Sober Living vs. Primary Drug Rehab and Alcohol Treatment in Canada
Feeling good after leaving rehab but worried about re-entering the environment that fostered your addiction? Sober living throughout Canada can be a great option to help bridge the gap from primary treatment to home life. Primary treatment programs usually refer to inpatient drug and alcohol rehabilitation. These primary treatment programs are very structured and usually intensive. This means most of the day is scheduled so clients are going from small group sessions to recreational activities to one-on-one time with counselors. Sober living is a bridge from this highly structured and supported environment to the real world. It can be very jarring going from rehab back to regular life. Especially if the client’s home environment or daily routine was part of their previous substance user lifestyle. Sober living is a good transition for people leaving primary care.
Sober living is usually a post-treatment option, but some programs accept people who have not been to treatment before. These programs offer a safe and supportive living environment for those wanting to live a sober life. They often require that the clients attend a certain number of meetings a week, and most require that the clients participate in domestic duties like cooking and cleaning as they are designed to help reintegrate people to regular life. Another aspect of these programs is that they usually ask that clients be employed, or volunteer, or be working towards an education. This is again to demonstrate a willingness to live a productive healthy life.
Supportive recovery programs are similar to sober living and are often classified in three stages. Stage one is close to primary treatment. While less intensive, they are still quite restrictive where clients must participate in on-site meetings, and cannot leave the facility without permission or being accompanied by a staff member. As clients demonstrate progress they can move to Stage 2. This entails less supervision, more offsite meetings, and clients are encouraged to apply for job and volunteer opportunities. Stage 3 is substantially less restrictive and has much more flexibility in the types and times of meetings to attend.
Programs in Canada
BC is the best province for sober living programs and has many private and public options. Alberta has only a few options in Calgary and Edmonton. Ontario has a few private options, as well as the government-funded ASH program. If you are looking at drug and alcohol rehab in Canada, ask facilities if they offer any aftercare or sober living options for once you complete the program. Contact our specialist for help finding the right level of support for you.
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