WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT PROGRAM AND A SOBER LIVING?

By Design For Recovery

For individuals suffering from substance use disorder, there are a wealth of treatment options available, but it can be difficult to know which one is right for their unique personal circumstances. So what is the difference between sober living vs residential treatment. Residential treatment programs and sober living homes are both highly effective treatment options for people who are unable to stop engaging in substance abuse on their own. Both require that individuals live at a treatment facility and work to develop new ways of living. 

However, residential treatment programs and sober living homes have somewhat different approaches to recovering from addiction. Inpatient treatment programs are generally more intensive, whereas sober living homes are generally less structured.

 However, people can often remain a resident of a sober living home for far longer than they can at a residential treatment program. Because both types of recovery programs specialize in different levels of care, sober living homes, and residential treatment programs are often used in conjunction with each other, with many individuals moving from one to the other as their needs change.

Addiction Treatment at a Residential Treatment Center

Residential treatment centers specialize in helping individuals with severe and active alcohol and drug addictions. Residential programs are sometimes referred to as inpatient programs because they involve living inside treatment facilities fulltime. Often considered the most intensive form of formal addiction treatment, inpatient treatment programs are able to provide care on a 24/7 basis. They are best suited to individuals who are early in recovery. 

Many people choose to enroll in inpatient treatment programs immediately after leaving a medical detox center. Individuals generally spend a few weeks to a few months getting care at a residential treatment center. Services offered include cognitive-behavioral therapy, group therapy, employment workshops, family therapy, and medication management – with the goal of resocializing the individual and examining underlying beliefs and behavior patterns that create the conditions for addiction.

While inpatient programs do offer a high level of intensive addiction treatment, most people benefit from having additional support when it comes to rebuilding their lives. Life outside of the clinical environment of a residential treatment center has a variety of challenges that can be difficult to face alone for someone who is newly sober. 

For that reason, caseworkers at residential treatment centers generally help graduates devise an aftercare plan that ensures they will continue to be treated and supported in the weeks, months, and years after graduation.

Transitioning to Independent Living at a Sober Living Home

Sober living homes are a common component of aftercare treatment plans. These living facilities function as a kind of transitional living environment for graduates of residential treatment programs who want to ease back into the “real world” at a comfortable pace. Sober living homes are residences that require all the people living there to maintain their sobriety. 

Sober living homes do not offer the same intensive therapeutic and medical services that a residential treatment program does. Instead, they offer a way for individuals to begin constructing a normal life while living in a safe and supportive environment.

Sober living homes provide a variety of benefits to people who are trying to rebuild their lives and stay sober. Living with other individuals who are facing the challenges of newfound sobriety together can be a powerful source of support. 

Many sober living homes encourage or require attendance at 12-step meetings, which helps individuals further expand their social support system. It is also common for sober living homes to provide residents resources that can help them develop life skills. Many work with residents to help them find jobs or enroll in academic programs. By the time a resident graduates from their sober living home after a few months or a year, they will already be making strides toward their personal goals.

Sober Living Vs Residential Treatment: Which Option is Right For You

For individuals who are currently experiencing severe crises surrounding their substance use disorders, residential treatment programs are usually the best course of action after attending medical detox. While these programs are extremely helpful early on, they generally only last few a few weeks to several months, and it is crucial to understand that they do not “cure” addiction. 

In fact, addiction requires continual treatment, though the nature of that treatment inevitably changes as an individual progresses on their journey of recovery. Sober living homes are the ideal way for a person to continue to build on the foundation of sobriety they developed at a residential treatment center. Research has shown that individuals who spend more time engaged in the recovery process generally stay sober longer. For that reason, moving from an inpatient program to a sober living home is likely to help prevent relapse.

Design for Recovery is a structured sober living home located in Los Angeles. While many sober living homes throughout the United States are great for transitional living, Design for Recovery is unique in that it offers an peer lead recovery program as well. If you are exhausted from the vicious cycle of addiction and you are ready to make a change, contact Design for Recovery today.

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