The environment of most treatment facilities is usually regimented, clinical and supervised. It’s easier to avoid drugs when you’re being looked after all the time. There are counseling sessions to attend, 12-Step meetings to go to, group discussions and many other activities that keep you focused on recovery, as well as keeping you occupied.
But what’s going to happen when you’re not being looked after? When you’ve got time on your hands and nothing to do? When there aren’t other people who are equally committed to getting well to talk with at all hours of the day and night?
What’s going to happen when you’ve got to start making all your own decisions about everything you do?
For many people in the first few days or weeks of treatment, these are some of the scariest thoughts they deal with. Sobriety is a hard-won victory under any circumstances, and as soon as treatment is over, the challenges to that victory will come from all sides, and when they’re least expected.
There is no weakness attached to recognizing that these situations will be difficult to handle. Everyone who has gone through recovery has felt the same way. Transitional living is simply another tool to help you manage the earliest stages of recovery.
How does transitional living work? Often referred to as “sober living,” these facilities are much like an apartment building, dormitory or large home. The residents are all involved in recovery, and the home is managed by a trained person—generally someone with many years of sobriety. This shared commitment to recovery creates a strong sense of community among the residents. It’s a place to feel supported in early sobriety, while continuing to practice the lessons and use the skills learned in treatment.
Even the experience of learning to live with a group of relative strangers can be a valuable lesson in recovery: conflicts arise and must be resolved, friendships will be built on mutual respect, and boundaries will be tested. Household responsibilities, from cooking to cleaning to laundry, must be carried out by each resident. All these situations constantly present themselves in daily life, and the sober living environment allows those who are newly recovered to gain practical knowledge and hone skills that will become invaluable in maintaining healthy sobriety.
The individual's time in transitional living can also be a helpful time for the resident's family to undergo some recovery of their own. If the former addict was living with his or her family while using, they may need time to learn how to set appropriate boundaries regarding the recovering family member, or how they can get help for their own needs (whether through family counseling, a family support program like Narc-Anon, or any other means).
In addition to housing, Florida Transitional Living can provide residents with transportation to local employment, job interviews, shopping and organized recreational activities. We also encourage those in our facilities to attend 12-Step meetings in the local area, where they can find further support, make new friend and build stronger bonds within the recovery community.