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Sober Living

Jan 15 | 2013

Sober Living

By the time ARC’s residents graduate from our program, they have reached a level of functionality and clarity that they will be able to carry over into their newly sober lives. ARC offers several aftercare treatment options, all of which are tailored specially to target the changing, transitional needs of the addict as they move on from the structured environment of the residential setting. And, since no two people require the same variety of care, it is vital to the maintenance of their long-term recovery that they have as many, fluid options available to them as possible.

We do not offer a Sober Living Environment, or SLE, but we can make recommendations about many facilities all over the country that can meet the needs of the individual. Most of the individuals in our Intensive Outpatient Program are in some form of a local SLE.

Residential Treatment is the Beginning

In other words, ARC offers what are referred to as multiple levels of care, which means that our program is divided into different phases and different categories, with each phase of treatment calibrated to meet the needs of each individual wherever they find themselves on their own treatment continuum. Treatment typically commences with physical detoxification – the period during which the client undergoes a systematic and medically supervised process of ridding their bodies of toxins – after which the client moves through the various levels of the program. Although ARC’s residential treatment programs occur along a phase system, with the client gaining increasingly challenging autonomy as they move forward and participate in their program and recovery, the proposition that they will someday graduate is inadvertently inaccurate. The truth is that graduation from residential treatment, although serving as a bookend of sorts, really indicates that they have completed but the very first inquiries into their own personalities, addictions, and pathology, and that with regards to graduation, their departure from residential care actually inaugurates the next phase of their lives and their personal growth. This is a critical juncture for any addict – regardless of how well behaved or compliant they were while in treatment, or how rebellious and resistant to treatment protocols they demonstrated – the move out of residential care into their respective lives is enormous, and the pressures and stressors they will inevitably contend with will challenge everything they have accomplished during their in-house stay.

Sober Living is an Adjunct Service

As such, different levels of care are provided by ARC, with each variety of services representing, in a general way, whatever stage of growth the addict is at the moment they leave residential care. For some individuals the Intensive Outpatient Program might be the most viable option. For still others, some variety of SLE in conjunction with Aftercare Services might be indicated. Having asserted as much, it then becomes important to find the SLE that best suits the addict’s needs. In practice this is trickier than one might suppose. Because addicts at this phase of their recovery are typically apprehensive or outright terrified, matching them up with a facility that honors their needs is imperative to fostering continued growth and recovery.

Structured Sober Living is Important

Much of the controversy surrounding sober livings is the fact that in the state of California sober homes are not regulated by the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs; which means that there exist no real oversight with regards standards of care one can expect from a licensed treatment center. More often than not, residents in the various SLEs we work with, are expected to either be in school, to be working, be looking for work, and participating in aspects of ARC’s various aftercare services, or volunteering. In other words, we expect the SLE to be progressing the individual forward in the same way we do. As an addendum to the aforementioned, ARC works with SLE facilities, all of which ARC vouches for with regards to their provisions of care, their oversight and the integrity of the structure they apply.

Varying Styles of Sober Living

There exists a great deal of misinformation about SLEs, and a moment to clarify their function is important. Sober livings are generally not regulated by onsite staff or therapists, and the expectation is that graduated residents are at a point in their Recovery where they can manage certain of their affairs. One of the most important services that sober living community’s provide is a supportive setting for newly sober addicts that encourage them to foster the life skills and coping strategies that have hitherto been largely theoretical. Features one can expect from a sober living:

  • A clean and sober environment.
  • New positive peer influences.
  • A healthy community lifestyle.
  • A safe place to continue personal and spiritual growth.
  • A place to learn self-supporting principles of recovery.
  • Recommended 12-step involvement for all members of the community.
  • Continued work with a primary care therapist.
  • Participation in ARC’s aftercare and alumni programs, which includes meetings, socializing, group therapy, family therapy, and one-on-one therapy.

Moving On To Independent Living

ARC’s Aftercare program is referred to as “independent living”. This level of care should be viewed as a step-down resource for people who need additional support transitioning out of residential treatment and more specifically Intensive Outpatient. The primary function of independent living is to create a safe resource for individuals that need a degree of structure and accountability, but simultaneously don’t require high levels of maintenance.

Special Workshops, Alumni Services

Some of the ongoing services ARC provide for sober living residents include:

  • Ongoing Life Skills Workshops – ARC’s Life Skills Workshop encompasses a broad spectrum of issues and concerns. Life Skills Workshops provide for people an opportunity to take stock of areas that still need attention, while also receiving support and commendation for what they have accomplished. This element of treatment is invaluable because addicts tend to belittle their accomplishments and embellish their mistakes. Employing group input and observations from peers, in conjunction with positive reinforcement employed by the group leader or therapist, is an invaluable tool to help objectively assess oneself and appraise both their assets and their liabilities. It is not uncommon during this phase for people to begin to identify passions and interests, including vocational and educational aspirations.
  • Continued Alumni Services – ARC’s Alumni Program is specially geared to creating a sense of community between people who have left treatment, but who are at different levels of emotional and psychological development. The nature of the group, and its inherent intimacy, collude to create a unique environment in which Addict’s transitioning out of residential care have a place to acquire support, guidance, and love.

Recommending A Sober Livings in Los Angeles

When people are transitioning from our residential setting to a SLE, we help them by making recommendations based on our experience with sober livings over the last decade. We do this on a case by case basis. There are no kickbacks, perks, or mutual benefits behind any of our referrals, which is part of the reason we don’t list any sober livings on our website. If you are curious about what SLE would work best for you. Call us, or fill out our free insurance verification form and we can find the appropriate sober living that fits you.


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