One of the most precarious times for people in addiction recovery is the transition from rehab to home. Those who are not fully ready for this transition are likely to relapse. This means they will be right back where they started, and there will be no guarantee that they will ever summon up the motivation to quit again. This is a terrible shame and a waste of an opportunity. There are a number of steps that the individual can take to increase their chances of success after leaving the initial rehab program, and one of these options is to enter long-term rehab.
Most residential rehabs will last for about 28 days. This amount of time can be enough to give people the start they need in recovery, but it has been suggested that spending more time in a protected environment would increase the chances of success in recovery. It is possible for people to enter long-term rehab after they have gone through detox or after they have passed through a 28 day program. This extended form of rehab can last for anything up to two years. This means that by the time the individual returns to normal living they should already be firmly established in recovery.
Long-term rehab is sometimes described as an intermediary step between traditional rehab and home. It gives the individual additional time to settle into their new life away from addiction, and they will also be surrounded by the tools they need to make a success of things. The long-term rehab is not usually as regimented as the standard rehab, but there will be structure and expectations of the client. Many of these sober living homes will look like normal houses, and there will only be a small number of people living in each. The client will usually be allowed to leave the house during the day, and it may even be possible for them to return to full-time employment.
Those who attend this type of rehab will be expected to follow certain rules including:
* Alcohol and other recreational drugs are completely banned in these facilities. Anyone who attempts to bring any of these substances into one of these homes will usually be kicked out of the program immediately.
* It is usual for products such as alcohol-based mount wash and cough medicines to be banned from the house. This is because of the risk that they may be abused by clients.
* If clients relapse they will usually be expected to leave the program.
* Some of these houses expect clients to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings regularly during their stay. There are other programs available for those who do not wish to use the 12 Steps as part of their recovery.
* Any sexual or romantic relationships between clients living in the same house will be discouraged. Such relationships can cause a great deal of havoc in one of these residences.
* It is sometimes not possible to bring friends or family aback to the house. Overnight guests will not be permitted in almost all of these facilities.
* Anyone who engages in physical or verbal violence will usually be asked to leave the program.
* There will usually be a list of tasks that the clients will be responsible to take care of each day – for example, household duties and cleaning.
* Most of these long-term rehabs will have regular house meetings where any problems with the living arrangements will be discussed.
* Clients may also be expected to attend support groups in the house.
* In many of these houses the client will be expected to be fully financially independent and self-supporting. It may also be a requirement that the client has full-time employment in some residences.
* There is an expectation that the clients will make the best use of their time during the stay in long-term rehab. The individual is given more responsibility for taking charge of their own sobriety.
Long-term alcohol rehab can be called:
* Sober living homes
* Recovery supportive homes
* Dry houses
* Recovery house
* Halfway houses
* Sober shelters (usually for the homeless who are trying to quit alcohol)
* Transitional housing (usually for homeless people following rehab)
There are some definite benefits to be had by staying in long term rehab including:
* Those individuals who attend long-term alcohol rehabs appear to have a far greater chance of success in their recovery. This is because the transition from rehab to home will be much smother.
* The client is able to slowly ease their way back into normal living over a longer time period.
* Early sobriety tends to be full of unexpected challenges. These sober living homes ensure that the individual will have the support and the resources they need to face such challenges.
* Clients benefit from continued protection and support. They will be protected from many temptations that other newly sober people will have to face.
* Everyone who is staying in these sober homes will have a common goal. This means that the individual is living within a community that fosters recovery – they will benefit from positive peer pressure and influence.
* When people first become sober they may not have many relationships – this is because they will need to break away from their drinking and drug using friends. The individual will be able to build relationships with other residents in the sober home.
* These programs usually include continued counseling sessions and regular support groups.
* The individual learns to develop responsibility by fulfilling their obligations within the house. Those who fail to take on their responsibilities will be confronted by others in the group.
* The individual learns to behave more appropriately by interacting with other members of the sober household. Many addicts have spent their entire adult life trapped in addiction, and this means that they do not always know how to behave appropriately.
* Some of these homes are quite luxurious. This means that the individual can enjoy some comfort as they work to get their life back in order.
* These long term rehabs provide the individual with some structure in their life. This makes it easier for them to deal with the realities of being newly sober – it will mean that they become familiarized with this new way of living faster.
* A common relapse trigger(http://www.psychpage.com/learning/library/assess/relapse.htm) for people in early recovery is loneliness(http://alcoholrehab.com/alcohol-rehab/dangers-of-loneliness-in-recovery/). Those who live in a long-term alcohol rehab facility will be less likely to feel lonely because they are always surrounded by people who are sharing a similar path.
* Other members of the house should be able to spot if the individual is showing signs of potential relapse. This means that it may be possible to intervene before the actually return to alcohol abuse.
* Another potential relapse trigger for people in early recovery will be boredom. These houses will usually have plenty of recreational activities available for clients.
* Those resources that can help the individual build a sober life will usually be available in these facilities. For example, some will have a library containing recovery literature.
* Those individuals who go home directly after spending time in a traditional rehab can be fooled into thinking that their work is done- this is a common mistake. By attending a long-term rehab the individual is reminded that the work of recovery is far from finished.
* Many of these long term rehabs provide training for clients – including such things as mindfulness meditation.
* The individual will have fewer responsibilities than they probably would have if they lived at home. This means that they can concentrate more fully on their recovery.
There are a few potential drawbacks of long term rehab including:
* The majority of these programs cost money, and the individual will be expected to cover their own living costs. There are some government programs available for those who are less well off financially – the individual will need to meet certain qualifications before been eligible for these.
* There is the worry that staying in rehab for an extended length of time could mean that the individual become a bit institutionalized. This could conceivably make it difficult for them to take full responsibility for their life later on.
* Those who relapse will usually be kicked out of these homes – although there is likely to be some type of counseling and advice offered.
* The individual’s family may find this need for an extended stay in rehab makes their life difficult. This is especially true if they are dependent on this loved one.
* The long-term rehab tends to be far less supervised than a traditional rehab. This means that if one individual relapses they can take other people in the house along with them.
* Some individuals do not need this type of addiction support. They may feel like living in such an environment is just delaying their return to normal living.
* There are some people who just don’t enjoy living in this type of community. They may feel a bit suffocated by being surrounded by people all the time.