Do halfway houses increase your chances of staying sober?

Do halfway houses increase your chances of staying sober?

Halfway houses are another avenue to increase the success rate of staying sober. Halfway houses are just another step towards freedom while allowing some stability and safety while addicts and alcoholics get back on their feet. The halfway house success rate is much higher than the rates of place that only are inpatient or outpatient treatment. If you talk to anyone with long term sobriety chances are they went to a halfway house after they went to treatment and this makes the halfway house success rate very high.

A halfway house is a bit like a practice run at real life sobriety. The lessons of drug rehab can be practiced from within a safe and sober environment before the recovering addict returns completely to the environment of temptation, and free access to drugs or alcohol. This is one of the biggest factors that contribute to the success rate of a halfway house. The fact that many addicts and alcoholics get to experience life issues while in a safe environment.

Living with fellow recovering addicts allows for fellowship, and through a shared experience, halfway house friendships are common this is another important factor in the success rate of halfway houses. Because most newly sober men and women struggle initially with recreation time and need to relearn how to enjoy life without intoxication, it can be very beneficial to maintain the support of others with a similar situation for strength against a return to substance abuse.

Clinical studies also show that the long term sobriety rates of those people that continue drug treatment in a halfway house are far better, and that aftercare participation rates remain significantly higher for those people residing in a halfway house. This also adds to the success rate of halfway houses. Some halfway houses will go so far as to mandate continuing and full participation in drug treatment aftercare as a requirement of residency, and failure to attend meetings can result in eviction from the house and program.

Although most halfway houses impose mandatory employment as a condition of residency, some also offer work training and work release programs, allowing the recovering addict to develop their employable skills in a safe and sober environment. Other educations programs are also offered. This helps an addict get a good head start on life while which can also increase the success rate of halfway houses.

Essentially, a halfway house keeps addicts motivated to sobriety; and growing together, recovering addicts learn how to fill their time without substance abuse. Recovering addicts better social interaction skills with others in a like situation, they gain valuable employment and life skills, and they are much more likely to remain active in aftercare drug treatment programming. The lessons of rehab are many, and it can be difficult to consolidate all that needs to be learned and put into practice when released into extreme temptation and little support. Through gradually increasing exposure to temptations and challenge, the continuing drug treatment at a halfway house increases the probability of success.

If you need help with your addiction please call us at 800-507-7389.

Relapse Excuses

Relapse Excuses

There is no good excuse for a relapse. However, there are several emotional triggers that are commonly used excuses people will use in order to justify a relapse.

Relapse Excuse #1. Resentment

Many of us have probably heard this: Resentments will take you back out. Holding a resentment is probably the most common relapse excuse. Resentments are usually in the form of:

Perceiving that others are trying to control their life

Expectations not being met

Perceiving that others are acting as if they are superior

Perceiving others to be hypocrites, taking others’ inventory

Superiors who abuse their power

Being hurt but others saying or doing something that negatively impacts the their self-esteem

When other people lie

Feeling slighted

Perceiving others to act unfair towards them and/or others

Relapse Excuse #2. Anger

“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die” When feeling angry towards someone else, the recovering addict/alcoholic often thinks that they will punish these other people by relapsing; of course the only person they are going to hurt is themselves.

Relapse Excuse #3. Boredom

After getting clean and sober, you might find that you have a lot of free time on your hands. Without hobbies or pursuing other healthy interests, you may become bored. This is another common relapse excuse: boredom. When we become bored, we may begin romanticizing our previous lifestyle, remembering the “good ol’ times” and conveniently forget about all the horrible stuff. This is a dangerous trend because, in the newly sober person’s mind, addiction wasn’t so bad after all. That mindset combined with agony of boredom is enough to convince most that relapse is the way to remedy their situation.

Relapse Excuse #4. Loneliness

This is kind of like the boredom excuse. When we stop drinking and drugging, we have to change people, places, and things. We may begin to miss our drinking and using buddies and, if we are not proactive in making new sober friends and getting sober supports in our life, then being lonely is the perfect relapse excuse.

Relapse Excuse #5. Disappointment in sobriety

As recovering addicts and alcoholics, we are used to instant gratification. That said, a life beyond our wildest in dreams in recovery takes time. Often times, we have to rebuild our lives from scratch. For some in recovery, this is frustrating and upsetting. They expect results and immediately! When this doesn’t happen, they will use that as an excuse to relapse

Relapse Excuse #6. Feeling depressed

Many addicts and alcoholics also have a co-occurring, or dual diagnosis mental disorder such as depression or bipolar disorder. In fact, that is why many of us sought out drugs: to numb those bad feelings. So, in sobriety, when those feelings come back, we retreat to the way we always dealt with them – by using drugs.

For those who do not have an actual mental health diagnosis, depression is still a factor, as it is for non addicts and alcoholics. Depression is a fact of life. But again, for recovering addicts and alcoholics, the temptation to escape these negative feelings may become too great to deal with and lead them to relapse. It is important to learn coping mechanisms that don’t involve drug use in order to achieve emotional stability in recovery.

Relapse Excuse #7. Feeling happy

Conversely, many people who have experienced a relapse say that it is when things are going really well that they slip up. Perhaps it is a way of rewarding themselves for doing so well. For others, it is a way to increase the already good feeling they have naturally. As addicts and alcoholics, we seek to increase the pleasure-causing chemicals in our brains while in active addiction. Once we are sober, it might be that this “taste” of euphoria from normal everyday good things, that is enough of a high for others, is just what it takes to leave us craving something more intense therefore causing some to seek it in drugs and resulting in a relapse.

Relapse Excuse #8. “Forgetting”

So many times, I have heard people who relapse say that they weren’t sure anymore whether they were an alcoholic or addict. So, they decide to go back out and “test the waters.” People will use the relapse excuse that they decided they weren’t really an addict and/or alcoholic in order to start drinking and drugging again.

 

 

Sources:

http://alcoholism.about.com/

http://www.psychologytoday.com/

If you need help with your addiction please call us at 800-507-7389.

How to Start a Halfway House

How to Start a Halfway House

 

What is a Halfway House?

Halfway Houses are transitional living places for those in recovery from drugs or alcohol. They are also called sober houses. Some people go to halfway houses from a treatment center, prison, or a homeless situation, while others go there to be in a sober and clean environment to begin the recovery process. Some residents are in halfway houses due to court orders.

Aspects of a Halfway House

Many halfway houses are run by people who themselves were at one time a halfway house resident. The houses accommodate either men or women. Most halfway houses require residents to pass breathalyzer and drug screening tests. Some houses have curfews.

Make sure the house is located so that your residents can easily get to AA and NA meetings. In recovery, we are self-supporting. Be certain that you are clear on what is expected from you and what you expect from your residents. Assign cleaning chores, including making their beds and keeping their rooms tidy.

Choose a house near public transportation for those of your residents who do not have their own transportation.

Why You Should Start a Halfway House

You should only open a halfway house if you are passionate about the cause. And, if you are passionate, it can be done with little or no money. There are various grants and loans available to get a house started. Learn from experience and check with someone who already has a house to see how to open one.

How to Start a Halfway House

Step 1: Acquire the licenses and permits needed to operate a halfway house in the community you select.

Step 2: Purchase or lease a property. Your financial circumstances may dictate this choice, but county, city, township and other lawmaking agencies frequently require property ownership before they are willing to sanction a halfway house in a residential neighborhood. Once you find one or more likely properties, have your top choices inspected by a certified building inspector to avoid “buyer’s remorse.”

Step 3: Renovate the property. Unless the home you buy was operated as a halfway house in the past, you’ll likely have to modify it to accommodate zoning laws that sanction the number of people you can house there, or any personal limits you’ve placed on resident capacity. Purchase insurance to cover the house and its contents, and add liability coverage to protect your personal assets from lawsuits. A regular homeowner’s policy isn’t adequate for a group home.

Step 4: Hire staff and create policies, rules and regulations. Having staff in place before the first resident arrives is a huge advantage, because experienced halfway house employees can help you write an operations manual and set rules, regulations and policies that will guide both clients and staff. Make sure you run background checks on everyone, from counselors to housekeeping employees.

Step 5: Set up the accounting aspects of your halfway house so it operates smoothly well into the future. Accurate records are important if you want your sponsors to continue making financial contributions, and it goes without saying that finding additional sponsors will be an ongoing activity.

Step 6: Implement programming. Residents released from rehab programs require an inordinate amount of structure in their lives so they can learn to become responsible members of both the halfway house and the outside world. Establish tight schedules that include mandated housekeeping chores, group counseling sessions, one-on-one therapy time, recreational activities, job searching and life skill building time. Plan social events, meetings and include alone time.

Remember: It is unlawful to discriminate in housing. The Supreme Court has ruled that recovering alcoholics and drug addicts are a protected class under the handicapped provisions of the Federal Fair Housing Act Amendments of 1988. If you seek a house in a good neighborhood, you’ll find it.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.sba.gov

http://halfwayhouse.com

http://smallbusiness.chron.com

http://soberhouse.net

 

 

 

 

If you need help with your addiction please call us at 800-507-7389.

If I relapse should I go back to rehab?

Should I go back to rehab?

If I relapse should I go back to rehab?

Working in addiction treatment, this is a question that I hear all the time. Many people who go back to using drugs and alcohol after treatment don’t think they should go back to rehab if they relapse. They’ll say things like “I’ve been to rehab before and it didn’t work” or “I already know everything they have to tell me.” The thing is, rehab is a lot more than therapy and learning about recovery. Even if you feel like you have learned everything you need to know about the disease of addiction and yourself, there are still reasons you should go back to rehab if you relapse.

If I relapse should I go back to rehab? Environmental

One of the most important things about rehab is that it gives you a safe place to be during those early days of recovery. The first thirty days are often the hardest, and many addicts and alcoholics relapse during this time, especially if they are in the same environment where they were using. If you want different results, you need to do something differently, and changing your environment is one of the first changes you should make. Just because you know how to get sober, it doesn’t mean you actually can or will do it. This is why it is important for you to go back to rehab if you relapse.

If I relapse should I go back to rehab? Support

One of the most important reasons you should go back to rehab if you relapse is because of the support system it provides. The real thing that keeps people clean and sober is not knowledge of recovery, it is their relationships with other people; their support system. There is a reason that 12 step groups have meetings and you are supposed to get a sponsor-we need other people to recover. What most people need in early recovery is support from people who understand what they are going through, not tips on “how to avoid triggers.” They need to see people who were once where they are and who have had success in recovery. They need to build relationships with people who can show them how they can attain lasting recovery.

If I relapse should I go back to rehab? Knowledge

Ok, you may think that you know everything about recovery, but you don’t. Recovery is not about memorizing the 12 steps or reading every page of recovery literature. If you went back to drugs and alcohol, then there were obviously some fundamental things you did not learn in rehab. For example:

  • You did not surrender.
  • You did not take suggestions from people who were trying to help you.
  • You weren’t completely honest.
  • You were not open minded enough to learn everything you needed to know.

Most people who relapse, if they’re being honest with themselves, know that they did not grasp one or more of these fundamental concepts. Going back to rehab if you relapse is the safest and smartest option and it gives you the best chance for recovery in the future.

If you need help with your addiction please call us at 800-507-7389.

The root of drug abuse

The root of drug abuse

The root of drug abuse

Is the root of drug abuse and drug addiction genetic? Do we inherit the tendency from our mothers, fathers, or grandparents? Or is the root of drug abuse environmental? Do we abuse drugs because of our socio-economic status, the values we are raised with, or our level of education? These are questions that have been highly debated for decades.

The most perplexing thing is that no one plans to become addicted to drugs or alcohol, and people from every culture, background and income level are susceptible to addiction. Sure, there are those that have been shown to be more susceptible to drug and alcohol addiction, but the truth is, in over a century of studying the disease of addictions, scientists have not been able to discover the root of drug abuse and drug addiction.

We continue to invest money into research searching for the root of drug abuse, because if we can discover the root of drug abuse, we may be able to better prevent it, treat it, and maybe even cure it. However, the root of drug abuse is very complex. Scientists agree that the root of drug abuse probably has genetic factors, environmental factors, and psychological factors.

The root of drug abuse: Alcoholics Anonymous

For 75 years, once hopeless drug addicts and alcoholics have found redemption in the AA principals. No one really knows how it works, but in the 75 years since Bill Wilson founded the program, experts have yet to design a program that works better, despite the wealth of knowledge we have amassed in subjects like psychology, medicine, and human behavior.

According to the big book Alcoholics Anonymous, the root of drug abuse and drug addiction is a physical allergy, a mental obsession, and a spiritual malady. To truly attain recovery from drug addiction, the program believes, we must find a solution that treats all three facets of the addiction-spiritual, physical, and mental.

Treating the physical aspect of addiction is very important, obviously. This is the quantifiable aspect of addiction. You can observe a person’s physical symptoms when they are withdrawing from a substance. You can give them medications to relieve the discomfort. However, after 10 days, a person’s body is no longer dependent on the substance. If this were the only aspect of drug addiction, then anyone who has been through detox could stay sober forever. Rarely is this the case. Only when a person’s body and mind are free from drug addiction can you begin to treat the mental and spiritual portions of the disease.

Treating the mental and spiritual parts of the disease is also essential for recovery from drug addiction. To successfully recover from the spiritual portion of drug addiction, we must begin to live a life based on spiritual principles and helping others. Most addicts notice that as we treat the spiritual portion of the disease, the mental obsession will be lifted as well.

Whatever the true root of drug abuse, it is true that no one chooses to be an addict. However, you can choose to embrace recovery.

If you need help with your addiction please call us at 800-507-7389.