Sober Living Environments (SLEs) – a term heard a great deal in the world of addiction/alcoholism treatment and recovery. Sometimes people know them as “half-way houses.” They are generally houses (or apartments) in a neighborhood operated independently or by a treatment center. The idea behind an SLE is to provide an alcohol- and/or drug-free environment where addicts and alcoholics may live as they transition from detox/stabilization and rehabilitation (e.g., 28-day residential program) to “normal” life.
Because drug addiction and alcoholism are brain diseases. Recovery from a brain disease takes time and work — work to heal and rewire neural networks, work to better deal with triggers and work to get at the underlying behavioral/risk factor issues that likely contributed to the development of the disease (e.g., childhood trauma or mental illness).
Recovery is not “done” in 28-days. Definitely great progress is made, but “done?” – that takes time. Just like other diseases, cancer, diabetes or heart disease, there are many treatment options to choose from, with no “one way” being the “right way” for everyone. But an SLE can be especially helpful in cases where the family is not ready to have their loved one return home or where there is not enough recovery in the family, making it difficult for the addict/alcoholic.