What Happens If You Relapse In Sober Living?

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Every person is unique, and everyone’s substance abuse and/ or addiction recovery journey is distinct. Addiction, also known as substance use disorder, is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a chronic, relapsing brain disorder. It is characterized by compulsively engaging in rewarding stimuli (e.g., abusing drugs and/ or alcohol) without regard for consequence. Although the recovery process from substance abuse and/ or addiction is not entirely linear, the process is usually comprised of completing detox, attending a substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment program, and aftercare. Individuals who attend an inpatient treatment program, spend time residing in the treatment facility and can prioritize working on their recovery without any distractions. The transition out of a treatment program can be jarring, and some people may benefit from a bit more time in a distraction-free environment. A sober living facility is an optional residential group home where people can live for varying lengths of time after the completion of a substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment program. 

What Could Happen?

Most sober living facilities are privately owned and operated. Each sober living home is different and will have a distinct set of rules and regulations for its residents and consequences for violations. With the understanding that addiction is a relapsing mental health disorder, sober living homes maintain strict rules regarding drug and/ or alcohol use for its residents. However, each sober living facility has the discretion to handle relapse in its own way. Depending on how a specific sober living home is operated, the repercussions can be different regarding what happens to residents that relapse. Some sober living homes that employ zero-tolerance policies may ask a resident that has violated any rule, including relapsing, to leave. Other sober living facilities may impose a temporary suspension to a person that has relapsed and will only allow re-entrance once the individual is able to demonstrate his or he ability to be clean and sober. Some sober living homes may allow individuals who have relapsed to continue to reside at the facility provided they regularly attend support group meetings (e.g., Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, SMART Recovery meetings, Narcotics Anonymous meetings, etc.). Regardless of how any given sober living facility handles a relapse, it is vital to one’s recovery to own up to making a mistake and face the consequences. 

For Information and Support 

If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding substance abuse and/ or addiction we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding our specific program at Haven House Addiction Treatment and/ or general substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment related information. Our highly trained staff is readily available to discuss how we might best be able to help you and your loved one. We can be reached by phone at 424-318-3777. You are also welcomed to contact anytime us via email at admissions@hhtxc.com.

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