By alumni, Christian McLaughlin
As an alumni of The Treatment Center, I am asked a lot of questions on the best way to transition into early recovery after receiving inpatient treatment. Here are a few common questions about early recovery that may help you through the process:
1) What Do I Look for in a Sober Home?
It’s best to go to a single gender home that requires you to attend meetings and have a sponsor. Be sure to ask around about the home. Chances are others will know about them and be able to guide you in the right direction. Continuing care is a good resource for finding out about local sober homes that are accredited. All of us here in the alumni department went to sober homes so don’t hesitate to reach out to The Treatment Center as well.
When looking for a reputable and safe sober home, it’s best to do some research. Be sure to check into whether the home is accredited with state and local agencies, for instance the Florida Association of Recovery Residence (FARR) and the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF).
Ask around the sober community, chances are people will know of the good and bad sober homes and be able to guide you in the right direction. Find out the cost of the home and what the expectations are if you’re living there. Generally, a good sober home will require you to attend meetings, have a sponsor, a job, and pay rent.
2) What Are AA/NA Meetings?
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings are gatherings of fellow individuals who have struggled with substance abuse. The common feelings and experience with substance abuse amongst the group is what allows us to relate with one another. The people within the meeting all have the shared experience of having overcome their substance abuse. They can help guide you through issues that may arise in living a sober life. It’s much easier to stay sober when you have support around you and people who can relate to you.
3) What Are “The Steps” and Why Do I Need a Sponsor?
“The Steps” as you will frequently hear are tools to help you live a sober life. They have been an effective approach in staying substance free for millions of people. Although they differ between AA and NA, the basic idea is the same. They are a resource to help you look at yourself and find root causes of your substance abuse. They further help you develop a new way of living a happy and sober life. The purpose of the sponsor is to guide you in doing these steps. You cannot take yourself through the steps, as you are the problem.
4) How Long Must I be Sober to Work at The Treatment Center?
We generally want alumni to have at least a year sober before working for The Treatment Center and the Teen Treatment Center. It’s best to stay involved with the alumni community and stay familiar with The Treatment Center, that way when a position opens, we’re able to let you know. We always love hiring alumni because they know our program the best and can help guide others on the same path.
5) What Can I Do for Fun When Sober?
There is plenty to do once sober. One big plus is that now you’ll have money to do many of the things you weren’t able to when you were using and drinking. If you’re an outdoors type, you’ll now be able to actually participate in sports, hiking, camping, golfing, and hunting without worrying about your next high or drink. Plus, you’ll be able to remember doing it. If you’re an indoors type, you can enjoy sporting events, museums, concerts, squash, reading, and dancing. These are just a few examples of sober activities.
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