Treatment Facilities & Programs

Sober Living Houses

By Stacy Jackson, Addiction Treatment Specialist

Many of those who are down on their luck or have grown up in a house full of drug users and abusers end up turning to drugs themselves. A common drug that many people becoming addicted to is crystal meth. This crystal meth addiction can occur in a short amount of time, some of the shortest that any drug can become addictive. Those that do have a crystal methamphetamine addiction find that they are unable to stop because they love the feeling that they get when they are ingesting the drug. Feelings of euphoria or simply feeling as if they have no cares in the world are reasons that people keep taking. And when a person keeps taking crystal meth they can develop some serious complications.

Those that have a crystal meth addiction are going to demonstrate problems psychologically, such as being highly paranoid. The physical aspects that are affected when a person is a crystal methamphetamine user are perhaps some of the most startling of any drug. The person will seem as if he/she has aged ten years in a short period of time after starting the drug. The user's teeth and hair begin to fall out, and to look at him/her, you might think that he/she has a contagious disease. The deteriorating appearance makes a meth addict a social outcast. However, for those that are addicts, there is drug treatment available in order to extinguish their dependency on the drug.

The drug treatment methods that are applied with crystal meth involve the use of several different forms of therapy. The most common being a twelve step program in which the addict talks with others who are going through the same thing. It is much similar to the format of Alcoholics Anonymous. However, after the drug treatment, some people still need a little help, and this is where sober living houses come into the picture.

Sober living houses are not the same as halfway homes or whatever other term that people use to refer to places where these addicts gather. These types of homes are run by people who are qualified in dealing with addicts. They open up the house to those that want to change their ways and stop their drug usage. Usually, people who end up in these kinds of homes are brought there by a loved one as a sort of intervention into their problem. At the home, the addict is surrounded by those that are also going through the process of stopping. Research has shown that when experiencing a traumatic event, such as quitting a substance abuse cycle, that having those near you that are experiencing the same thing is a step in the positive direction and can increase the person's chances of long term success, or living a clean life.

The houses do have strict schedules that they keep. For example, they may have group therapy time, dinner time, and so forth. The basic idea is to keep a set schedule in place so that these patients do not have the time to devote to thinking about what they are missing. The basic rule is that if you keep the hands and mind busy, then you can slowly kill out the need for the drug. And this has proven to be true. There are also strict visiting guidelines for family and friends. In fact, many of these houses only allow family and friends to visit the patient after a certain amount of time so that the progress the person is making is not disrupted by these visits. There are also strict rules that are in place at these homes since at many times the home may be packed with those that are trying to living clean. First off, there are no drugs or alcohol allowed on the premises. Those that are in the home do not necessarily share the same addiction, which means that any substance that is deemed addictive is not allowed. Secondly, there is no violence tolerated. The first act of violence that someone participates in is grounds for dismissal from the home. There is also no sexual activity allowed on the grounds; however, the homes make sure that this is impossible since there are hardly any houses that are co-ed. Since people share a room in these homes, it is best to limit the temptation to do something that can ruin recovery. In addition, the person must attend a 12 step meeting that deals with their addiction, and they will be required to attend these meetings a certain number of times each and every week. If the person misses a meeting, many times they are not given a second chance to redeem themselves.

It is important for people to understand that these are not rehab places that people can go to dry out. These are places in which the idea of clean living is fostered. For those that are experiencing withdrawals, then a rehab facility will be a better fit since they may need medical attention. Those that come to sober living houses are there because they have stopped, but they want to make sure that they do not pick the habit back up. Those that go to these homes should be actively seeking employment or be employed already. Those that are not must be helping out around the house because these homes are not free rides. Many times the families pay the fees for the person to be there; however, the house still encourages these patients to be out there trying to make do for themselves. The average person that comes to one of these homes stays for around ninety days or around a year. Rarely, anyone stays longer than a year because there is such a high turnover rate of new patients entering the facility.

These sober living houses are not run by the government. These homes are managed by someone who may have once been an addict or an empathetic onlooker who has the space in their home and wants to help his/her fellow man. This is why the rates of these homes can sometimes be quite high, especially if people go to those sober living houses that are considered boutique houses that are more like a spa than a place of encouragement and battling addictions. For those that are battling an addiction, getting the help that you need is going to be the only way in which you can conquer the addiction and live a normal life. These sober living houses can also give you a boost in the right direction and are rather easy to find since they are located throughout the nation, usually in places where crime and drugs are dominate in the area.

Sober Living Houses

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