We commend Frances Cobain, daughter of Kurt Cobain on her 2nd sober birthday. The impact of family hurts not only parents but also children, and the difficulties to overcome alcohol and drug use can become challenging given the social system reintegration and reliving trauma through the developmental stages that psychologically can become stagnant or thwarted in sobriety.
Sober living seems to have had an impact to extend her sobriety and the longer the supervision or support in earlier recovery the easier it is to attend the recovery needs. We salute the support she has received, the public comments and responsibility and inspiration to those wishing a life of joy after stopping addiction and alcoholism.
At By The Sea Recovery we want to remind society and the community at large of the importance of sober housing after addiction treatment and its positive impact on society as well as overall reduced costs. Congratulations Frances!
This article from the fix is impeccable. How do you tell a quality sober living from a random house looking to fit as many people and call it a process? The fact that it brings back power to the client is important. We'd like to add our own questions that help to refine the outcome after providing sober living in San Diego for over 5 years.
How often do you drug test?
This one is a biggie. There tends to be cost cutting in drug testing because it can be up to $10 dollars a test. The second one is alcohol breathalyzer. Alcohol is 'easier' to 'bring in' a sober house. We have found that the costs for testing is actually an investment and keeps sober living clients accountable. Our data also shows that the more we have tested, the better the outcomes. It is not uncommon for sober living homes to test once it is very evident that someone is either using or is on a behavioral path to do so. Testing often helps deter and many times eliminate excessive relapse in sober living homes. We recommend a minimum of once a week on urine and at least twice on breathalyzer.
What is the relapse policy?
Rarely do people talk about relapse and it's important to know that not only does it happen, but its less common to have continued and extended sobriety. Sad? Unfortunate? Drug and alcohol recovery is messy and, let's not forget, mortal. We do have hope. It is important to set clear the consequences of relapse, and not in a manner of punitive measures, but as to keeping a home safe for sober living clients. The greater the structure, the safer it is. Relapse with a focus on money can lead to sober homes charging reinstatement fees or simply feeling afraid to asking someone to leave because of losing a clients expenses at the end of a month. A quality sober living home will care more about safety than money. Our experience shows that having options to staying at a local hotel, going back to detox or having another sober living home to begin recovery (with their residents aware of the issue) will lead to a greater connection to the community and ties not broken. There should be consequences but there is no need to punish a behavior that many times is cognitive and biological and not a decision of morals.
Communication. Communication. Communication.
Although you can't nanny a loved one, it is important to know what the process of communication will be in both relapse, payment and/or changes. Do get treatment and support with both the rehab and ideally a therapist, and knowing you are not on your own should reduce stress for everyone. Our prayers go out to those seeking help and information reminding everyone that we are not starting from scratch and that sober living homes like By The Sea Recovery look to find innovation in data, process and ultimately outcomes in the sober living world.
We thank Margaret Cho, comedian extraordinaire, for voicing the importance of extending sobriety through sober living. Given the low rates of recovery and previous limit on rehab due to insurance, the focus on extending sobriety through sober living has been a controversial, in housing, but behaviorally transforming emphasis of sobriety in healthcare. Although having a more limited structure and supervision than rehab or detox, sober living homes have made it possible for those wanting drug and alcohol rehab go beyond the common 28 days, even sometimes to a year.
The more we speak about it, the less a stigma it has on society and those who are hurting. We are all a part of this world and are impacted by the effects by alcohol or drugs whether directly or indirectly, thank you to those who choose to share about the hope of behavioral elements of recovery such as sober living. We are excited to see society wake up and have the word sober living be part of their vocabulary when offering help and or support.
It's great to hear positive news and an emphasis on sobriety as opposed to the turmoil cause by substance use disorder. We salute and wish the best to those public figures seeking help and leaving a path of hope for those that might never hear about the way out and the success stories.
Thank you dear Candace for enlightening huffington post readers on your experience with addiction and your unique take on recovery. There was nothing on diagnosis, severity, research nor reliable accounts. Yes, yet another beautiful way to emotional arouse a reader who is urging either education or