obvious reasons. It is also absolutely crucial that individuals who are new to sobriety learn to develop meaningful friendships with members of the same sex. In many cases these friendships will go on to last a lifetime.

How Long Will Sober Living Last?

As previously mentioned, the length of one’s stay in sober living depend heavily on personal progress. In most cases, an individual will remain in sober living for between three and six months. However, nine month-long stays are also common, especially if treatment goals are not being met or an individual is experiencing post-acute withdrawal symptoms. If the addictive disorder was severe, post-acute withdrawal symptoms might persist for up to a year. These symptoms are not dangerous or life-threatening, but they can be uncomfortable – and they can include psychological cravings. If such symptoms persist, it is best that they are continuously overseen in a clinical care setting. If a resident takes all of his or her treatment goals seriously and shows significant progress, a three month stay will be the most likely.

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Immersion’s Aftercare Program

No recovery journey is complete without comprehensive aftercare. We offer a continuum of care in our Intensive Outpatient Program, one that focuses on relapse prevention and the continuous development and application of crucial life skills. The unfortunate truth is that individuals are the most vulnerable to relapse within the first year of recovery. Offering a multi-phased program that covers the entire length of that vulnerable time is extremely conducive to long-term sobriety. Medical detox typically lasts for one to two weeks and will be followed by inpatient treatment, which will generally last for between one and three months. Sober living is the most extended phase of recovery, and will last for between three and six months (in most cases). In sober living, clients will continue on with IOP and are able to apply the skills they have learned in real-life situations and then discuss the difficulties they have experienced or the triumphs they have had in a therapeutic group setting. At Immersion Recovery Center we believe that treatment should be comprehensive and should actively prepare individuals for long-term success. If you or your loved one is ready to move onto the third and final phase of clinical care reach out to us today and speak with one of our Treatment Advisors for more information – we will gladly answer any additional questions that you may have.