What is Aftercare in Addiction Treatment?

What is Aftercare in Addiction Treatment?

When drug and alcohol use turns into abuse or addiction, immediate treatment and attention are necessary. These harmful substances can cause significant harm to the body, especially when misused and abused. The good news is that drug addiction is a treatable condition. 

 

The first step in treating drug addiction or substance abuse is completing the detoxification process, which is designed to flush any and all harmful substances from the body. Once that’s complete, you will undergo a combination of therapy, medication, and changes to your lifestyle.

 

When treatment comes to an end, the patient is often forced back into the real world and expected to immediately apply all the things they’ve learned in rehab. While some people make this transition look very easy, others will struggle – but that’s where aftercare comes into play. 

 

How Long Does Addiction Treatment Programs Last?

Since everyone has a unique experience with drug addiction, they often require a unique, custom, and tailored treatment plan designed to suit their specific, individual needs. No two treatments are the same, and there’s no telling how long someone will need to fully recover. 

 

With that said, most programs are either one week, 30 days, 60 days, or 90 days long – though aftercare is available in most scenarios. Let’s take a closer look at each treatment program:

  • Detox Program – a one-week or two-week program that focuses on detoxing the body.
  • 30-Day Program – a one-month program that is best suited for minor cases of addiction or used as a stepping stone into more intensive treatment.
  • 60-Day Program – a two-month program that allows for more time spent with therapists, counselors, and other health professionals. 
  • 90-Day Program – a three-month program that is best suited for severe cases of addiction and those that need extra attention.
  • Extended Aftercare – utilized as a post-rehab treatment option to help individuals make the transition back into a healthy, drug-free lifestyle. 

 

The long-term programs are more suited for those with severe cases of addiction or substance use, but a lot of people get their feet wet with a short-term program before determining where to go from there. Again, it’s going to be unique to each individual – there’s no cookie-cutter solution.

 

What is Aftercare in Addiction Treatment?

In regards to addiction treatment, ‘aftercare’ refers to the ongoing treatment of a patient after they complete their rehab program. It’s a way for rehab facilities, therapists, and psychiatrists to closely monitor the patient as they assimilate back into a normal, everyday routine in life. 

 

Some of the services and features included in aftercare treatment include: 

  • Home visits and drug tests
  • Financial planning and monitoring
  • Employment opportunities
  • Relapse prevention
  • Ongoing therapy and consultations
  • 12-step meeting attendance
  • Support groups and other meetings
  • Social gatherings and group activities
  • Advice, guidance, second opinions, etc.

 

A good example of aftercare treatment are rehab alumni programs – or what we call a ‘Phase Out Program’ here at The Last House. They’re designed for those that completed rehab, but aren’t ready to make the transition back into normal society – avoiding the potential for relapse.

 

What is the Importance of Aftercare in Recovery?

Aftercare plays an important role in the addiction recovery process, giving patients the support and resources needed after completing rehab. This not only makes the transition to normal life much easier for the individual, but it reduces their chances of relapsing or abusing drugs again. 

 

Let’s take a look at some of the most prominent benefits and overall importance of aftercare in addiction treatment:

  • Closely monitor the individual after completing rehab
  • Learn valuable relapse prevention techniques and methods
  • More effective transition back into a normal lifestyle
  • Ongoing treatment accounts for ‘bumps in the road’ later on
  • Patients get to keep in touch with friends and professionals that helped them recover
  • Access to educational materials and other resources to help avoid relapse

 

With the right post-rehab support, patients can enjoy a successful recovery as they regain that sense of control in their life. It goes a long way in helping them sustain their sobriety long-term, which isn’t always a guarantee after completing rehab – especially with more severe cases. 

 

Finding Comprehensive Aftercare Programs

Are you looking for a comprehensive halfway house, sober living home in Southern California, or aftercare program? If so, then you’ve come to the right place. At The Last House, we offer Los Angeles aftercare treatment for those looking to safely and successfully live a life without drugs or harmful substances. 

Contact us today to learn more about our sober living opportunities and how they can help you lead a happier, healthier, more rewarding life. You can schedule a tour of our home to see if it’s the right fit for you or your loved one. Together, your journey towards recovery is imminent.

What are the Benefits of Gender-Specific Addiction Treatment?

What are the Benefits of Gender-Specific Addiction Treatment?

Men and women, while both humans, are incredibly different creatures with different habits, behaviors, needs, wants, features, and experiences. Some of those differences are obvious, while others are hidden or unseen. Of course, this is nothing new in society today. What most people don’t consider about gender is its impact on drug addiction and substance abuse – both in the general use and overall treatment. For example, men generally abuse drugs for different reasons than women. Men also have unique needs during the treatment process. That’s where a gender-specific treatment program can do a lot of good for the right person. The benefits of gender-specific addiction treatment considers the unique needs of each gender and surrounds them with like-minded individuals who have similar experiences, goals, and desires. 

 

How Does Gender Affect Addiction?

Gender has always played a vital role in the examination, diagnosis, and treatment of addiction or substance use disorders. Throughout history, certain trends and patterns have given us a glimpse into some of the unique risks or dangers that men and women face individually. 

 

For example, women usually become addicted faster than men and do so while using smaller amounts of the same drug. Women also have more cravings for drugs, have more co-occurring mental or physical conditions, and are more likely to relapse than their male counterparts. 

 

On the other hand, men are more likely to abuse illegal drugs (especially alcohol and marijuana) and are more prone to peer pressure – whereas women generally use drugs in response to a traumatic event or experience. The male and female brains also respond to drugs differently. 

 

What is a Gender-Specific Treatment Program?

Gender-specific treatment has become a popular option for many patients trying to kick their addictions to the curb. A gender-specific treatment program is designed to take into account all the cultural, behavioral, hormonal, and biological differences between men and women today. 

 

From the types of drugs, they use to how they respond to those drugs, how they respond to treatment, why they started using drugs, and the symptoms they experience when recovering from addiction – a gender-specific program ensures a proper environment for each gender. 

 

Although not necessary in every case, gender-specific treatment programs can make the addiction recovery process much simpler for some patients. Anything that might increase a patient’s chance of overcoming their addiction and avoiding relapse must be considered. 

 

What are the Benefits of Gender-Specific Addiction Treatment?

Men and women start using drugs for different reasons, continue to use drugs for different reasons, have different reactions to drug use, respond differently to certain treatments, and have unique wants and needs in general. With that said, gender-specific treatment makes sense. 

 

Let’s take a look at some of the most prominent benefits of gender-specific addiction treatment:

  • Specialized, tailored, and personalized treatment programs for each gender
  • Less distractions, especially if you’re attracted to the opposite gender
  • Being around other people that have similar experiences and needs as you
  • Some people are more active and present in group therapy with the same gender
  • Focused and relatable discussions about gender-specific topics 
  • Patients feel more comfortable and more open when discussing their addiction
  • Build valuable, long-term friendships that aren’t built on a physical attraction
  • Higher success rate among those that don’t respond well to a co-ed rehab

 

It doesn’t matter what type of rehab facility you go to or what type of treatment you accept; the end goal is always the same – overcome addiction, avoid relapse, and improve quality of life. When put in the right environment, anyone can recover from drug addiction or substance abuse.

 

How to Find a Gender-Specific Addiction Center

Now that you have a better understanding of the purpose and benefits of gender-specific addiction treatment, you can start to see why it’s a no-brainer for some people. When you’re serious about overcoming your addiction, you’ll do whatever it takes to fully recover. 

 

At The Last House, we’ve created the perfect environment for men to overcome their drug addiction or substance use disorder. We provide quality sober living in Los Angeles for those that are looking to make a smooth transition back into normal society following the addiction recovery process. 

We currently have two sober living homes in Los Angeles and are excited to welcome you or your loved one into our male-specific program. Contact us today to learn more about the program and how we can help you live a normal, happy, healthy, safe, and rewarding life!

My Mom’s Final Gift

A majority of 2020, I spent my time in jail-Banning, CA. The looming thought that prison would be my fate. Which I thought was well deserved. Feeling alone and angry, enveloped in self hatred. The hurt I caused others, the years wasted chasing a facade. I did not care what happened to me anymore! I had been given every chance to change and like clockwork I always walked down that same path, the familiar one. On Christmas Day, I almost got in a fight with a guard which would have sealed my fate in the Penitentiary, the other inmates were cheering me on and something came over me, I swallowed my pride and sat down, not caring what they thought of me. Merry Christmas! That night I got on my knees, prayer wasn’t something unfamiliar to me but something I had forgotten. “Why would God answer my prayers?” I didn’t care who saw, I just prayed for forgiveness and one last opportunity to change my life! Please! I am emotional writing this because I was in so much pain in that cell! Once again, a loving God gifted me mercy and there was a shift in my case allowing me to seek treatment. Not just any treatment, they wanted high structure and supervision since I had AWOL’d so many times in past treatments. My mom, who has since passed, got on the phone and called everywhere trying to find the right place that would take me and would comply with the court’s strict stipulations. She gave me a list of a few she thought would work.

At the top of that list was The Last House. I loved the name and I called them and talked to Matt. No need to call anyone else, this place felt right to me. In February 2021, when I came to Last House I was so grateful to have this opportunity and I was ready to do anything! I knew one thing, I was going to graduate! I had too. Coming in with that surrender and commitment was my greatest asset. I put my head down for a while and at about 3 months in, I started seeing the value here, my walls started coming down and my mind started to open. The comfortability of what I knew and felt in control of had always outweighed walking through the fear of what was on the other side of the door, the truth. “Maybe I don’t know shit.” 40 treatment centers and I don’t know shit. If I kept picking apart imperfect systems and imperfect people and using that to justify my anger and resentment I knew surely I would fail again. The same man will drink again. My need for control, selfish pride, grandiosity and playing the puppet master had done nothing but keep me sick and delusional.

This program, along with the steps, gifted me the discernment of truth vs delusion and when I am confused I have people to call on. What a beautiful thing. I have sound peace of mind today and when I don’t I’m not berating myself and burying my emotions like I used to. I feel that shit, I observe them, so I don’t act impulsively on them. I learned I cannot understand something unless I consistently practice it and just intellectually acknowledging a spiritual principle is just that, acknowledging it. I focus on what I can control: myself and how I treat others. What a blessing this has all been. Once I satisfied my sentence I decided to stay here, to work here and be a light for others. I want to give back what was given to me and hopefully impact others how I was impacted. Thank you to my family for all your support, the brotherhood I found in The Last House and thank you Mom for finding this place before you left me. Your final gift to me before death was life.

Are There Addiction Treatment Programs for Teens?

Are There Addiction Treatment Programs for Teens?

According to recent surveys by the National Institute on Drug Use, the United States saw its most significant one-year decrease in reported drug use (marijuana, LSD, crack, cocaine, heroin, narcotics, prescription drugs, etc.) among teenagers and adolescents between 2020 and 2021. 

Those numbers include a nearly 5% decrease among senior students, an about 12% decrease among sophomores, and more than a 5% decrease among eighth-grade students. While this is good news, it doesn’t include alcohol addiction, and there are millions of others left struggling.

And while most people think rehab and addiction treatment programs are reserved for adults, that’s simply not true. There are a wide range of treatment facilities and programs catered to promote recovery and health in the teenage population – and they’re ready and willing to help!

How is Teen Addiction Different?

Teen drug users often face similar consequences as adult drug users – including crime, injury, violence, and death. With that said, the reasons why teenagers abuse drugs often differ from that of an adult. The treatment plan will also differ since teens have different needs than adults.

For example, some of the most common reasons teenagers use or abuse drugs include:

  • To fit in with their peers, giving in to peer pressure
  • In seek of a thrill, euphoria, that ‘high’ feeling
  • To experiment, either alone or with friends
  • In hopes of hiding pain or to cope with emotions
  • The need to improve athletic or academic performance
  • Lack of education about how dangerous drugs are
  • Lack of guidance or direction from parents or guardians

Another thing that makes teenage drug addiction different is the fact that a teenager’s mind, body, and soul are still growing and developing. Addiction impacts a teen’s health, wellness, and behavior, but it impacts their growth and development – which is devastating.

How Does Teen Rehab Differ from Other Programs?

Helping a teenager overcome their drug addiction often requires a unique, custom, tailored, and particular treatment plan when compared to an adult. If not done correctly, the teenager can continue to suffer, and the addiction will only lead to other problems as they enter adulthood.

Substance abuse treatment for teens must take this into account, but it also must factor in the teenager’s studies and academics. That’s why a lot of teenage rehab centers either offer on-site schooling or operate on an outpatient basis to allow the teenager to continue attending school. 

Another way teen rehab differs from adult rehab is family involvement. While it’s important in adult rehab for family members to show support, they’re often more involved in a teenager’s rehab and play a much more crucial role in the overall success of addiction rehab for teens. 

Are There Addiction Treatment Programs for Teens?

Believe it or not, there are a wide range of options when interested in substance abuse treatment for teens. These programs take into account the unique needs of a teenager and the many different factors that play a role in helping a teen successfully overcome drug addiction. 

Some of the significant benefits of addiction treatment programs for teens include: 

  • Access to the right therapy, medication, and professional help
  • Undergo a controlled detoxification process
  • Understand how to cope with withdrawal symptoms
  • Decrease dependence on drugs and other substances
  • Outpatient programs allow for the teen to continue education
  • Improve overall physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health
  • Learn about the dangers and risks of drug and substance use
  • Be around other teenagers going through the same thing

Let’s take a look at some of the most prominent warning signs that your child might need teen rehab:

  • Secretive or suspicious behavior
  • Constantly stealing or asking for money
  • Sudden drop in academic performance and/or grades
  • Physical changes (bloodshot eyes, constant sniffling, wounds, weight changes)
  • Mood swings, irritability, and agitation
  • Stress, depression, and anxiety
  • Lack of interest in things they used to love
  • Tried to stop doing drugs, but relapsed

Teen addiction treatment programs often combine therapy with medication and lifestyle changes to curb addiction and promote a healthier lifestyle that reduces the chances of relapse in the future. By the time treatment is over, your teen will be well on their way to a quality life.

How to Find Teen Addiction Treatment Programs

Is your son or daughter suffering from a drug or substance addiction? Are you worried they’re going to hurt themselves? Do you want them to get the help they so desperately need? Don’t worry; you’re not alone, and there are a wide range of ways you can help them recover. 

Addiction treatment programs for teens can be found all across the nation. At The Last House, we believe in providing teens with the necessary guidance, direction, advice, support, help, and resources when overcoming addiction. Our human-centric, custom approach is one-of-a-kind. 
If you want your teenage son or daughter to make real, lasting change in their lives, you’ve come to the right place. Our program is tailored to meet the needs of each unique individual. Contact us today to learn more about our Los Angeles addiction program and how it can help your teenage child!

How Do Sober Living Houses Work?

How Do Sober Living Houses Work?

They often say that recovery doesn’t end when the individual leaves rehab. Instead, recovery is usually just beginning, and the individual must prove they’re ready to apply what they learned in rehab. This transition is one of the most crucial moments in the addiction recovery process. 

Some individuals will handle this transition with ease. They’ll start a new chapter in their life and will immediately find success in their recovery after rehab. Others, unfortunately, won’t have such an easy transition and will struggle to grow independent from drugs following rehab. 

The good news is those people aren’t alone, and there are programs out there designed to make this transition easier. That’s where sober living houses come into play – which we’ll discuss in more detail below!

What is Sober Living?

Sober living, also known as transitional living, is a program that allows former drug addicts to successfully transition from addiction treatment to independent living – free of drugs and harmful substances. These individuals are under direct clinical supervision during their residency. 

Once proof of sobriety is achieved (in rehab or in general), individuals have two options – return to normal living without the direct supervision of a professional or continue that transition with professional help. Sober living facilities provide that professional help during the transition.

Sober houses, unlike halfway houses, don’t require the individual to be involved in rehab. However, they require the individual to be sober, with the main goal of maintaining that sobriety. It helps the individual transition back into a society that doesn’t involve using drugs. 

How Do Sober Living Houses Work?

In order to be accepted into and continue staying at a sober living house, individuals must follow a number of rules set forth by the sober living facility. For example, they must’ve completed detox and be working towards long-term sobriety. They also must pay monthly rent and fees. 

Individuals will have certain responsibilities and household duties that must be completed without complaint. They must attend house meetings and support group meetings and are generally required to stay a minimum of three months (90 days) before making the transition.

There are four primary levels of sober houses. Level 1 sober living has minimal requirements. Level 2 involves being monitored by paid staff, Level 3 involves being supervised by certified staff, and Level 4 involves adding credentialed staff and integrating clinical facilities.

What is it Like in a Sober Living House?

Individuals learn a lot of important skills and behaviors when living in a sober house. For example, they learn how to live with others, how to budget their expenses, manage their time, hold themselves accountable for their actions, control their behavior, and find purpose in life.

Living in a sober living house can often be broken down into three major phases. Let’s take a closer look:

  • Restrictive Phase – involves a mental detox that helps introduce the individual to living in a sobriety house. Restrictions are often at their peak during this stage as they transition.
  • Reintroduction Phase – during this stage, the individual gains some freedom and is usually allowed to attend work and school. They start gaining basic responsibilities. 
  • Self-Sufficiency Phase – this stage is where the individual starts to make their own decisions, though they are asked to report to staff. Eventually, they transition to independent living. 

There are also a number of requirements that individuals must meet and maintain while living in a sober house. Let’s take a closer look: 

  • No drugs, alcohol, or other harmful substances that might trigger a relapse.
  • Frequent and random drug tests or screenings to hold individuals accountable.
  • No overnight guests and limited transportation, especially in the early stages. 
  • Individuals must participate in a combination of support groups and house meetings.
  • Must be involved in some form of work, schooling, or outpatient program.
  • Must be well-received by others living in the house and not cause any issues. 
  • Residents usually have a number of chores and responsibilities to complete around the house.
  • Residents must keep up with the monthly rent and fees associated with living in a sobriety house. 
  • No sexual relationships with other residents in the sober house. 

Every sober living house is different, but they all have the same goal – to help the individual transition back into a normal lifestyle that doesn’t involve the use of drugs or other harmful substances. Under direct supervision, individuals are in a controlled environment every day. 

How to Find Sober Living in California

Are you looking for sober living houses in Southern California? Have you recently completed treatment for addiction recovery? Do you feel like you’re not fully ready to make the transition to independent living? Are you worried you might relapse if you don’t have the necessary supervision and support? If so, then don’t worry; you’re not alone!
Here at The Last House, we specialize and take pride in our ability to give individuals the necessary tools, resources, guidance, and assistance when making that transition back to everyday life. Contact us today to learn more about our treatment program or sign up for sober living!

What is Family Therapy and How Does it Help in the Recovery Process?

What is Family Therapy and How Does it Help in the Recovery Process?

Millions of people all around the world are struggling with addiction every single day. It threatens their way of life, their integrity, and their health – physically, emotionally, mentally, and socially. Without the right help, an addict may never truly get over their addiction.

With that said, addiction is a family disease, meaning it has an impact on more than just the addict. It affects the addict’s parents, their siblings, grandparents, and any other family members that play a significant role in the addict’s life. Everyone needs to be a part of the recovery process. 

If you or a loved one are struggling with drug addiction, help is available. And while no two people are the same and no two treatments are the same, you and your family could benefit from family therapy – a unique form of therapy designed to help the family grow stronger. 

What is family therapy?

Most of us know what psychotherapy is. It’s a form of therapy designed to change an individual’s thoughts, behaviors, and emotions for the better. The same is true with family group therapy – the only difference being that the whole family is involved, not just the individual.

Family therapy generally isn’t a long-term treatment option and doesn’t always include all family members. Instead, it’s usually utilized on a short-term basis, and only those closest to the situation or willing to undergo family support therapy will join. Those that join will heal together. 

The main goal of family therapy is to help family members resolve conflicts, understand how certain behaviors affect other family members, learn how to communicate with family members, and how to relate with one another. It’s where family members grow closer. 

How Does Addiction Impact Families?

Addiction can impact a family in a variety of ways. For example, it often results in conflict, a lack of trust, arguments, abuse, violence, isolation, and a lack of communication. As the addict continues their behavior, the family grows more distant and may even grow to detest them. 

With that said, it can also cause a great deal of worry, sadness, disappointment, and paranoia over what might happen next. Continued drug and substance use can result in legal trouble, injury, or even death – all things that can weigh on the conscience of each family member. 

Families are supposed to love each other. They’re supposed to support each other, be there for one another, and help each other thrive in life. All these things start to deteriorate when a family member is addicted to drugs. At the end of the day, all they want is their family member back. 

Why is Family Group Therapy Important in Recovery?

While addiction can tear a family apart from the bottom to the top, family group therapy can help piece that family back together. Addiction impacts everyone in the family, and that means everyone needs to learn how to overcome these difficult moments – and family therapy helps. 

Let’s take a look at four major elements of family support therapy for addiction:

  • Engagement – this usually involves getting the family members involved in the therapy, but most importantly, getting everyone invested in the overall goals of the treatment. 
  • Reframing – this usually involves analyzing and reframing the relationships between family members. It’s designed to help families understand the motives behind behaviors.
  • Behavioral Change – once the motives are understood by each family member, the therapy shifts toward changing those behaviors and introducing healthier habits. 
  • Restructuring – the final major element involves restructuring the family’s beliefs, premises, rules, standards, and expectations for long-term, sustained success.

Some of the major benefits of family therapy for addiction are the engagement, understanding, education, communication, and support gained on all fronts. Family members learn how to manage emotions or feelings and express those emotions practically and productively. 

How to Find Family Support Therapy Programs Near Me

Family support therapy goes a long way in helping a family overcome, recover, and heal from the many downfalls of addiction. It truly impacts each family member differently, and this generally requires a unique and personalized human approach to drug addiction treatment. 

At The Last House, we believe in allowing every family member to thrive in life. We provide sober living in Los Angeles and ensure each of our residents has access to the proper therapy, medication, support, resources, and tools to succeed. We also make sure the family has what they need to recover together. 
Addiction is a family disease, but family therapy could be the key to a new life for everyone involved – one that’s filled with love, joy, health, happiness, and support for one another. Contact us today to learn more about how The Last House can help you and your family succeed!

Why Do Teens Use Drugs?

Why Do Teens Use Drugs?

To combat teen drug use, it is crucial to understand why do teens use drugs in the first place. In a child’s earliest years, the parents are responsible for making the right decisions to ensure their child’s safety, development, growth, and health. As the child enters their pre-teenage and teenage years, they start to make their own decisions and form their own, unique personality.

These teenage years are critical to the child’s overall outlook on life, but they can be extremely worrisome for the parent. Their child will be exposed to a world of new risks and dangers that could have a negative impact on their ability to live a healthy, happy, and rewarding lifestyle. 

Of all the risks teenagers encounter, one of the most dangerous is the use of drugs and other harmful substances. It can lead to a number of other bad decisions and could result in drug abuse or drug addiction as they grow older. As we know, this often leads to self-harm or death.

Why do teens use drugs?

The CDC estimates that two-thirds of all seniors have tried alcohol at least once. Nearly half of all high school students have tried marijuana, about 40% of high schoolers have smoked a cigarette, and nearly 20% have taken a prescription drug without a medical prescription. 

Teen drug use is a growing problem in this country, but why do teens use drugs? Well, let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons:

  • To satisfy boredom
  • To experiment; satisfy curiosity
  • To forget their problems; feel good
  • To ease their pain
  • To feel grown-up; feel independent
  • To fit in; give in to peer pressure
  • To improve performance (academically, athletically)
  • They’ve become addicted to the drug

With that said, some factors can help reduce a child’s chance of using or abusing drugs. This includes having a good relationship with their parents, having high self-esteem, surrounding themselves with the right people, and staying busy with extracurricular activities.

What Drugs are Commonly Abused by Teens?

It can be a bit unsettling to know that teenagers are using or abusing drugs, and that feeling only grows more intense when we learn the many different types of drugs teenagers are using. When you consider the consequences, especially at such an early age, it’s a harrowing reality.

Let’s take a look at some of the most commonly abused drugs by teenagers:

  • Alcohol – since alcohol is readily available in most teenagers’ homes, it’s often one of the first drugs or substances they try. To avoid this, keep your alcohol hidden from kids. 
  • Nicotine – similar to alcohol, tobacco products are readily available in homes throughout the world. While tobacco is legal for those above the age of 18, it should be avoided. 
  • Marijuana – with many states legalizing marijuana, it’s available and accessible now more than ever. It doesn’t take much for a teenager to get their hands on some. 
  • Prescription Drugs – many children and teenagers are under the assumption that prescription drugs are safe and unharmful, since they’re prescribed by a doctor. 
  • Over-the-Counter Drugs – since over-the-counter drugs are in most medicine cabinets in the home, they’re easy for teenagers to use and abuse. 
  • K2 (Spice) – also known as synthetic marijuana, spice is a very common drug among teenagers that can’t get access to marijuana. K2 (spice) is a highly-addictive drug. 

Some drugs are more addictive and dangerous than others, but there’s absolutely no reason why teenagers should be misusing or abusing any of the drugs listed above. It can cause a great deal of distress not just in your life, but in the lives of those that love and care about you.

What are the Signs of Teen Drug Use?

Now that you know what causes teens to use drugs and why teenagers try drugs, you’ll also want to familiarize yourself with the many different signs of teen drug use. By detecting it early, you can begin the process of teaching your child the dangers and risks involved in drug use.

Here are some of the most common signs of teenage drug use:

  • Lack of interest in hobbies they once loved
  • Hanging out with the wrong crowd
  • Change in sleeping habits
  • Frequently breaking the rules
  • Physical signs, including weight loss, red eyes, bloody noses, and tremors
  • Avoiding contact, acting distant, or isolating themselves
  • Engaging in secretive or suspicious activity
  • Stealing money, cigarettes, or alcohol
  • Poor performance in school
  • Constantly asking for money

If you notice any of these symptoms in your child, don’t hesitate to take action. Consider contacting their primary doctor or pediatrician to discuss the next steps. If you believe it’s needed, you can also seek the help of a treatment program designed to help teenage drug users.

How to Find Drug and Alcohol Treatment for Teens

There are so many reasons why teens do drugs, and while they’re more accessible now than ever, that doesn’t mean children should use, misuse, or abuse them. If you believe your child is using drugs, there are things you can start doing today to ensure that it comes to an end.
That’s where we come in. At The Last House, we take great pride in our ability to provide sober living in Los Angeles. If you’d like to learn more about men’s sober living program in Los Angeles, contact us immediately!

What is SMART Recovery?

What is SMART Recovery?

When you are ready to put struggles with addiction in the past, there are many individualized treatment methods and options you can use to reach your sobriety goals. Both the struggles of addiction and the journey to recovery are unique to the individual. Choosing a program that is the right fit is vital to achieving and maintaining lasting sobriety. At the Last House, we offer sober living programs for men seeking recovery in the safest and most effective way possible. SMART Recovery is a common option used in this process. Learn what is SMART Recovery and how it is used.

What is SMART Recovery?

Peer support and recovery programs like AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and NA (Narcotics Anonymous) are familiar to many. Based on the traditional 12 step process, these programs have helped millions of people overcome addiction and maintain lasting sobriety since they were first developed more than 80 years ago. Despite their notable successes, however, these programs (if the traditional steps are followed) have a strong religious element that some people find uncomfortable. SMART Recovery programs offer an alternative option to a conventional 12 Step model.

SMART stands for Self-Management and Recovery Training. SMART Recovery programs offer support and guidance for anyone who is ready to overcome drug or alcohol addiction. An additional benefit to SMART Recovery groups is that they are proven effective in helping those with co-occurring behavioral and emotional disorders. Like other evidence-based therapy models (cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), etc.), SMART Recovery helps addicts seeking recovery learn and practice safer, healthier ways to control addictive behaviors through examining and understanding the root causes of those behaviors.

How is SMART Recovery Different From 12 Step Programs?

There are several differences between 12 step programs and SMART Recovery programs. One such difference is mentioned in the paragraphs above. 12 step programs focus heavily on turning to a higher power as part of your recovery. SMART Recovery programs have a more secular focus.

Also, the 12 steps require participants to accept or admit that they are “powerless” over their addiction. SMART Recovery programs, on the other hand, focus on personal empowerment. Instead of 12 steps, SMART Recovery groups focus on specific skills as part of a 4-point program of healing. Although the program has four points, there is no particular order of the treatment process. SMART Recovery encourages you to address what you need when you need to, and therefore, although there is a list of points, you can address them in any order you choose, which differs from proceeding in order through the 12 steps. While one can return to a previous step in the 12 steps, the program is not designed to “skip around” through the steps.

The points in SMART Recovery are designed to help address and treat addiction by providing tips, tools, and exercises you can use to manage triggers and manage sobriety. The four points include:

  • Living a balanced life
  • Coping with urges
  • Building and maintaining motivation
  • Managing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors

SMART Recovery groups also offer a different perspective on addiction and relapse. SMART Recovery teachings do not use the same “labels” as many other rehab models. For example, participants are not referred to as “addicts,” and addiction is not referred to as a “disease.” These terms are not in line with the self-empowerment goals of SMART Recovery. The journey to recovery is not considered a lifelong process as it is with the 12 steps. Once you complete the program, you can “graduate” from recovery and start over, free from drugs and alcohol.

Are There Online SMART Recovery Meetings?

Yes. Online SMART Recovery meetings are available in many areas. In addition to peer support meetings online, many SMART Recovery programs offer online chat options, messaging options, and other online tools designed to ensure you can access the help and support you need when you need it.

How to Find SMART Recovery Meetings

Traditional 12 step programs and treatment models continue to help many find lasting sobriety. However, some people may find alternative therapy options beneficial to their overall treatment plan. Here at the Last House, we include SMART Recovery options in our therapy models to ensure anyone motivated to seek help can achieve wellness and sobriety. Because SMART Recovery programs are proven beneficial as part of a treatment program for co-occurring conditions (such as depression and addiction or anxiety and addiction), providing SMART Recovery as a treatment option opens the door to recovery for anyone ready to put struggles with addiction in the past. Contact us today to learn more about our luxury sober living and SMART Recovery programs.

Why are Teens More Vulnerable to Addiction?

Why are Teens More Vulnerable to Addiction?

Teens have been found to be vulnerable to addiction when they start experimenting with drugs, and rates have been rising over the years. Alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco are the substances that are most commonly used by young adults. Unfortunately, there are some risks of substance use that are unique to teens and young adults. For example, drug use can affect their growth and development, especially with the brain, frequently occurs with other risky behaviors, and can contribute to other health problems in their adult life such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and sleep disorders. 

What Causes Addiction?

The development of an addiction first starts in the brain. It starts with a neurotransmitter known as dopamine, which is a chemical in the brain that causes us to feel happiness. Typically daily activities that can release this neurotransmitter include things like eating your favorite dessert, seeing a family member, or doing a hobby that you enjoy. When drugs are ingested, an excessive amount of dopamine is released in the brain, causing a more intense form of happiness known as euphoria, which is known as the “high” that drugs cause. Because this high is very pleasurable and much more intense than typical daily activities can achieve, individuals will often continue using drugs to chase that high. This behavior leads to addiction and dependence on drugs. 

How is Teen Addiction Different?

Teen addiction is slightly different because they are often used for different reasons that adults report for using substances. For example, teens are highly influenced by their peers and may be more inclined to give in to peer pressure to use substances and “fit in.” Some teens also have difficult home lives that they are trying to cope with that are mostly out of their control until they are old enough to move out on their own. Additionally, teens are often not equipped with the tools to cope with peer pressure and other life stressors in the way that adults are, so they may be more likely to turn to drugs to cope if they are exposed to them. 

Why are Teens More Vulnerable to Addiction?

Teens have been found to be more vulnerable to developing an addiction if they start experimenting with drugs at this age. Some reasons for why they are more vulnerable to addiction include:

  • Teens do not experience withdrawals as intensely as adults do. Therefore, this is not something that may deter them from using the substance. 
  • Teens’ brains are more focused on the reward they get from the dopamine release than they are about the negative effects of drugs. Therefore, using reasoning skills is difficult for them because their brains are biased. 
  • Their frontal lobe is still developing. The frontal lobe is what is used when reasoning skills are being used and developed. In addition to their brains being more focused on the reward they get from dopamine, they are also not equipped to weigh the pros and cons of experimenting or mixing drugs, to begin with. 

How to Find Teen Drug and Alcohol Rehab

It can be challenging to try to help your child with their addiction. It’s tough when they are not ready for treatment. However, talking with them, going over their options, and letting them know that you will always be there for support can be helpful. Once they are ready for treatment, it’s important to point them in the right direction of trusted mental health professionals that are trained in substance use. The Last House can help. 

The Last House has been around for over ten years to help men strive to achieve sobriety in their life. We offer a supportive environment with skilled staff whose passion is to help those with addiction concerns and services that promote building skills to maintain a sober lifestyle. Our program includes groups, therapy, accountability, and exploring sober activities. When you leave The Last House, you will leave with long-lasting connections and the skills you need to continue your sobriety long-term. The Last House is connected with Thrive Treatment to easily contact quality treatment teams to ensure the care you are getting is consistent. 
Contact us today to learn more about our program and how we can help you.

Top 10 Most Common Drugs Abused by Teens

Top 10 Most Common Drugs Abused by Teens

Teens often experiment with drugs for many different reasons. Although alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana are the most common substances used by teens, there are many others that parents and caregivers should be aware of that are also commonly abused. Some are prescription or over-the-counter drugs that are abused, and some are entirely illegal drugs. 

What are the 10 Most Common Drugs Abused By Teens?

The following data represents the most common drugs abused by teens and the percentage of teens that have used each substance in the past year. 

  1. Alcohol
  2. Tobacco/Nicotine
  3. Marijuana: 36.4%  
  4. Amphetamines: 8.7% (the top drug used in this category being Adderall at 7.4%)
  5. Synthetic marijuana: 7.9%
  6. Prescription painkillers: 7.1% (the most common drugs in this category are Vicodin at 5.4% and OxyContin at 3.6%)
  7. Cough medicine: 5.0%
  8. Sedatives: 4.8%
  9. Tranquilizers: 4.6%
  10. Hallucinogens: 4.5%

Why Do Teens Abuse Drugs?

There are many reasons teens might abuse drugs. It depends on the individual, their personality, environment, and more. Some reasons that teens may abuse substances include: 

  • Trying to fit in – Teens will often use drugs when they perceive that everyone else their age is doing it. They don’t want to miss out, and they want to be able to fit in, so they experiment with drugs too. This is especially true for teens who have a friend group actively using drugs.
  • To feel high – Drug use can cause the brain to release a lot of chemicals that cause a “high” or a feeling of euphoria. Teens will often experiment with drugs in effort of chasing this high.
  • To ease difficult emotions – Teens will often use drugs to feel better when they are experiencing depression, anxiety, or stress. They may use it to numb the pain or to experience euphoria in place of that emotion. 
  • To increase performance – Teens may often use stimulants such as Adderall to improve performance athletically or academically.
  • To experiment – Teens may just be curious about what it is like to do certain drugs and try them for this sole reason. 

What are Signs of Teen Drug Abuse?

Sudden changes in behavior without a clear explanation for the change are often an indication that substance use may be an issue. Here are some signs to look out for

  • Frequently changing friends.
  • Decreased participation in activities that they used to enjoy or withdrawing from social circles. This can include quitting sports teams or clubs they used to enjoy, staying in their bedrooms more often, not talking to family members, or not going out on outings with old friends. 
  • Breaking the rules, such as curfew, and coming up with fabricated explanations for this behavior. 
  • Unusual aggressive outbursts. It may feel like walking on eggshells around them because they are unusually irritable. 
  • Confronting them about possible substance use is met with an angry reaction. 
  • Their grades start to slip noticeably, and they start skipping class or entire schooldays. 
  • Mood swings.
  • Bloodshot eyes, dilated pupils, or pinpoint pupils. 
  • A general lack of motivation affecting their school behavior, hygiene, and household chores. 
  • Uncharacteristic behavior, such as stealing, lying, or disrespecting authority figures.

How to Find Addiction Treatment For Teens

It can be challenging to try to help your child with their addiction. It’s tough when they are not ready for treatment. However, talking with them, going over their options, and letting them know that you will always be there for support can be helpful. Once they are ready for treatment, it’s important to point them in the right direction of trusted mental health professionals that are trained in substance use. The Last House can help. 

The Last House has been around for over ten years to help men strive to achieve sobriety in their life. We offer a supportive environment with skilled staff whose passion is to help those with addiction concerns and services that promote building skills to maintain a sober lifestyle. Our program includes groups, therapy, accountability, and exploring sober activities. When you leave The Last House, you will leave with long-lasting connections and the skills you need to continue your sobriety long-term. The Last House is connected with Thrive Treatment to easily contact quality treatment teams to ensure the care you are getting is consistent. 
Contact us today to learn more about our program and how we can help you.