Every choice you make when planning your recovery is about getting to the next step of it. One step that often gets overlooked is the period of time right after residential treatment. Women may go home to little support and lots of demands. They may find it hard to prioritize self-care in general, especially their own recovery needs. So today, we’re going to introduce five benefits for women who choose a sober living environment after treatment.
Sober Living Homes
Sober living homes offer women coming out of treatment a safe and stable environment for focusing on their recovery. The transition period back to independent living can be challenging, especially if there’s a lack of support at home. Sober living eliminates exposure to drugs and alcohol that may be accessible through a patient’s friends or acquaintances. Providing physical distance between their old life and the new life they’re working to create can help support their recovery work. Also, sober living helps women learn to build healthy relationships with peers. Some of these friendships may continue far beyond a sober living space.
Here are five top benefits of sober living homes after treatment:
1. It eliminates exposure to substances.
If we consider sober living a “new world,” then it separates a woman from her “old world” where access to drugs or alcohol may be wide open. She may have a harder time avoiding substances if she’s going to the same places and seeing the same people she did before treatment began. In a sober living home, these substances aren’t present and aren’t permitted in any form. Without access day-to-day to drugs or alcohol in a sober living home, women are encouraged to practice the coping strategies they’ve learned in treatment.
2. Sober living homes are gender specific.
Sober living homes for women are set up to focus on serving their needs as a group. In these settings, women in sober living homes come in with different kinds of substance use in their past. They can have different mental health factors, too. At the same time, there’s a lot of common ground in the group as a whole. Women tend to be more open and show emotion, especially when around other women. They’re able to relate to each other, even when their life situations aren’t identical. They may respond to the recovery process in similar ways and nurture each other through the recovery work.
3. It promotes empowerment.
Women in sober living homes may notice a recurring theme among their peers: issues with self-confidence, strength, and self-worth. These environments emphasize the value in empowering each other to succeed in recovery and beyond. Staying sober isn’t the only goal. It’s about helping women feel value in their own lives and recognize how protecting and nurturing that sense of value can support their sobriety goals. Encouraging other women and being open to receiving encouragement is the two-way street to the feeling of empowerment.
4. It’s built on healthy support systems.
Support shows up differently for different women. Some may have an abundance of it in family, friends, and community relationships. Other women may have little or no support. In sober living homes, what these women share is a healthy support system of other women with a history of substance use disorders. They have common ground. They’ve been through similar experiences of using drugs or alcohol, attempting to quit, experiencing withdrawal, learning and growing in treatment, and working to set up a new sober life. These are connections that only come through shared experiences.
5. Sober living homes create lasting friendships.
The return to independent living is the next step, and having solid friendships is an important part of that transition. In sober living, women learn how to forge these friendships through care, honesty, and trust. They learn to see healthy relationships as having balance between two people. They give each other a safe space to talk about what they’re feeling. They can practice strategies for coping together. Connections made in sober living can become the accountability people in a woman’s life. Eventually, this kind of bond can remind women to choose friends who can enrich their lives in the same way.