Our partners have found that the longer a couple has been struggling with addiction, the longer and more intense of an addiction treatment program that needs to be completed in order for them to fully recover. This means that a couple struggling with long-term addictions will need to complete a detox program as well as an intensive inpatient and/or outpatient treatment program. This will ensure better chances at achieving long-term sobriety.
Overall, an intensive treatment program, specifically inpatient and residential treatment programs, provide many advantages to the couple. They allow the couple to live in a facility which will provide a safe environment and remove them from circumstances that contributed towards their addiction. There are no temptations or triggers for the addicted couple to battle with while staying in a facility. This could almost all but eliminate any chances for relapse while in the initial stages of treatment.
But what happens once a client completes their program? All too often, they get that certificate, snap a photo with a loved one, and immediately go back to, “I’m better now, I can have just one drink, one hit, one toot.” In fact, it’s a reality that underscores the need for couples’ therapy in the first place. Without a solid commitment to sobriety not only by the addicted, but also by everyone around them, recovery may seem like a nuisance. The first time a recent graduate of a rehab program is invited to a birthday party at a bar, for example, a relapse usually is born.
And yet, the first time a person is invited to an event where alcohol is present, even though they know to say “no,” it can be hard to come out as an alcoholic.
It’s not so easy to say, “I’m not coming to the party since it’s in a bar, and I’m an alcoholic.”
And even if you do, friends aplenty will say, “Oh, it’s OK! They serve O’Doul’s!”
First of all, O’Doul’s has alcohol in it. Secondly, are you really going to drink only O’Doul’s at the bar, especially with all those old friends around?
There is an intermediary step that somewhat mimics the additional support of inpatient treatment before fully transitioning back into the community. A sober living home provides continued structure and support to couples which will help make the process of reintegration a lot smoother.
TRANSITION TO SOBER LIVING
Even after a couple completes an intensive addiction treatment program, it is not uncommon for them to feel unprepared for re-entering society newly sober. Fortunately, for couples who would like to slowly transition back into their community there is the option of a sober living home. They can move into the sober living facility and use it as a transition to help them re-acclimate to everyday life at a slower speed.
A sober living home can be referred to as a sober living facility, or halfway house. It is a transitional-living group home in which individuals who have completed an inpatient addiction treatment program can continue to live in a monitored sober environment while adapting to a slow increase in responsibility. A sober living home is the stage in between inpatient addiction treatment and returning home. This is a great addition to a couple’s treatment plan for the fact that it will allow the couple to learn self-sufficiency and more freedom than what is allowed in treatment, but in a controlled and monitored environment.
For couples who live with one another, having their sobriety as secure as possible is critical. An investment in getting sober is just that. Just as you would buy insurance on a new BMW to protect your investment, sober living helps to insure you and your partner have been given all the tools necessary to stay sober. A sober living home also offers the dynamic of being around other sober people. Most couples who enter rehab together have developed a network of friends who also likely use. Changing “faces and places” is more than sage advice heard in 12-step groups. Anyone in recovery, 12-stepper or not, will tell you that if you don’t change who you hang out with and where, you’re destined to fail.
Herein lies the premise of why some find couples therapy controversial. Isn’t your partner encouraging you to use if they also use?
Not if the couple enters rehab together, in a specialized treatment program designed for couples. But even for a couple who does 90 days of inpatient rehab, that’s not much sober time in the scheme of the temptations outside rehab.
Sober living homes allow couples to connect with other sober people in their own communities. Connecting with other sober couples will be critical to maintaining success. Sober living homes and support groups such as the 12 steps offer great ways to meet other sober couples. Sober living homes, as an industry, do not always get the best media coverage. That’s because regulations vary from state to state and town to town. Unfortunately, rehab is a business. In all industry, there are some who play without scruples. But in reality, most opposition to sober living homes that dominate community news headlines these days really only has to do with stigma and ignorance about addiction and recovery. NIMBY, or “Not in my backyard,” afflicts many property owners in neighborhoods where some sober living homes are located.
The sober living homes we partner with maintain the highest standards in addiction and recovery maintenance. We thoroughly vet our partners to ensure our residents are entering an environment where everything possible is done to help them maintain their sobriety. Our neighbors know that residents who come from our treatment centers make good neighbors who have entered one of the most disciplined periods of their lives, indeed, so they can reclaim them.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN A SOBER LIVING HOME
While a couple is living in a sober living facility they can expect less supervision than in a residential or inpatient addiction treatment center, but there will still be some rules to follow. Many times, it is expected of clients who are staying at a halfway house to have a job, pay rent, and pay for other living expenses. On top of that, couples will be expected to complete chores and help with maintaining the home. This is to mimic what life will be like when the couple returns to their everyday life. Completing these tasks while living in a halfway house is creating a transitional learning experience.
For example, couples who have used together no doubt have run into numerous conflicts with one another. These conflicts, while under the influence or “coming down,” no doubt occurred over petty issues often times. Perhaps something said by one partner was misunderstood by the other, or maybe a partner didn’t do the dishes or load the dishwasher. These petty squabbles can end up serving as triggers, however, when the couple gets back at home and the same conflicts arise again. By living in a sober house before going home, you will have more time to test out the tools you learn in rehab for resolving conflict.
Many sober living facilities allow the couple to go out into the community, but outings must fall within curfew hours. Residents are also subject to regular drug testing to make sure they are staying abstinent. You could consider sober living a sort of helmet to wear as you get back on the bicycle of life. Recovery can be a difficult ride at first, but in no time at all you will remember how to keep that balance in all that you do.