The coronavirus pandemic has claimed millions of lives in America, led to an exponential unemployment surge, caused significant economic upheaval and instilled palpable anxiety and tensions across the country. The initial contradictory information regarding how to remain physically safe from the novel coronavirus only further caused global confusion and unrest. Ultimately the enforced closures of non-essential businesses, stay-at-home orders, and subsequent consistent practice of social distancing seemed to yield the best results for slowing the infection rate across the United States. While social distancing is necessary, the psychological effects are grave as social isolation can lead to extreme loneliness, paranoia, anxiety, and a whole slew of additional mental health complications. It is important to note that throughout the pandemic, sober living facilities were recognized as an essential business, and as such were able to remain open.
COVID-19 Sober Living
Sober living facilities are transitional residences that individuals can move to after the completion of a substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment program, prior to returning home. They offer individuals additional support by providing a drug and alcohol free environment to continue to practice implementing the lesson learned in treatment. An integral component of recovery is being part of a sober community. Individuals are encouraged to rely on their network for peer support in times of need as well as give back to the community by providing support to members within the sober community. Sober living facilities provide a built-in network of sober individuals, all of whom are committed to remaining sober. For some the idea of electing to live in a facility with a group of individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic may seem outlandish, or even downright unsafe, but sober living facilities have myriad rules and regulations set in place by local, state and federal entities to protect both residents and workers in sober living facilities from the spread of COVID-19.
Much like all businesses that were deemed essential, in order to remain operational during the pandemic all sober living facilities are required to strictly adhere to the recommendations and guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as are listed under the “Covid-19 guidance for shared or congregate housing.” The regulations have and will continue to evolve as more information of the virus is discovered. Each sober living facility must implement the most up-to-date practices to remain open and assure the safety of its residents. Furthermore according to the CDC, each sober living facility is required have emergency operations plans (EOPs) that are done in collaboration with state and local public health departments, housing authorities, local or state regulatory agencies, and other relevant partners.
Sober Living Rules
Prior to the arise of COVID-19, some of the rules of each sober living facility often included the need for outside employment and/ or holding a volunteer position, requiring the residents to sleep in the facility for a minimum number of nights (often five), as well as requiring the residents to attend a certain number of support group meetings weekly. Additionally, residents were often free to visit with individuals outside of the facility, provided the curfew was honored. However, due to the pandemic, the rules surrounding these areas have significantly changed.
For Information and Support
If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one in regards to substance abuse and/ or addiction we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.
Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding our specific program at Haven House Addiction Treatment and/ or general substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment related information. Our highly trained staff is readily available to discuss how we might best be able to help you and your loved one. We can be reached by phone at 424-318-3777. You are also welcome to contact anytime us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.