A sense of community is a crucial aspect of the recovery process. It allows those in recovery to feel supported and as though they belong, which in turn helps them find meaning in their everyday lives. If your loved one is starting on the path to recovery, a sober living community can make all the difference.
When people are struggling with substance addiction, they will typically isolate themselves from loved ones. They may be scared of disappointing or hurting those they love; or, they may feel they are not worthy of others’ love and support. Some people choose to distance themselves because they are trying to hide their drug problem from friends and family, or simply spend all of their time seeking, using, and recovering from drugs. In any of these circumstances, their drug addiction is extremely isolating.
Those who choose to get sober and enter drug treatment often struggle with building relationships at first. In some cases, their addiction burned bridges between their family and friends. Often, they do not feel they will find people to relate to in treatment, or are simply hesitant to trust others in this new environment. However, over time, they find that establishing a sober support network, and further belonging to a sober community, is exactly what they needed to push through the recovery process.
What are the Benefits of a Sober Living Community?
Sober living homes are designed to be a safe, drug-free place for people in recovery to find strength and healing, and to break free from the grip of substance addiction. Sober living entails developing the skills and habits needed to live a healthy life without the crutch of drugs and alcohol. It involves a full and ongoing commitment to living sober, not just to “getting sober” at that moment in time.
A sober living community is designed to support that commitment to recovery, and to bolster one another’s success in times of need. When a person is living in a treatment facility or sober living home, they are surrounded by other people working through the recovery process. These people have all experienced substance addiction in some way, and have all taken steps to get on a healthier path. To be able to relate to others in recovery is powerful and inspiring, especially to those early in the process. This community, in turn, can also help one to:
- Stay accountable. When a person is surrounded by others in a sober living or treatment environment, they tend to feel more accountable for their sobriety. They want to continue taking steps in the right direction, to maintain this new and healthy way of life. In many sober living homes or halfway houses, there are also rules to hold people accountable for their recovery. This may include set curfew times, regular drug testing, and a commitment to work and/or school.
- Establish meaningful friendships. When a person is using drugs, their friend group primarily consists of other drug users. This is inevitable as an addiction progresses—people choose to surround themselves with others who support their drug habit. Ridding or stepping back from those old relationships is key to taking strides in recovery. And those friendships can be replaced by more meaningful ones over time. The friendships made in recovery are supportive and built on pure connections and commonalities. They are not built on drug abuse. At Turnbridge, we often hear how the friends made in treatment often turn into life-long friendships.
- Find a sponsor or mentor. Those new to recovery may be required to find a sponsor or mentor to help guide them through. Sponsors and mentors are individuals who are accomplished and committed to sobriety, and who can offer valuable advice early in the recovery process. If you have questions, or are simply having a tough day, you can always call your sponsor to help.
- Open up in meetings and group sessions. Part of sober living communities may involve attending group meetings – such as 12-step meetings – or support groups. In a residential drug treatment program, this may also mean attending group therapy sessions. Group therapy and meetings are incredible tools to meet other people in recovery, to hear about others’ experiences with drugs and alcohol, and to establish connections with others. Over time, people find that they want to open up in these meetings too, to help others who are new to recovery.
- Engage in group activities. Sober living communities do not just involve group meetings and therapy sessions. In fact, there are many fun aspects of residential treatment programs and sober living facilities. At Turnbridge, for example, residents participate in a variety of fun, sober activities such as sport leagues, concert outings, group hikes, and more. These activities enable residents to actively engage in their recovery, engage with others in recovery, and re-develop the social skills they may have once lost to drug addiction.
A successful recovery is largely dependent on supportive, sober relationships. That is why, at any drug treatment center you consider, community should be the focus. Connections with others in recovery should always be encouraged. Community should be emphasized. Opportunities should be granted.
At Turnbridge, a residential treatment center for teens and young adults, clients are able to live alongside others walking in similar shoes. We have dedicated facilities for young men, and a special campus for young women, to ensure that residents are fully comfortable alongside peers of their same age and gender. Young women benefit from a sisterhood of community, wellness, and recovery. Young men are placed in a community filled with camaraderie, purpose, and good health. All residents are given opportunities to meet others and participate in activities that in turn build lasting friendships, from ski and snowboard trips up north, to exploring art in the vibrant community of New Haven.
A Sober Living Community in Connecticut
Turnbridge is not solely a “rehab” or “treatment” center, however. Our programs are rooted in community. In addition to evidence-based treatment, Turnbridge provides a sober living community where young people can grow together in a fun, healthy, and drug-free environment—conquering the tight grasp of substance addiction at last. Clients learn how to overcome negative emotions and attitudes, develop the life skills needed to reach success, and build relationships that will last well-beyond treatment.
As Alex, a now-alumni of Turnbridge, shares: “I came to Turnbridge and they helped me get right into the local recovery community and begin going to meetings... I began to find myself. I’ve had a lot of fun and made some great relationships and believe I’ve changed for the better.”
Many of the alumni at Turnbridge continue to stay in touch after their graduation day. Many return to become sponsors, mentors, or support staff within the treatment facilities. The community does not go away when treatment is complete. Sober living communities are meant to last a lifetime.
To learn more about the benefits of sober living communities, or to learn about Turnbridge’s sober living programs, do not hesitate to contact us. Call 877-581-1793 to speak with us today.