Addiction is a serious problem. Between 2014 and 2017, drug overdoses were the leading cause of death for 18-to-35-year-olds in Nassau County.
Many people struggle with their addictions alone. But anyone can get help.
There is no treatment plan for addiction that will work for everyone. One approach that can work is sober living. It is a drug-free housing solution that can help people transition from rehab into mainstream society.
One benefit is that you don’t have to travel far from home to receive it. Here is a quick guide to Long Island sober living.
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The Basics of Sober Living
Sober living provides clean housing for people with addiction. Most people who live in sober living have completed treatment at an inpatient rehabilitation clinic. But other people struggling with addiction can stay in a sober living home.
Sober living homes are small, sometimes housing fewer than 10 people. A coordinator stays in the home, maintaining the safety and rules of the facility. They are a former addict, so residents can turn to them for support if need be.
A person sleeps and stores their belongings in the home. They can leave to go to work and attend family events. They can invite guests, but the guests cannot bring drugs and must leave at night.
Sober living homes can offer additional services. They can host outpatient treatment solutions. They can offer counseling, group therapy, and life coaching.
Sober living homes for only women are also available. Most women’s shelters do not permit drugs, so they can be considered sober living homes. But most shelters are for survivors of domestic violence, so go to an advertised sober living facility for help with addiction.
Sober living homes are not free. A person has to pay rent, as they would for an apartment. Most people have to pay out-of-pocket, though a few insurance plans may contribute toward their expenses.
A person can leave a sober living home at any time. They can continue to attend group meetings or receive outpatient therapy. If they relapse, they may be allowed to move back in.
The Best Sober Living Homes
Some sober living homes are better than others. A few are outright scams.
Avoid any sober living facility that claims it is free. If the facility looks rundown or has no safety provisions, do not go to it. The best homes do cost money, but you earn high-quality services in a safe environment.
Indeed, the very best homes offer recovery support. The home provides settings so people in recovery can share their stories. Many great homes run 12-step programs, but a great home can run informal group therapy as well.
The best homes offer support for clients who need help post-rehab. They help the clients find a job and get educated. They provide drug tests to show employers that a person is off drugs.
But the best homes should also watch over everyone in the home. Everyone should be tested for drugs on a regular basis. House meetings should be mandatory, and everyone should talk about their progress.
Sober homes do not offer services as extensive as rehabilitation facilities. But staff should be available around the clock. At least one person should live on-site, enforcing the rules at all hours.
Facilities should provide for a range of addictions. Some people are addicted to multiple drugs at once. The best facilities provide for people with alcohol, marijuana, and opioid addictions.
New residents should be screened before they enter. Someone should inspect their belongings, making sure that no weapons are there.
Staff should be sensitive to the culture and beliefs of all individuals. They should demonstrate compassion for LGBTQ+ individuals, providing services for them.
Long Island Sober Living
Sober living facilities are located in every major metropolitan area. There are several facilities in Long Island alone. The opioid crisis cost Long Island 8.2 billion dollars in 2017, so it’s important that many facilities are open to help the needy.
But it can be hard to tell which facility to go to in Long Island. There are a few things you can consider, in addition to the previously listed factors.
If you work in New York City, the staff should provide transportation for you to get there. Drug users can leave needles on public transportation, encouraging you to use them.
You should have access to parks and natural sites. Spending as little as 10 minutes in nature can improve your mental well-being. Long Island is dotted with state parks, and you should be allowed to visit them.
The facility should be located near where you lived. But it should be in a different neighborhood. Moving away gives you a new environment to grow in while avoiding the places you know where drugs are.
At the same time, you should be near your support system. Remain in contact with family and friends who don’t use drugs.
You should live with an organization that has multiple facilities. The more facilities they run, the more resources they have to provide for different addictions. Consider your options before pursuing any treatment plan.
Get Help Right Away
People who struggle with addiction feel like they’re on their own. But anyone can help with any kind of addiction. One way to get help is through sober living.
Sober living provides safe housing. A person can go to work and attend family events, then return to a drug-free space.
The best homes offer services on top of this. They provide group therapy and experienced staffers who work around the clock. They enforce safety guidelines, respecting the needs of each resident.
Long Island sober living is possible. Pick a facility that lets you connect with your loved ones and keep up with your personal life.