As exciting as it is to have completed a rehab program, the transition between treatment and returning to one’s home community can present certain challenges to recovery. While being anxious to get back home to familiar surroundings is understandable, going back too soon is not always the best option. In fact, even those familiar surroundings can be a trigger for relapse.
To fill the gap between rehab and regular life, a halfway house Salt Lake City provides a salient option. A halfway house, a term used interchangeably with sober living and transitional housing, offers an opportunity to firm up the new sober lifestyle a bit before returning home. Spending some time in a halfway house allows the individual to practice all the new recovery skills learned in rehab while living in a safe, substance-free environment. For the best chance of succeeding in recovery, time spent in a sober living arrangement provides the critical next step in the recovery journey. In time, the shift back to normal life will feel organic and comfortable instead of rushed.
What Are the Benefits of a Halfway House Salt Lake City?
It is natural to assume that the purpose of a halfway house is only about providing a drug and alcohol-free living space. While that is indeed the first priority of a halfway house, there are many other benefits derived from spending a period of time living in one. These include:
- Helps Creates Structure. A halfway house offers structure in recovery, helping the individual form new daily routines and healthy habits as they begin a life in recovery. In a sober living home, the residents will be held accountable for their actions and expected to get up at a reasonable time in the morning and spend the day being productive. This helps prepare the newly recovering individual for reestablishing a regular daily schedule.
- Reinforces New Recovery Skills. Rehab teaches many helpful life skills and tools for managing the daily stressors without resorting to using a substance. Living in a halfway house offers an opportunity to practice these skills—communication skills, coping techniques, emotion regulation skills—and reinforce new healthy thought and behavior patterns before attempting to transition to regular life.
- Offers Peer Support. The early months of recovery can be emotionally challenging. The full weight of the consequences of addiction will have to be experienced and managed without the numbing effects of a substance. The consequences might include legal problems, financial setbacks, family problems, health issues, and relationship problems. The halfway house setting offers peer support while going through the process of sorting things out.
- Deterrent to Relapse. The deterrent effect is one of the most significant benefits of choosing a halfway house. No one wants to relapse and get kicked out of their house, so the random drug and alcohol testing creates a powerful deterrent not to relapse.
Why is Social Support So Important in Recovery?
One of the common triggers for relapse is loneliness. Transitioning from active addiction to sobriety means having to cut some friends out of one’s life, including some who were close friends. Sustained sobriety depends upon taking these measures to protect oneself from exposure to addicts, substances, and temptation to use. To fill the void left by these former friends and acquaintances it is important to make the effort to establish new sober friendships.
Social support is critical in a successful recovery. Early recovery is a vulnerable phase of the journey, so having sober friends and close family members at your side can be protective against relapse. Sources of social support include recovery meetings, such as A.A. or N.A., participating in support groups, and seeking out sober social activities. Where new sober friendships are formed, mutual support follows.
About Sober Living
Halfway houses provide an important function on the recovery continuum. The purpose of the houses is to help support the recovery efforts of individuals transitioning out of rehab. While an inpatient rehab setting is very tightly controlled and structured, with temptations removed and minimal stress, returning home to complete freedom might be too difficult to manage.
Additionally, it is found that those who went straight back home after discharge from rehab may not be returning to an environment that is supportive of sobriety. It may be a chaotic, dysfunctional home environment, or family members might overtly use drugs and alcohol in the presence of the newly sober individual. These situations do not respect or support recovery.
In addition to providing the substance-free living space, halfway houses also set expectations for the residents that help them become reacquainted with living a responsible and productive life. While each halfway house may have slightly different objectives, generally the goal is to encourage the residents to secure employment, adopt a regular daily routine, and to contribute to the maintenance of the house. It provides a perfect transition between the controlled rehab setting and the home setting.
Halfway House Rules
Halfway houses maintain their safe and stable environments by establishing a set of house rules and policies that all residents are expected to adhere to. An example of the house rules for a sober living house might include:
- A zero-tolerance policy for drug or alcohol use
- Intermittent or regular drug and alcohol testing
- Possession of drugs or alcohol is prohibited
- Selling or distributing drugs or alcohol is prohibited
- No lewd or sexual behavior is permitted
- Stealing of any property is prohibited
- Aggressive behavior or violent acts are prohibited
- Weapons of any kind are prohibited
- Loitering in front of the house is prohibited
- Curfews are posted and must be adhered to
- Unauthorized absence from the sober living home is prohibited
- Residents will attend weekly house meetings
- Residents will attend recovery meetings and select a sponsor
- Residents will complete the daily chores and tasks designated to them
Adherence to these house rules helps secure a living environment that is clean, orderly, and safe.
Incorporating Recovery Meetings into Sober Living
In addition to the camaraderie enjoyed among housemates, an additional layer of social support is provided through regular participation in a recovery community. Typically, transportation is provided to halfway house residents to and from these local A.A. or SMART Recovery meetings. These meetings are usually required of the residents, as they ensure that the resident is actively working their recovery.
Recovery meetings are an excellent source of additional support for sustaining sobriety. The meetings also provide opportunities to make new friends, find a sponsor, and to participate in volunteer activities. Through the friendships made in the community, an added sense of accountability for maintaining sobriety is an added protective factor against relapse.
Establishing a New Healthy Routine in Recovery
It is common for someone in active addiction to become so focused on the process of obtaining, using, and recovering from substance abuse that they neglect everything else in their life. They may develop lazy habits, sleep until noon, disregard their personal hygiene, and ignore housekeeping. While residing in a halfway house there is the opportunity to reestablish healthy daily routines. A well-managed house will set expectations for the housemates to rise by a certain hour each day, to maintain their room, to pursue work or school, and to contribute to the functioning of the house by sharing cooking and cleaning responsibilities.
In addition to adopting a regular daily schedule, the time spent in a halfway house also allows for the individual to revamp their diet and to incorporate exercise into their new sober lifestyle. Restoring health is an important aspect of recovery, setting the stage for long-term recovery success. Each of these new healthy habits will contribute toward a better quality of life.
What to Look for in a Quality Halfway House Salt Lake City
When seeking out a halfway house there are certain features that indicate it is a high quality and well managed home. Below are 6 key aspects that your prospective halfway house should emphasize:
- A firm commitment to enforcing the substance-free policy. This will involve a clearly stated zero-tolerance policy, an in-house manager, consistent and random testing, prohibition of any possession or dealing of substances, and actionable steps to use when someone breaks this critical house rule.
- Structure and organization. A halfway house only functions effectively if there is adherence to house rules and policies. The rules help maintain order and safety, as well as ensure that the housemates pull their weight in housekeeping and other shared responsibilities. If these practices are not in force it will be evident when touring the house.
- Participation in 12-step or recovery group meetings. Recovery from a substance use disorder requires proactive participation and vigilance each and every day. Active participation in a local recovery support group should be a mandatory requirement for housemates.
- Expectations for employment. Sober housing is a transitional phase of recovery allowing the newly sober individual to get back on their feet. A halfway house should have a policy that requires the residents to obtain employment and become functioning members of society again, versus permitting day long television or video gaming.
- Weekly house meetings. Mandatory house meetings benefit the sober home by providing a forum where issues can be discussed in a safe space. The weekly meetings foster a sense of community while allowing residents to work out issues collaboratively.
- House rules enforced. None of the safeguards contained in the house rules and policies are meaningful if the rules are not enforced. Strong house management helps cultivate a sense of accountability to the group based on each resident’s adherence to the house rules.
A quality sober living homes is, first and foremost, actively managed, clean, and has a relaxed atmosphere. House rules are clearly posted and enforced, and house meetings and recovery meetings will be mandatory. The halfway house is drug and alcohol free with a zero-tolerance policy for substance use. Most of all, there is a clear sense of purpose conveyed by the owner or manager that they are truly committed to supporting your recovery.
Knowing when it’s Time to Return Home
After a period of time living in a halfway house there will be an intuitive desire to return to one’s family home. This step is a crucial one, signaling a certain degree of stability and confidence in one’s ability to make life choices that will be supportive of recovery. This is the point reached when recovery has become a top priority, knowing that all subsequent joy and purpose flows from sustaining sobriety.
When someone reaches this benchmark, it is time to begin planning the transition back to the home environment. It is essential to take the initiative to ensure that the home is free of substances and that family members have agreed to help support your recovery. Invite family members to join you at a recovery meeting or two, so they will have a good idea of the daily challenges that sobriety entails. Have them join you in therapy to gain insights about your needs in recovery, and where they can learn about setting realistic expectations and healthy boundaries for their own benefit.
When making the move back to home life, it is important to continue to attend recovery meetings and outpatient therapy for at least one year. This will add an extra layer of support that can further cement the desire to maintain a secure and sustained long-term recovery.
Sober Living Properties Halfway Houses Salt Lake City
Sober Living Properties provides safe, comfortable halfway housing in the Salt Lake City vicinity. With six quality halfway houses to consider, Sober Living Properties has the supportive setting to provide a residential environment that is conducive to recovery. Local attractions include outdoor sporting activities, such as fishing, hiking, swimming, skiing, and rock climbing. There are also ample employment opportunities surrounding the halfway houses, providing residents with income sources. A caring and supportive staff ensures structure and open communication for the benefit of all residents. For more information about our halfway houses, please contact Sober Living Properties today at (866) 543-5235.