Within the last decade, we have heard the words, “sober living program” more often than ever. But what exactly is a sober living program? And how does it affect the recovery process of those with addictions?
The National Institute of Health conducted studies that show that recovery patients who go directly from rehabilitation programs back to their original home environments face a great deal of very difficult challenges and modes of temptation. Often these familiar and sometimes stressful environments decrease the patient’s chances of success.
This is where sober living programs and housing opportunities come in; these programs help to bridge the gap between in-patient recovery and living at home. Sober living programs ease the recovery patient back into the everyday life they have had to leave behind in order to get sober.
In-patient recovery programs can be lengthy, which for many patients becomes an expensive burden. Studies have shown that longer stays in in-patient recovery programs, do not help or increase the chances of a full recovery from addiction, so longer stays in rehab clinics and hospitals is not recommended. A sober living program is much better equipped to help patients learn to cope with the normal stresses of everyday life.
One of the main advantages of sober living programs for recovery patients is their ability to assist with providing the basic skills required to achieve long-term sobriety outside of a hospital or clinic facility.
Patients who have the opportunity to take advantage of sober living programs and housing opportunities increase their chances of being able to cope with the maintenance of their sobriety, while taking on many of the responsibilities they had to leave behind during their healing process.
True rehabilitation transforms the individual and helps them to replace old destructive habits with more positive and healthy activities. Alcoholism is a dangerous disease that can ruin a life and greatly diminish the quality of the lives of those around the person recovering.
There is much compassion for this disease, which is why it is crucial to recovery, that the person recovering be given ways to steer themselves away from alcohol and engage in rewarding activities.
Usually, alcohol abuse is driven by the massive amount of stress that comes with daily living. If we can find ways to help reduce the stress and the temptation to numb ourselves, everyone can lead better and healthier lives.
Here are some activities to try instead of drinking:
Taking a 15 minute walk can offer the same positive effects such as meditation. Walking works two-fold in relieving stress and decreasing temptation, by engaging the muscles in the body with activity and also engaging the mind with the surroundings of the area, nature, and the community.
Visual entertainment is one of the most stimulating ways to steer one away from drinking and into a magical world where stories are told through movies. A matinee or evening twilight time is perfect times to take in your favorite flick.
Coffee shops are everywhere these days; from huge popular chains like Starbucks to your local privately-owned cafes. Having a cup of delicious coffee with a fun and supportive friend who knows what you are going through, is one of the best outings one can have at any time of the day.
Window shopping is a lost art. Simply going to the mall or your nearest shopping center or flea market, is a wonderful activity that allows you to enjoy meeting people, and also making a wish list of all the pretty items you see. If you feel up to it, take a friend along for company and someone to chat with.
You don’t need to be an “artist” to create art. There is an artist in each of us that simply needs to be allowed to come out. Creating can be a natural high in itself. Scrapbooking your favorite pictures, poems, or quotes; or creating a colorful collage out of magazine clippings that will enable you to express your feelings in a more fun, non-destructive, and creative way.
Alcoholism is an epidemic. More and more rehabs crop up each year, and the number of people going through detox is staggering. There are some important medical facts to be aware of when you stop drinking, even if you have only been drinking for days or weeks.
Alcohol detox is serious, and you should always seek medical advice. The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can start very quickly after your last drink and can include anxiety, shakiness in mild cases, but can be as severe as seizures and delirium tremens (Fever, Confusion, and Rapid Heartbeat). There is a 1%-5% chance of death from the DT’s.
The symptoms of alcohol detox can progress from mild to severe very rapidly, and medical treatment is always necessary. Early attention from a doctor can greatly reduce your chances of developing seizures or the DT’s. If you deal with other medical issues like heart disease, seizures, or lung disease, seek medical help immediately.
It is best not to go through alcohol withdrawal on your own. You never know how severe your symptoms will get. Rehab is always recommended. There you will be monitored consistently, and receive medical intervention as soon as you need it.
If you are not in rehab, make sure you have a friend or family member with you, and consider severe symptoms such as, rapid heartbeat, hallucinations, confusion and seizures medical emergencies. Call 911 immediately or go to the closest emergency room.
Alcohol withdrawal syndrome should be taken very seriously. Be alert to your symptoms, and above all, be honest with yourself about what is happening to you. Seek medical help as soon as possible. You should not go through detox by yourself. The support of friends and family is almost as necessary as medical treatment.