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When a person first recognizes their problem with alcohol, they may begin asking themselves:

  • How do I address this problem?
  • How severe is the problem?
  • How can I find help with this?

Once they seek help, they may find the problem is much bigger than they realize.  Often times, the person may need to seek help from inpatient rehabilitation services.


Reasons for Seeking Inpatient Treatment

Reasons for seeking inpatient treatment vary from person to person.  Many seek this form of rehab due to the wide availability of alcohol. The opportunity to continue drinking is just too easy and it’s necessary to remove them from the environment. For others it’s necessary to keep from harming themselves or others.  Others may need inpatient care in order to begin using medication to treat alcoholism or other medical/psychological issues.  Others may choose it based on the recommendation of a trained professional or trusted family member or friend.  Still others may find it the only path available due to legal problems they have encountered.

Some studies have shown that the alcoholic who receives inpatient treatment fairs better and resists the urge to drink longer than those who don’t get this type of attention.


Addressing Multiple Areas of the Addict

With alcoholism, there are usually many areas in the alcoholic’s life that need addressing.  Typically, inpatient rehab takes a holistic view of the addict and work with them in as many areas as possible.

Pressures and stresses of everyday life are a part of the alcoholic’s life and will remain there following treatment.   Many facilities help the patient with recognition, coping and avoidance strategies.  Knowing they will be returning to a life outside the facility, the alcoholic may need help in recognizing issues that arise and how to deal with them without relapsing.  For example, a person’s regular route to and from their work may include a drive past a liquor store or bar they once frequented.  Perhaps difficulties at their work may trigger the stress that once led them to choose drinking.  Learning to recognize and deal with situations like these is critical to recovery.

Alcoholics frequently have other issues that go along with their substance abuse.  Psychological and emotional problems often go with the person in recovery.  Having a safe place to work on these issues can be the key to a successful recovery as many facilities are equipped to deal with these problems.

With some alcoholics medical needs must be addressed in recovery.  The physical withdrawals from substance abuse may increase the vulnerability to conditions such as dehydration or other physical ailments.  Having a well-equipped inpatient facility will aid the alcoholic immensely.


Family Support

Inpatient staff recognizes the critical need for support from family members and friends during recovery.  Along with this, family members may receive counseling with the addict to deal with the effects of alcoholism.


Goal of Treatment

The goal of any treatment program is to aid the alcoholic on the road to recovery and to live a life free from substance abuse.   With proper inpatient treatment and follow-up care an alcoholic can decrease their chance of relapsing into their old lifestyle.

Transitioning to Sobriety: Sober Living Homes

The road to recovery after addiction is often a difficult one. Maintaining the willpower to remain sober is a challenge, especially after many months or years of addictive behavior. Apart from the introspective psychological challenge of abstaining from drug use, the user must usually cut ties with people that still use. Severing these links to old friends, people about whom the user still cares, can be stressful enough to cause a relapse, as the addict may be left with few trustworthy people remaining in his or her life, or none at all. It is crucial to find a social support system without enabling further drug use, and sober living homes, also known as halfway houses, can provide this.

Providing the basics

Sober living homes are often situated in quiet areas, far from night life, liquor stores, and other potential sources of temptation. Here, those that have recently begun the path to recovery can find an environment with some basic rules, but not the rigorous schedules and other restrictions that are the hallmarks of rehab facilities and other, more specialized (and more expensive) recovery centers. These homes are pathways to reintegration with society. The atmosphere is relaxed but requires residents to assume the usual responsibilities of a productive person. Typically, a home will ask residents to pay while they live there, for rent, food, and other normal costs of living. The rent tends to be fair and reflects an understanding of the situation in which most recovering addicts find themselves. There is often a reasonable curfew, and residents are asked to contribute to the household in other ways, such as doing chores. Rules will vary by home, but they are always reasonable and in line with their mission.

Great expectations

Those that manage sober living homes expect that all residents are there to solidify their recovery. However, they are interested in helping addicts, not a single addict in particular. The rules and restrictions they put in place are designed to be impartial, so as to help those that are ready to be helped and avoid the burden of those that would take advantage of their charity. They know that one bad apple can spoil the bunch in such a tenuous situation. All who apply must prove their sobriety, though many homes do not require any past rehabilitation or detoxification program. All they ask for is a commitment to sobriety and to personal responsibility. Homes require that the residents attend school, be employed, or find employment, both to pay for their place there and to ensure a responsible, structured lifestyle. Some will go as far as assisting residents in finding jobs, though this is not always the case. And, because abstinence is the supreme communal goal, homes administer random drug tests and require residents to attend support groups, such as twelve-step meetings or group therapy sessions.

Safety in numbers

What sober living homes offer is the support of a community of people, all of whom are going through a very similar and difficult experience. Within the safety of the space they offer, addicts can share themselves and feel free to be vulnerable. As each resident is ideally striving toward the same purpose, residents can help each other, reinforcing good decisions and talking through bad decisions. Overall, studies indicate that addicts that pass through sober living homes are far more likely to continue their sobriety and improve their lives and far less likely to relapse or end up homeless or imprisoned.