How The Perfect Enviroment Can Be a Game Changer
Environment can have a great influence on our thoughts, mood, feelings, and behavior. Although we tend not to consider how much the atmosphere around us affects us, it does. For instance, compare being in a field of yellow flowers to walking in Times Square in New York City. It’s likely that your inner experience will be different. You’re likely going to have different thoughts in Times Square than you would in a field of flowers. For instance, research has shown that for children, there is no other variable that is of greater importance than the environment in which they develop and grow.
This continues to be true in adulthood, particularly when adults, like children, are learning new skills. In an addiction treatment center, after drug detox is complete, there are a number of skills that a recovering addict is trying on. And having an environment that supports recovery and sobriety is essential.
Treatment Centers Support Recovery
In fact, there’s a reason why the change in environment for a new recovering addict can almost feel like day and night. Often, at home, there are triggers that stimulate cravings. There is tension or emotional conflict or even easy access to alcohol or drugs. Whereas an addiction treatment center is purposely serene and nurturing. It’s meant to provide an environment, an atmosphere, that supports sobriety. It aims to remove any potential triggers that could cause cravings or desires to use again.
Furthermore, after drug detox and the drug withdrawal treatment is done, the environment continues to be supportive. An addiction treatment center continues to incorporate recovery interventions, a milieu of sober living, and often utilizes the 12-step program to facilitate sobriety in their residents. It’s necessary to have a supportive environment for weeks, and even months, after drug detox.
In many cases, if a recovering addict does not stay at the addiction treatment after detox, sober living homes fill this need. The National Institute of Health (NIH) defines a Sober Living Home as being “alcohol and drug free living environments for individuals attempting to maintain abstinence from alcohol and drugs.” They typically do not offer formal treatment but often require or strongly encourage attendance to 12-step Alcoholic Anonymous meetings.
A recent study done by the NIH revealed that those who transition from an in-patient treatment center directly back to their lives are much more likely to experience relapse. The study found that a sober living home serves as a bridge from total immersion in treatment to one’s life, which is often an unsupported lifestyle with many reminders of an old life. Furthermore, in 2010, the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment published the results of an exhaustive study on former residents of sober living environments. Here, the research also found that those recovering individuals who stayed at a sober living house after rehabilitative treatment were significantly less likely to experience relapse, arrest, and homelessness. The most crucial element to their sobriety was the community of support found at sober living homes.
Recovery addicts can either utilize the treatment center in which they received medical detox, or transition to a sober living home. Either way, the path to sobriety can be a challenging one. However, with the right amount of support, the right environment, and the right amount of willingness to face and overcome obstacles, achieving a sober life is possible.
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