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Why IOP and OP Are More Successful When Paired With Sober Living
Why IOP and OP Are More Successful When Paired With Sober Living

Originally posted on Roots Through Recovery’s blog on November 7, 2017

Many different treatment options exist to help a person get sober, because there is no single path to sobriety that works for every person. This variety allows a person to try different therapies to find what is most effective in helping them to maintain long-term recovery.

However, researchers do know there are some combinations of treatments that have been proven to have a high success rate. Some of these include intensive outpatient programs and outpatient programs, which are particularly effective when paired with a sober living facility.

What Is Sober Living?
Sober living is a home or residential setting where a person lives with other people who are similarly committed to recovery from drugs and alcohol. A sober living program allows a person to live in an environment where they are protected from the triggers and high-risk situations of regular life. This structure gives them time to practice relapse prevention skills and safely adapt to increasing independence.

Each sober living facility has its own rules, which may include:

  • Refraining from using drugs or alcohol
  • Helping with chores and upkeep of the home
  • Participating in group meetings, such as 12-step programs
  • Submitting regular drug and alcohol tests to confirm sobriety

Intensive Outpatient Programs and Outpatient Programs
The most reliable treatment plan for a person involves shifting from immersive, full-time therapy to lower levels of care. A residential treatment program is followed by an intensive outpatient program and then an outpatient program. These transitions happen as a person progresses in their sobriety.

A sober living program is an excellent companion to intensive outpatient and outpatient programs. These programs involve frequent or even daily therapy sessions at a treatment facility. Some of the treatment options available at an outpatient program may include counseling, group meetings, medication management and education on drug abuse and successful measures for maintaining sobriety.1 The average length of stay in sober living ranges from 90 days to six months.

Some people choose to participate in outpatient programs while living at home. However, a person may not have a safe living environment, others in their home may still be abusing drugs and alcohol or their home may be triggering for them. All of these can lead to more frequent cravings and increase the likelihood of relapse. By participating in a sober living program, a person can remove themselves from these triggers and thrive in an environment where others are also committed to sobriety.

Research on Sober Living Homes and Outpatient Programs
A study published in the March 2011 edition of the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs examined 300 individuals entering two different types of sober living homes over the course of 18 months. At the end of the study, the researchers found that people who lived in a sober living home and participated in an outpatient program, such as a 12-step group, had the greatest likelihood of being sober at six and 18 months.2

Once a person completes outpatient treatment, they may choose to continue staying in a sober living facility, return home or find a new home. Most treatment centers will recommend staying at a sober living facility for at least 90 days to enjoy the greatest recovery benefits.

Read the original article here. 

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