For men struggling with addiction, it can seem like you’ve been dealt a bad hand. It can be hard to hold a job, take care of a family, enter into meaningful relationships, feel passionate about things like you used to, or keep up with hobbies and favorite pastimes. As the grips of addiction grow stronger, these once clear goals get further and further away, leaving you feeling helpless, trapped, and alone.
The men’s sober living program at FHE Health is designed to help those in need find a stable, supportive path forward, providing comprehensive programming designed to promote lasting abstinence. If you or someone you love is striving to move beyond addiction, our sober living opportunities can encourage success in recovery.
What Is Sober Living?
Sober living is a housing option for patients who are newly sober and attending non-residential treatment programs. Instead of returning home after detox or an inpatient rehabilitation, sober living provides an extension of inpatient care to promote continued abstinence from drugs and alcohol.
At FHE Health, we understand that those in recovery are most vulnerable in the first days, weeks, and months following a departure from substance use. Our men’s sober living provides a place for men to continue healthy practices and stand strong against the power of addiction while taking additional steps on the road to recovery.
The Effects of Substance Use on Men
Addiction affects men from all walks of life with no regard to race, color, creed, or social status. 52.3% of men aged 12 and older try illegal substances of some sort; and in many cases, this seemingly-innocent experimentation evolves into addiction. Studies demonstrate that dopamine is released in higher quantities for men than women when taking drugs, creating stronger pleasurable effects that contribute to ongoing substance abuse.
Unfortunately, the draw of addiction can be extremely serious for men, leading to consequences like the destruction of a family unit, ruined relationships, job loss, and financial instability. This can complicate substance dependence for a number of reasons, primarily due to the expectation many men feel to be a provider. When addiction takes away the ability to fulfill societal expectations, it can take a toll on self-esteem and self-worth, creating a downward spiral that is challenging, if not impossible, to escape from without professional help.
Making the decision to get help isn’t easy for anyone – approximately 90% of those with a substance use disorder who need assistance fail to seek treatment – but reaching out can be more difficult for men. Men who are afraid to seem weak or expose emotions are often more reluctant to seek help, leading to a large gap between those who need treatment and those who get it.
At FHE, we support men through all stages of treatment, from medical detox to aftercare. We work to address the unique challenges facing men in rehabilitation, providing customized programming to address the current landscape of addiction medicine.
How Sober Living Supports Recovery
Sober living can be a solution for those newly released from residential rehabilitation, offering a safe, comfortable place to live while learning new routines and lifestyles to ease the transition from treatment to normal life. Effectively a step down from an inpatient program, a sober living house for men provides accountability, support, and motivation to stay clean. With a strict, stable, and structured environment, sober living offers the rigidity desired by those still navigating the waters of early recovery.
Sober living homes are compatible with a wide variety of programs following residential treatment, including:
- Partial-hospitalization programs (PHP): a comprehensive treatment program that includes day-long rehabilitation with nights spent at home or in our sober living houses.
- Intensive outpatient programs (IOP): a step down from PHP, IOP allows participants to attend school or work during the day while committing several hours to ongoing treatment in the evenings.
- Support Groups: After IOP, it’s recommended that you stay in close contact with your support group, preferably one that has regular meetings. A sober living near your support group is ideal for early recovery.
- Alumni and aftercare: All of our patients are part of our alumni community. The bonds forged throughout treatment and in outpatient care are often part of the support network you will continue to rely on long after rehabilitation. Proximity to our campus helps you stay involved with events and attend our alumni events.
Sober living is not a requirement for those who have completed a treatment program at FHE Health but the opportunity is strongly recommended for the best chance of success.
The Benefits of Sober Living
A residential rehabilitation program provides a solid start for those hoping to overcome addiction. In rehabilitation, men have the opportunity to work with doctors, counselors, and other addiction specialists to start recovery off on the right foot.
Despite the benefits available for those who choose residential treatment, inpatient programs don’t last forever, and, eventually, it will be time to re-enter the real world. However, returning home and continuing with normal life isn’t necessarily the right choice. While several weeks spent in recovery can provide a foundation upon which to build for the future, returning to friends, lifestyle choices, and habits that support addiction can be too challenging to overcome, resulting in a higher likelihood of relapse.
Sober living provides a bridge between initial intensive rehabilitation and a return to normal daily life, helping those early in the recovery process to avoid temptation. For those committed to staying sober and avoiding the appeal of old habits, sober living can offer significant benefits.
Sober living programs are highly structured environments. Unlike home, where you are free to come and go as you please, sober living provides guidelines like curfews, abstinence from drugs and alcohol, and required chores to continue participation. This structure helps participants to make healthy decisions, encouraging a safe, stable, and productive way of life after the conclusion of treatment. By keeping to a routine, participants are able to create healthy habits that will last even after a return home.
In a program with other people and strict rules, it is far more difficult to let policy and procedure fall by the wayside. While in sober living, participation in a substance abuse treatment program is mandatory for all participants, forcing an accountability that is often absent in a traditional home environment. The restrictions of program participation as well as the actions of other house members encourage regular attendance and an honest effort, helping those in recovery to remain engaged in treatment programs throughout the duration of residence.
Staying motivated on the road to recovery can be a challenging. After days or weeks of progress, it’s easy to let good habits — e.g. consistently attending outpatient treatment programs — fall by the wayside. However, a sober living home can keep motivation at a high: when all participants are enthusiastic and willing to continue treatment, it’s easier to stay on a positive trajectory. Those in recovery who are motivated to stay sober are in a better position to prevent relapse, resulting in a higher likelihood of overall program success.
Access to Resources for Life After Treatment
As an extension of addiction treatment, sober living houses come with many advantages. While staying in sober living, participants have access to FHE program resources including access to our center, medical and psychiatric services, job placement programs, housing placement, and resume and interview preparation. Those in sober living can also take advantage of skills development as well, with opportunities including:
- Proper etiquette and social interaction
- Responsibility and personal accountability
- Nutrition and meal planning
- Finance and budget planning
- Employment and career planning
In sober living, men will have the opportunity to learn how to lead healthy, productive lives after seeking independence, improving the odds of smart lifestyle choices in the future.
Seeking Support From FHE Health
After a residential treatment program, many newly recovered substance users are eager to return to daily life. However, this is often easier said than done. Returning to a home once dominated by drug or alcohol use, reuniting with friends and family who facilitated, participated in, or condoned use, and spending time in old hangouts dominated by use makes staying strong quite challenging.
At FHE Health, we are available to provide support day in and day out for those working to recover from addiction while pursuing a better way of life. For those who have successfully completed residential treatment, our men’s sober living program provides a similar structure in a more independent and flexible environment. As a step down from inpatient rehabilitation, sober living can arm participants with the tools to excel both during and after treatment – today, tomorrow, and for years to come.