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! 

A Guide to Understanding Drug Addiction

Understanding Drug Addiction

Drug addiction may be one of the most confusing and frustrating diseases. It is hard to imagine why anyone would continue to use drugs and alcohol as their entire life is falling apart.  Understanding drug addiction is not simple because it often defies logic. Watching someone face consequences like the loss of family, arrest, financial ruin, and more while continuing to use drugs is heartbreaking. The key to it all is to know that the one who is active in their addiction is not in their right mind. Fortunately, this begins to change as they get sober, and then it’s time to rebuild.  That’s why The Last House is here; we’re here to help those coming back from addiction create a sober life. 

What Is Addiction?

Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug or alcohol use despite any adverse consequences.  Drug and alcohol use typically begins with experimentation or first use. While we often think of this in terms of illicit drugs, the drugs may be legal. A person may be prescribed opioids for long-term pain or may begin using alcohol. The user may stop there or may move on to regular use. The danger begins when the use continues, becomes riskier, and leads to dependence. If you find yourself drinking while drunk or high, you’re engaging in more dangerous use. If you find you cannot stop or taper down without experiencing withdrawal symptoms, you have crossed over to physical dependence on the substances you have been using. Not everyone who uses or experiments with drugs and alcohol will become addicted. Researchers do not entirely understand why, and this is why understanding addiction is so complicated. 

What Is the Best Way to Treat Addiction?

Treating your addiction depends on multiple factors. The drugs you have been using, how you have ingested them, and your use history will significantly impact treatment decisions. Treatment is about more than the drugs, though, because the drugs are typically used to cope when poor coping skills exist. Maybe you turned to drugs as a way to self-medicate your anxiety disorder or because you couldn’t cope with past trauma. Perhaps you found drugs as a way to self-medicate your depression or because you grew up in a family where someone normalized drug use. All of these circumstances will be taken into account as you seek treatment for your addiction.  Researchers continue to explore the effectiveness of different treatments and find that twelve-step mutual aid recovery groups and recovery housing are both very effective. 

Can Addiction Ever Be Cured?

While it can never truly be cured, addiction can be managed quite well. The United States Surgeon General reports that approximately fifty percent of adults who once suffered from substance use disorder are considered in stable remission. This represents about twenty-five million people, once active in their addictions, who have now been sober for more than a year. That’s good news for those early in sobriety; recovery is possible. However, recovery is a lifelong endeavor.  Addiction, like many other diseases, requires ongoing care and attention for remission to continue. 

Reach Out to the Last House Today for More Information About Drug Addiction

The Last House Sober Living is 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 own 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 wondering where to start to create your sober life, The Last House is here to help. 

How to Stop Enabling a Drug Addict

Stop Enabling a Drug Addict

Loving a drug addict is hard. We want to help and support the people that we love. But when does loving a drug addict turn into enabling a drug addict? It can be a fine line and defining the boundaries can feel impossible. A loved one consumed by an addiction may seem like a completely different person. Your instinct may be to save them by any means necessary, but that may not always have the results you’re wanting. A person wrapped up in their addiction is not thinking clearly and their decision making may not be logical. At The Last House, we can help you understand what steps to take when you are ready to stop enabling your loved one. 

What Does It Mean to Enable a Drug Addict?

Enabling a drug addict involves engaging in activities that support their continuing drug or alcohol abuse. While it can be something as simple as providing financial support or housing to someone addicted to drugs and alcohol, it can be much more. Other forms of enabling are more subtle and are focused on helping the addict face the consequences of their addiction.  Enabling can take the form of justifying your loved one’s behavior, minimizing the impact of their substance use, or denying that there is a problem. Maybe you’re helping to protect their image with their coworkers or family friends or taking care of any resulting problems. Perhaps you have tried controlling your loved one’s addiction or lecturing them about it.  No matter what your enabling looks like, it likely involves your not expressing how you are being impacted by their use. And holding in those feelings can lead to you taking on more responsibilities for them and ultimately feeling superior to the addict in your life. Addiction couples with enabling changes the whole dynamic of any relationship. 

How Do I Stop Enabling My Loved One?

Helping a loved one face their own addiction can be difficult and heartbreaking. You’ve likely seen the television shows and movies that depict “tough love”.  It’s called tough love because it can be hard to set boundaries even when they are set with the hope of helping an addict face their addiction. The first step is to accept that there is a problem and to identify your role in the problem. If you can identify your enabling actions, you can stop enabling and allow your loved one to face the consequences of their substance use. For example, maybe you have taken over all of the chores inside and outside of the house because your partner has been intoxicated, high, or hungover too often. Instead of carrying the load alone, start asking them to share the responsibilities. Likewise, stop covering for your loved one with other members of your family, friends, and their coworkers. While you may feel like you’re putting them in danger of failing, you’ll want to remember that it’s not your job to save them. You’re trying to change the trajectory of their disease by allowing them to face the consequences you’ve been protecting them from. Instead of enabling them to keep using, now you’re enabling them to face the truth of their using. 

Sober Living at The Last House

The Last House Sober Living is a network of structured 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 learn how to have fun in sobriety. If you’re wondering where to start creating your sober life, The Last House is here to help!

Finding the Right Drug Addiction Support Groups for You

Finding the Right Drug Addiction Support Groups for You

Finding the right drug addiction support group is a bit like finding the right pair of shoes. Not only will you want to try out a few different types of groups, but you may also want to try out other meeting locations within the same group type.  If you went to rehab, you were likely exposed to different drug addiction support groups either through their being described or your attending some meetings. Drug addiction support groups are an essential component of a relapse prevention plan.  At The Last House, we know the importance of finding and attending support groups, and we’re happy to help you find meetings. 

Different Kinds of Drug Addiction Support Groups

Drug addiction support groups are much different than being in treatment for a huge reason.  These groups are not run by licensed professionals but by the members themselves. In addition to other kinds of drug addiction support groups, there are often meetings tailored to different demographics, such as all-women meetings, LGBTQ meetings, or all-men meetings. Researchers have found that attendance and participation in drug addiction support groups increase success in recovery.  Whether you are new or established in recovery, support groups can play a vital role.

Twelve Steps Groups

Twelve-Step programs are perhaps the best known of the self-help groups. These programs include:

As the name suggests, these groups are based on recovery through the completion of twelve steps. AA was established in 1935 with the principles essentially remaining the same, with the only requirement for membership being a “desire to stop drinking.” 

AA and the other twelve-step programs that have grown from it are built on mutual aid, with alcoholics and addicts helping each other stay sober.  All twelve-step programs include reliance on a Higher Power, referred to as God in the literature, of your choosing. 

Refuge Recovery

Refuge Recovery is a Buddhist-inspired support group offering recovery from all forms of addiction.  In addition to a book, there are Refuge Recovery meetings held in many locations worldwide. Refuge Recovery meetings include group meditation, sharing, and readings.  Group members practice meditation, personal inventory, mentorship, retreat, and service as part of the program. 

Smart Recovery

SMART Recovery,  or Self-Management And Recovery Training, approaches recovery in a much different way and does not use labels such as addict or alcoholic. The program also does not rely on religion or spirituality. SMART recovery focuses on a scientifically-based approach to behavioral change using their 4-point program. Once individuals become familiar with SMART and are free from addictive behaviors, they are encouraged to volunteer. 

Women for Sobriety

Women for Sobriety (WFS) is a recovery group focused only on women. WFS, with its “New Life” program, addresses the unique needs of women in recovery by highlighting the need to nurture feelings of self-value and self-worth. Meetings are held in many locations and online.  Literature from WFS is available online.  

Secular Organizations for Sobriety 

Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS) is a recovery group focused on helping those staying sober from alcohol, drugs, or compulsive eating. Whereas twelve-step programs emphasize reliance on a Higher Power in sobriety, SOS recognizes the individual as the source of their sobriety.  SOS holds meetings around the world, and much of its literature is available online. 

Live Sober at The Last House

The Last House is a network of structured 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.  Comprising active members of the Los Angeles Sober Living community, our staff is familiar with many recovery support groups in the area.  If you’re wondering how to create your sober life, The Last House is here to help! 

What to Do After You Leave Drug Rehab

What to Do After You Leave Drug Rehab

Once you’ve admitted you have a problem, go to rehab, and get sober, you may be wondering what to do after drug rehab. It’s a bit like graduating from school and finding yourself not knowing what the next step should be. In rehab, you’ve likely learned that you need to change your life and your surroundings.  But how does that work?  We know how overwhelming it can seem to change everything.  That’s why The Last House is here. We want to help you as you start to create your sober life. 

What to Do After Drug Rehab

It is critical to realize that there is no magic action that will keep you sober after rehab. Instead, it is the collective results of many different steps.  Much like rehab has various components, so does recovery and sobriety.  It may take you some time to find the right mix of actions that work for you, and that’s not only okay, but it’s also expected.  You are building a new life, and you will not have all of the answers. That said, there are some things that you can do that will help set you up for success while you are figuring it all out, including:

  • Making choices that support physical and emotional well-being
  • Having a stable and safe place to live
  • Engaging in meaningful daily activities
  • Building supportive relationships and social networks

One of the first things you can do after drug rehab is to find a sober living house.  Early recovery can be challenging. A sober living house can provide you with structure and stability to support your recovery.  At the same time, living in a sober house can also enable you to meet others in recovery and begin to form a support network. Many sober homes will host different activities to help you discover how to have fun in recovery.  Many who have found themselves in active addiction have stopped participating in any activities except getting and using the drug of choice.

While it’s essential to learn how to have fun in recovery, it’s also important to begin to take on responsibilities again.  A great place to start is by getting a job and learning how to support ourselves financially.  Depending on the job, you might find a sense of purpose within the work and a sense of accomplishment.  You will also begin to make friends at work and have a social support network that is not built around drugs and alcohol.

Balancing It All    

You might be wondering how you’re going to stay sober with a life filled with work and fun.  Where does recovery fit? Well, in addition to living at a sober house, you can also participate in recovery meetings.  Most, if not all, twelve-step programs have in-person and online meetings that you can attend.  There are also other recovery groups such as SMART Recovery, Refuge Recovery, and a wide variety of online communities that can support your sober life.  And, the good news is that you don’t have to pick just one.  You can experiment with attending different groups and different meetings within the same group until you find the ones that work best for you. 

Reach Out to Us Today at the Last House 

The Last House Sober Living is 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 own 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 wondering where to start to create your sober life, The Last House is here to help! 

Dante N.K Success Story

Dante

Once I got here, I knew I wanted to get sober, but on my own accord.  I was not able to speak my truth and I held onto my old ways; ducking and dodging questions and believing my morals were above the program.  I lied, I bent rules, and truly believed that I was a victim to my circumstances.  Once I put down my walls and gave a real effort to the path laid out for me by The Last House and the Alcoholics and Cocaine Anonymous programs, I found joyous and free people. At first, I was there to listen and talk to women.  I wasn’t working any of the steps and didn’t get into the real work until it came time to get a job.  After working there for only four days I relapsed.  Then came what I believe was my first spiritual awakening.  I came back to The Last House and felt more shame and guilt than ever before.  I was looking my brothers and my house manager in the face, while hiding at the same time.  That secret was going to keep me sick and it caused me to not be able to sleep at all.  I decided to completely turn my life and my will over to the care of God.  I did something about who I was and what I stood for.  

I started working with a sponsor who showed nothing, but genuine care.  He helped me to see that I would never have to suffer again.  I used to think that I was special, not capable of great things, and hid behind a persona that said otherwise.  That is until I came to find out that the people surrounding me had almost or exactly the same thing going on. I was able to relate and have friendships where we didn’t depend on each other for validation or need anything from each other on a co-dependent level.  I saw my house as a real family and at that – my only family besides my parents, sister, or cousin Josh.  I was learning what accountability was, the value of hard work, how to be there for a brother, that the world doesn’t revolve around me, that I need to think before acting, how to listen, how to follow through, how to be honest, how to show vulnerability.  I developed new tools that serve me daily such as how to get a job, but most importantly how to stay sober.  My family doesn’t constantly worry about me, I have a job, and have reached a place of independence.  I have a clear mind, I’m healthy, and, of course, I am happy!  I know what it is like to hit the pillow sober and know what it means to live life on life’s terms.  My behaviors, outlooks, and attitudes have shifted from delusional and hopeless one to almost mature adulthood.