Success Story: Leo L.

Before the LH, I was broken. To be specific, I was 20 years old, living at home with my parents
after failing out of college and I was abusing drugs constantly. I was smoking weed and using
psychedelics and cocaine constantly to be specific. I was in an abusive relationship with a girl who I
used drugs with and was always fighting with my parents about both my drug use and my lack of
motivation to move out. I was not in school and only maintained to keep a low paying job in order to
afford my substances. Physically, I was overweight, my lungs were compromised, and I was
constantly fatigued. Emotionally, I was constantly anxious, horribly depressed, suicidal, and
ruminated constantly on nearly every aspect of life, fearing leaving my room. I did not want to kill
myself, I just wanted to die and only the constant use of cocaine and LSD helped stem that feeling a
tiny bit.

When I first got in the Last House, I was extremely anxious and worried about how it would help me. I
resisted the structure at first as so many do and even tried to et my parents to get me to leave. I did
not want to make friends and hated the fact that life had brought me here. Through groups, feedback
from the guys here, and the Last House’s insistence that I work the 12 steps and attend meetings, I
slowly began to see the changes come to myself. Physically I lost weight and got in shape (the gym
there is amazing), my lungs got better, and I got a nice LA tan. Emotionally, especially through work
in the steps and IOP, I began to love life. I wanted to make something of myself and be independent
from my parents. I rekindled relationships with my family and friends and regained their trust. The
Last House structure puts a huge emphasis on honest and that changed me to have more integrity
that I’d ever have. With the support of my fellow guys there, I sought out good jobs that enabled me to
become financially independent. When times were tough, the staff and other residents were ALWAYS
there to support me in any way I needed. I do not have enough good things to say about the house,
other than it saved my life. Simply put, it took in a broken, sad, and troubled young cocaine addict,
and after a year of work from the house and I, shot out a happy, healthy, ambitious young man.
My life is not perfect now, as no one’s is, however overall, it is a stark contrast to anything from three
years ago. I live close to the house in LA in an apartment I pay for, with two other sober people who I
get along with and have open communication with. More than anything I have really been able to
manage my responsibilities very well. I have two good paying jobs, a group of friends who I love both
sober and norms, I keep my space clean and exercise regularly. With the experience in the house, I
was able to establish structure for my life and it keeps me both busy and satisfied. I still attend
meetings regularly and with my proximity to the house, I am able to sponsor guys there and the staff
is still supportive of me even though I am not a resident. I am currently 23 years old and nearly 3
years sober and have a fantastic relationship with my family which is one of the greatest gifts of all.

Thank you for reading, Leo Levy

Battling Back: Ardy S. Success Story

I entered The Last House at 26 years of age a broken man with no hope and in complete desperation. History of drug and alcohol abuse extends back 10 years. Considering myself a victim of circumstance and unable to take ownership and accountability of my reprehensible behavior and actions.  Having contemplated death and faced an existential crisis, I had to accept the helping hand or I was doomed. My first step in my long journey was total surrender and acceptance. Beaten into a state of submission by a cunning and deceptive disease, the path of least resistance is what I hoped to have. Ultimately I was going to walk through my fears and resentment and unforgiving habits, so trying times were inevitable. For this, to work I had to delve deep and break away from all I thought I knew. A change was in order and I had to face the challenges to grow. The constructive nature has allowed me to learn valuable lessons of accountability and responsibility in every aspect of life. I am forever indebted and grateful for this program giving me a life I never thought I could live.

Last House Graduate: Will Van Zandt

I am not sure how to express the shift in perspective I have had while staying here, but I will give it a shot. I have been to hell and back ten times over the time I arrived at The Last House. I came in broke and broken, confused, empty, and with nothing left to give. My 70-year-old mom dropped me off with a week’s worth of clothes, my care, and personal effects were scattered from Pasadena to Arizona. I weighed 150 pounds with 11 staples in my head and my front tooth gone with no recollection as to how or why it happened. As I got out of the car my mother looked at me and said “not that you have much-left son, but what is remaining I would think about because I can’t afford to care anymore, please do not call.” That was the day my life had turned into yet another introspective journey as to how fucked up my life was once again. I was forced to sit with that. Regardless of how capable and disciplined I thought myself to be. Here I was, along with Jonas, Ryan, and Diego steering the ship I knew choppy waters were not far ahead. Then Dustin came in and just when I thought my life couldn’t get any worse, there was a guy who couldn’t leave! I could!! Meeting another like mindedindividual-who was violent by design and courteous by choice, I thought to myself this relationship is going to go one of two ways. We were either gonna fight or assimilate. We have not fought… yet. So there we were in the dish pit, cooking, cleaning, and striking. Many moons passed and the routine became non-negotiable, the consistency more frequent. I, we, all of us, faced with the opportunity to dig deep and get honest or comply and fly by had a choice to make, I got BUSY! I sat across from my sponsor and evaluated my character and assessed my conduct, we went over causes and conditions with a thorough inventory, I discarded what caused turmoil, and tailored my actions to helping others to help myself. I shut my mouth and listened to others’ perspectives. I voiced my concerns, I chose the gym over the couch, and I chose work over pleasure. I soon began to realize what I had neatly avoided over the 15 years of trying to get sober was the one thing that kept me disconnected. My intolerance and judgment of others and my immense concern for myself I had. I want what I wanted in life and went to any lengths to get it, with little to no regard for others and no remorse for what they had to endure. I was not much but I was all I thought about. If you were to ask me what I do today to maintain sobriety and mental stability, I would tell you it is not what I do as much as what I don’t do!. It is beyond wordswhat has happened in my stay here- simply put, I let go of the wheel, I let others do for me what I failed to do myself. In the 16 years, I attempted getting sober I can say today that my only strength comes through restraint. – Will Van Zandt

“The answers will come if my own house is in order”

Success Stories: Leo L.

When I first entered The Last House, I was broken, physically and mentally. My attitude
was that my life would never get better, yet also, that the world owed me something. I thought
that society was going to be miserable, and I hated giving up any control. My behaviors were
that of a three-year-old wanting his way. I was attention-seeking, anxious, and extremely
manipulative to my family and friends. As I went through the house, though, the people here
simply would not put up with any of my antics. They called me out and over several groups,
broke my ego until I surrendered. It’s hard to say where exactly the change occurred, but
suffice to say, today I am a confident, independent, young man who treats my family and
friends with respect and loves sobriety more than anything. I am still working on standing still,
though, AA is an integral part of my life and my outlook today is insanely hopeful for the future.

Success Stories: Bobby A.

Oh man, where do I begin. My behaviors have changed to where I am more patient,
compassionate, and understanding. My outlook changed from feeling like a prisoner the first
few months, to realizing I had an opportunity to work on myself and rebuild myself for a better
life ahead with sobriety and emotional stability. I was struggling with a lot of anger and
irritation and did not know how to express it or cope with it. Emotional regulation was a big
thing for me, and I feel like I have made great strides in that are with the help of the house and
Thrive Treatment. After I worked through my resentment with my parents and how I arrived at
The Last House, my attitude and outlook changed drastically for the better. I didn’t think that I
needed this level of treatment and thought maybe I would have stayed sober at another sober
living that was not structured, but I do know that going to The Last House helped me to rebuild
myself from the ground up and also uncovered some character defects that I am now aware of
and can work on in therapy. I may not have uncovered these things and really dug deep if I was
not at The Last House. So, in closing, I am extremely grateful for The Last House and all of the
staff that helped me through this transformation.

Success Story: Diego M.

Since being at The Last House, my behaviors have changed a lot. I used to sit in a dark room for days on end – making music, treating family and friends and women with no respect. I was never able to keep a job. Lastly, staying off drugs and alcohol since being in the house, I have learned how to become a clean, responsible man; that shows up for work, pays bills on time, and keeps good relationships. I used to steal, lie, and cheat. Thanks to AA and The Last House program which taught me that I do not have to do those things anymore. I still sometimes struggle with my outlook on life, but I do have very many things to be grateful for that I would never have if it was not for this house. Now I must apply the things I have learned here into real life. I went from sleeping on a cold, apartment floor while high, to now having a great life that I never thought I could have.

Asher R.

The Last House has completely changed my life inside and out since I got here. I came in a broken and confused child with nothing to offer the world. I had no idea how to live my life, let alone stay sober. I had been living for nothing, but to get high and bide the time. When I got here, I had dropped out of school, been in psychosis multiple times, walked around with a fake
gun out of paranoia, had panic attacks that almost caused my heart to give out, lost all of my friends, and my family was absolutely terrified of me, but at the same time didn’t know how to help me. I got kicked out of another treatment center for selling other patients Adderall, continuously relapsing, and generally just messing up other people’s recovery. When I got here I knew I needed to change, but I was still too delusional to see what a tornado I was. The Last House did not hesitate to drill into me that I was the problem and I had serious work to do if I ever wanted to have an actual life. I thought I had all of the answers, but I found out here that I couldn’t even keep good personal hygiene, let alone live a successful, independent life. I was on a new action item every week–from the shower to work out to check in to planner; I wrote thousands of words a day for months and was annihilated regularly in the group.

It wasn’t easy but it was exactly the humility that I didn’t know I needed. I had to be made aware of my ego, entitlement, selfishness, zero awareness, and all the other faults I never admitted to myself, until it was all laid out to me here which actually allowed me to change. It would not have been possible if it wasn’t for the support of my brothers here, who never hesitated to call me out and have all been on the same path with me. The rewards of working this program and applying it to other aspects of my life keep getting better. I’ve held down the same two jobs for 11 months and have moved up at both. I’ve gotten relationships back with my family, built lifelong bonds, and a community in the house and in AA. I have enrolled in a GED program and have ultimately become a responsible man who is content with what he has. The Last House showed me what I was capable of and if it wasn’t for the structure and the work staff and residents helping me, I would not have the life I have today. I owe this place a debt I can never repay and I will forever be grateful for this program.

Mason M’s Success Story

Mason M

My behaviors, outlooks, and attitudes have had a complete 180-degree shift. When I entered
this house I can remember thinking that I will do what I need to in order to just get through it
and viewed this situation as something that was pretty terrible. Yet, as time went on and as I
grew to not look at this house as something that I had to do, but more as something that I got
to do and had the privilege of being here, that’s when it all started to shift for me. I did not
approach each and every day as something I was fed up with and really tried to be more
optimistic, because if you wake up every day telling yourself this is going to suck, the chances of
that being the case are extremely high. This house has taught me that accountability is one of,
if not the most important thing in sobriety, and it is not so much about holding others to that
like we do in this house, but more about holding yourself accountable and being able to say “I
messed up” and then going out to make it right. Just because we get sober does not mean that
all is going to be well and good at all times and sometimes you are going to hear things that you
do not want to and now you have to deal with it in a sober frame of mind rather than running
and hiding from controversy. We learn to deal with it like men and not try to skate around
everything and use it which inevitably only makes matters worse. I have really begun to
do every single thing with much more effort and authenticity and this was not me when I was
drinking. Anything moderate or decent was okay with me and even then it was below average
because my standards were not very high. However, now with all of the work that I have put in
and that I will need to continue to put in, it has shifted to where I want to try to make every
single thing that I do superior and to the best of my ability! My attitude about life, in general,
has really transformed from a pessimistic outlook to an optimistic one and I try to attack each
and every day as if I am on “borrowed time” because when I was found in my apartment prior
to coming here – I had pancreatitis and bottles lying about everywhere; I was on the brink of
doing some irreversible damage and possibly even death. Life is very precious and I ultimately
the only reason that I have one is that I do not have a bottle in my hand or and I have a
lifestyle that was been given to me with the help of this house.

Is My Kid on Drugs?

s My Kid on Drugs?

Parenting a teenager is, for lack of a better phrase, uncharted territory. The teen years are a time when your child is trying to exert their independence. On the other hand, you are trying to instill those last few lessons before they head out into the world. It is a time filled with pressure on all sides and it’s no wonder that there is a fair amount of conflict to be had. 

Even if your relationship with your teenager is ideal, your house will still have some conflict and teen angst. It’s hard to know when that conflict and teen angst crosses the line into abnormal territory that requires more concern. You may find yourself wondering, “Is this normal, or is my kid on drugs?” You may also find yourself wishing you had a parenting crystal ball that would give you all of the answers and the next right steps. At The Last House, we understand how mind-boggling it is to navigate the teen years and possible drug use. 

Drugs Commonly Used by Teens

When examining teen drug use, we find that alcohol and tobacco are the most abused.  Following those, the drug most widely used by teens is marijuana, but amphetamines and prescription opioids are not far behind.  Interestingly enough, the drug of choice seems to vary by age, with younger teens more apt to use inhalants such as glue. Older teens tend to use synthetic marijuana and prescription medications. 

For instance, if your teen is on prescription Adderall, you must be vigilant to ensure that they are using the medicine as prescribed and not sharing the medication with their friends. Likewise, if anyone in the house has been prescribed opioids for pain, you must ensure that these are stored properly and not accessible by your children. Teens may turn to drugs for many reasons, including fitting in, feeling better, performing better, or merely experimenting. Making sure the medications in your own home are not being misused is one way you can protect your child from drugs. 

What Are the Usual Signs of Drug Use in Teens?

You know your child better than anyone else, so you will likely see the changes before anyone else. While some of the signs will be specific to the drugs being used, some signs that are common to all drug use are:

  • changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • mood swings
  • weight loss or weight gain
  • hanging out with different friends
  • losing interest in their favorite activities

You may also notice that your teen is no longer interested in their appearance. Teens who are using drugs may also start to have problems in school or have issues with friends. Any of these on their own may not be a sign that your child is using drugs.  However, the more signs you are noticing, the greater the chance that, yes, your kid is on drugs. 

In addition to the signs above, you may see more outward physical symptoms. Those misusing opioids will have pinpoint pupils. Teens using alcohol, marijuana, or other depressants may exhibit slurred speech or drowsiness. Your child repeatedly complaining of being sick in a flu-like way or appearing sweaty could also be signs of drug use. Answering the question “is my kid on drugs” requires being a detective and piecing together the clues in front of you. Sometimes, it may just be a sense that you have that something is not right. When in doubt, go with your gut instinct because you know your child. 

How Do I Get My Kid Help if They’re on Drugs?

If you discover that your kid has been using drugs, you’ll find a world of options available to get them on the road to recover. The Last House is here to help keep them on that road. We are a network of sober living homes in the heart of West Los Angeles. We believe in providing our clients with the tools to have a meaningful life and participate in their sobriety.  Activities such as service commitments, sober parties, conventions, dances, and house outings are all a part of helping you learn how to have fun in sobriety.  If you’re helping your teen create a sober life, The Last House is here to help. Contact us today. 

What Are Sober Living Homes in Southern California?

Getting sober is one thing. Staying sober is another. When you leave rehab, you may be excited and nervous all at one time. You have started to learn how to live a new life, but you don’t yet have a lot of experience staying sober. You may feel pressured to do this recovery thing perfectly. We’re here to help you see that not only is that impossible, but it’s also not required. Instead, try to see the decisions you make in early recovery through the lens of supporting your recovery rather than achieving perfection. One way to support your recovery is to live in a sober living home in Southern California. This is especially true if your pre-rehab living space is a place you associate with drinking or using drugs.  The Last House is here to help you build on the work you’ve done to get sober so that you can stay sober. 

Benefits of Sober Living Homes for Addiction Recovery

Often when we are deep in our active addiction, we lose touch with living our lives and become solely focused on using. While you were active in your addiction you may have stopped paying attention to taking care of your body, holding down a job, having relationships with loved ones, and more. You may have lost everything and the thought of starting sober can be overwhelming. This is especially true if you don’t have a place to live after rehab or have never lived in a stable home. Sober living homes in Southern California can be your port in the storm after rehab. Sober living houses offer a living environment that supports maintaining a recovery lifestyle. 

Sober living provides safe and stable housing, which is an essential foundation in early recovery. By living in a sober living home, you take the pressure off yourself while learning how to live in recovery. Research has demonstrated that those who reside in a sober living house can make and sustain changes that support their recovery.  Learning how to socialize, work, and live without using is a part of early recovery. Learning to do this while in a sober living home can make it seem less overwhelming. Many sober living homes host social outings, provide structure, and require you to participate as a member of the house. 

More than anything, the benefit of living in a sober living home is community. Early recovery can feel a bit like navigating chopping waters in a small rowboat. A sober living home offers more stability while surrounded by others in those same waters. Addiction is a lonely and isolating disease. Community and connection are how you get and stay sober. At The Last House, we’ve even incorporated rescue dogs into our program so that you can enjoy the love of a dog and the responsibility of helping care for a pet. While it is possible to do recovery alone, it is those who find and build a support network that enjoy the most success in recovery. You don’t have to do early recovery alone. 

Sober Living at The Last House

The Last House Sober Living is a network of structured sober living homes in Southern California. We believe in providing our clients with the tools to have a meaningful life and participate in their own sobriety.  

We’ll help you learn how to live and have fun in sobriety through service commitments, sober parties, conventions, dances, and house outings.  Our experienced staff is composed of active members of the Los Angeles Sober Living community. If you’re wondering where to start to create your sober life, The Last House is here to help!