Five ways sober living houses are helping people stay sober in this pandemic

Has this past year made your sober journey tougher? Discover five ways sober living houses are helping people stay sober in this pandemic.

While pretty much everyone has experienced some kind of difficulty in this pandemic, some groups of people have faced more challenges than others. And one of them is recovering addicts living in sober living houses.

Many people were either helping themselves or were planning to get help to recover, but COVID-19 has certainly made it difficult, if not impossible, for everyone.

The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) has issued clinical guidance, based on federal recommendations, on their webpage for sober living houses and addiction facilities. Thankfully, sober living houses like this one in Connecticut acted quick on their feet too and came up with solutions to help people keep their recovering process going smoothly even during this collective crisis. 

1) Screen before arrival

Most people in sober living houses are outpatients, which means they come and go for their therapies and medication. But during the pandemic, the addiction centres have shown great initiative and have transported the most vulnerable patients such as with kidney or heart diseases to and from the sober living facility.

Apart from regular screenings at the facilities, the waiting rooms have also been expanded. Also to accommodate patients some houses have started working 24/7 so that everyone receives their medication with minimal contact. 

2) Expand access to medication

Outpatients who need to come in daily for their medicines have expanded access to their medication. Sober living facilities have released their medicines beforehand and are actively reducing their pick up schedules.

Policies have been implemented to reduce regular visits and buprenorphine (suboxone) has been prescribed widely to combat this. These policies reduce the risk factors of complication in serious patients while helping them keep their access to medicine.  

3) New group therapy models

Behavioural therapies are a major part of the long term addiction recovery process. Many therapies were converted into individual sessions. Other precautions included having multiple sessions with fewer people in open spaces keeping the six feet distance.

Online resources including support groups and therapies were also introduced to provide easier access to treatment and support during the COVID-19

4) Telehealth support

Technology has played a major role in making this pandemic easier for sober living houses and recovery centres. Major facilities provided telehealth services which included support helplines. The representatives were present to help anyone and everyone any time of the day or night.

Telehealth services did not include diagnosing and prescribing take-home medications as this requires DEA approval. It only had a support helpline and guiding the already enrolled in the sober housing facilities programs.

5) Transportation facilities

There is no doubt that COVID-19 has made it difficult for patients to come to the facilities, but treatment centres are optimistic about combating the drug epidemic. As more and more people will be forced to consider treatment due to lack of access to their drug of choice.

Many addiction centres have taken it upon themselves to either transport the patients to the sober house or their staff goes to the patients’ house for administering the daily medication and providing guidance. The sober houses are prepared to provide support during and after the pandemic where they expect many more people to show up at their doors.

These are unprecedented times but the widespread support and love among people have made it easier for addiction recovery institutes to implement their new policies.

The internet is also full of wholesome stories about recovering addicts being helped by their neighbours. You’ll find a list of phone numbers on many websites, so you can reach out in case of need.