Household Chores

Household choresInviting patients to participate in household chores is one of the most overlooked aspects of treatment. And yet for many patients, it can make a huge difference in their journey towards recovery. Household chores can provide a sense of responsibility, self-esteem, and routine, and help patients gain life skills that will positively impact the rest of their life.


Kids who are given household chores at an early age are less likely to fall into addictive behavior as they grow. But how can we apply that same principle to ourselves after we’ve grown? Well, sometimes it takes going back to the beginning. Chores and household tasks can develop confidence in personal capabilities, and lead patients to be reliable with various responsibilities. It creates a positive feedback loop that counters the cycle of self-reprimanding common in addiction. Instead, patients are able to see that they can be capable and take on challenges of daily living substance-free.


One of the most common patterns that we see in patients struggling with addiction is a tendency to avoid responsibilities and depend on others to take care of their functional needs. We encourage patients to take ownership of their lives by starting in the home. When patients feel frustration with their cravings and addictions, and feeling out of control, they can remember their own power to control and impact their immediate environment, and thus take ownership of their home and personal abilities.

Household chores, simple as they may be, also provide a sense of pride and ownership. When patients have an external object that they must care for, they realize the importance of self-care as well. Giving patients household chores in our facility encourages them to take ownership of their own recovery, and build a sense of community with employees and with other patients.


We usually think of routine as a boring and dull part of life. Most people wish they could dispose of it altogether, but we forget the power of positive routines in our life. For patients recovering from addiction, routine often becomes a lifeline. A day without purpose or plan can be a vast, intimidating behemoth that topples all of the progress made so far. Predictability of a daily pattern makes the coming weeks feel less daunting. Routine creates a touchstone for patients to come back to and rely on during crises and challenges that inevitably arise.

Recovery isn’t one colossal effort. It’s a series of positive days that gradually build the foundation for a healthy and functional life.

Life Skills

One of the goals of our recovery program is to build individuals who are able to operate independently in the world, addiction-free. An essential part of that is learning the life skills necessary to be an independent, functioning adult. It may seem so elementary that it’s hardly worth doing, but for many addiction-recovery patients, certain skills were never learned, practiced, or translated into habits. Starting at the basics of housekeeping, cleaning, and basic repair and husbandry empowers patients to be capable in these life skills when they return home.