Monday, September 15, 2014

Closing the loop: regulations for sober living homes.

There is a need to connect the loophole of relapse within sober living to receiving detox or treatment. At the time of relapse, rarely are those who are in the interim seek to continue their journey in recovery, yet if there was an intermediary space or reserve for detox it could be easy to transition back to primary care.

Rarely are residents 'kicked out'. Part of the agreement is having a zero tolerance policy and for the overall well being of others, one cannot stay that night at the sober living environment. Management should offer resources and at its extreme offer a nearby hotel stay. Family members are usually not advised due to the resident being the client and many times causing a reaction towards the home in terms of negativity. It tends to be a call that is unique to the situation. However, there is a space to look into and attend these 'loopholes'. Educating families before entering as well as communicating the policy is key. It is hard not to have families being bothered at the homes themselves. Sober living homes are not facilities, they are however certified and overseen by coalitions maintaining a standard as well as a responsibility for treatment centers to become knowledgeable of those who operate efficiently and communicative to counselors.

Although we are miles ahead in knowledge and having sober living homes is a reflection of our understanding as a nation, we have work to do ahead. What to do? Detox insurance? Detox fund at entry in sober living? Will a loved one want help at the time of relapse? Will regulations become stringent as more incidents as these arise? I hope we as a community come together, understanding that sober living can and does have flaws, offers a necessary and vital service to the community and in order to flourish and grow all participants must come together.

We can continue blaming treatment centers, their inefficiencies, sober living homes, management, families, or we can come together. What is your experience? How can we make this better?