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!

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! 

Four Fun Sober Activities for Men

fun sober activities for men

When we’re active in our addictions, we don’t often think of recovery as fun.  We believe that there can’t possibly be any fun, sober activities.  Instead, we picture our future sober lives as an endless marathon of recovery meetings, work, and fulfilling the responsibilities we’ve avoided.  We imagine sobriety as a life without color, without laughter, and without fun.  But it doesn’t have to be that way and, at The Last House, we can show you what sober people do for fun. 

Four Fun Sober Activities For Men

One of the saddest parts of addiction is the loss of self.  While you’re active in your addiction, you likely have only one interest. Your primary purpose becomes getting and using your substance of choice.  Even if you participate in other activities, you probably schedule them around your addiction.  Once you get sober, you may not even know what you like to do. You may not have spent a lot of time exploring fun, sober activities, and you might wonder what sober people do for fun. The good news is that there isn’t just one answer, but getting sober puts you in a position to start exploring. 

Your next question might be where to start, and here are some suggestions:

  • Basketball
  • Snowboarding and Skiing Trips
  • Surfing
  • Group Outings

What you might notice about this shortlist is that these activities are all much more possible sober!  It’s much more comfortable and less dangerous to engage in sports such as basketball, skiing, snowboarding, and surfing when you’re not high or drunk. Not only is your chance of injury reduced, but you also might enjoy yourself. You may have thought that you’re not a sports person or that you’re not really into exercise, but you might give yourself a chance to try.  You might surprise yourself. 

In addition to sports, group outings to areas such as the beach, museums, or other places can be quite enjoyable. When was the last time you explored the space around you and saw what was available to do? Imagine walking through a museum with no purpose other than to look at the art and enjoy it.  Consider the possibility of walking along the coast and looking out to the ocean, just taking it all in. Picture yourself at a restaurant or a picnic with friends, enjoying their company and the food.  You may or may not enjoy every activity that you try, but sometimes the fun is in the trying. 

What sober people do for fun is to live.  By changing the focus from drugs to living, life is so much more fun.  You might find that you love to golf, or you might find that you hate it.  Either way, you’ll have tried something new.  With each new activity that you try, you’ll start to learn the things you enjoy doing, and you’ll likely begin to form friendships with those who want to engage in similar activities.  And one day, you’ll find yourself out having fun and wonder what it was about using that you thought was so great. 

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 you learn how to have fun in sobriety.  Our staff,  composed of active members of the Los Angeles Sober Living community, have years of experience. If you’re wondering where to start creating your sober life, The Last House is here to help. 

Going to Sober Living for Addiction as a Young Man

We’re humans, and as humans, we’re conditioned to want more out of life. We want more fun, more adventure, more enjoyment. One of the incredible concepts about addiction recovery  is that it teaches us that we can have “more” and lead fulfilling lives while being sober and without using substances.

As a Los Angeles-based sober living facility, we understand that the world often defines being “sober” as a boring way to live life. Practically everything that’s considered “fun” seems to be tainted by drugs, alcohol, or both. It’s the way big industry makes money– and it’s also the reason why there are 278,544 drug and alcohol related deaths among men every year. Here at The Last House, we ascribe to a different idea of what living “sober” is. We believe that sober living means making a lifestyle change that transforms us into confident, independent men ready to make the most of our lives. We believe that by fostering brotherhood and community, the young men that come through our doors can take Los Angeles and the rest of the world by storm when they graduate. We believe that living sober is the absolute best version of life, and that nothing else really compares.

Getting sober at a sober living facility helps us learn how to deal with life’s challenges as they happen, with the support of brothers and mentors to help us make the right decisions. When we focus on getting sober, we realize that we don’t have time to think about “what we may be missing”– and we really don’t have any desire to. Truth be told, with countless activities here in Los Angeles, we actually find that we’re able to both be more productive men and have more enjoyable and fulfilling experiences when we’re not using substances.

Sober living isn’t just a halfway point between addiction treatment and life outside. With the resources provided and the tools created here in the sober living community, young men in Los Angeles, New York, DC, and all over the country are learning how to make the most of their lives by realizing just how much strength they have without substances. Getting sober is a journey, not a sentence. It’s the most rewarding action you can take for yourself as a young man battling addiction, and sobriety will open up a world of opportunity that you never thought possible.

Here at The Last House sober living facility, we believe that getting sober is a gift, and we teach our young men to embrace the possibilities of a sober life. Situated in sunny Los Angeles, we provide a number of activities and resources for our men to learn responsibility, accountability, independence, and brotherhood. When our men leave The Last House, they’re not just not using. They’re leading more fulfilling lives than they’d ever imagined. Call us at 1-866-677-0090 to get started with The Last House today.

When is an Addiction an Addiction?

Misuse/abuse. Regular use. Tolerance. Dependence. Addiction.

The stages of addiction might manifest differently based on the place or person, but misuse or abuse of drugs is still one of the most likely ways to start down the slippery slope towards addiction. In fact, the misuse or abuse of substances is so prevalent that the FDA indicates that “in 2017, an estimated 18 million people (more than 6 percent of those aged 12 and older)… misused [prescription] medications at least once in the past year.” While misuse is not the same as abuse, both actions are often our first foray into using drugs in ways that they aren’t supposed to be used. In misusing drugs, we’re using drugs for a purpose other than what they’re intended for, although we may not be necessarily be looking to get high. In abusing drugs, we’re using drugs for one alternative purpose: getting high.  

For some of us, misusing drugs for purposes that seem as innocuous as relieving a headache or getting over a cold can lead our bodies to crave more and more of the feeling the drug provides. In a very short matter of time, what was our attempt to self-medicate can lead right to regular use, tolerance, dependence, and then addiction. As for abusing drugs, if we’re willingly consuming substances with the purpose of getting high, then there, too, is only a matter of time before addiction becomes a real threat.

How is addiction defined?

Because misuse and abuse of drugs are not the same, yet often used interchangeably, it follows that many of us might also be confused as to how the other stages of addiction are defined.

To start, regular use is best defined as the point in which we begin to display a pattern of use. If we misused a prescription drug once, say for a headache, and liked the feeling, we may do it again– though this time not so much for the pain as for the feeling we get from it. Later on, we may try it once more. Eventually, we’re no longer using the drug for pain, but simply out of habit.

We might not be addicted yet, but we’ve reached the first phase– where drug use has gone from misusing to now using consistently.

At the next phase is tolerance. When we’re becoming tolerant of a drug, we find that we need more and more of it to obtain the same high that we used to get from a much smaller amount of it. If we abused a prescription drug just for the thrill of it the first time, because we liked it a little the second time, and maybe because we wanted some more the third time, by the time we reach tolerance, we’ve built up a habit of using the drug and our system now needs more in order for us to feel it. As we increase the amount of the drug we use, some of us actually begin to feel like we can operate even with a large amount of it in our system. This is why this stage can also be called the “risky use” stage. We can, in effect, become so used to having large amounts of the drug in our system that we feel like there’s nothing in our system at all. Some of us get behind the wheel, attempt to go to work, and exhibit outwardly dangerous behavior due to the drug’s now habitual place in our system.

Following tolerance is dependence, which is when our bodies begin to enter periods of withdrawal if we don’t have access to the drug we’ve misused or abused. Withdrawal is a combination of physical and mental symptoms that can be relatively mild or life threatening. The severity of withdrawals often depends on the drug, the user, and how long the drug has been in the system. When we’re dependent on a drug, we haven’t quite reached the stage of complete addiction, but we are dangerously close to it.

Finally, addiction follows dependence. What makes addiction different than the other stages is that addiction is a mental disease. Addiction results from a person taking a drug repeatedly, but the telltale sign of addiction is when that person cannot stop taking it. A great definition of addiction is that it is a state “marked by a change in behavior caused by the biochemical changes in the brain after continued substance abuse.” Unlike dependence, where we exhibit physical distress when we try to stop using, tolerance, where we need more of a drug, or regular use, where we’ve first started a habit, addiction is the culmination of all of the above. Using the drug becomes our main priority, at the expense of anything and everything that may get in our way. When we reach the point of addiction, whether our drug use started as a result of abuse or misuse becomes secondary. At this point, professional help is highly recommended to help get us on the right track to recovery.

Defining when addiction starts can be difficult, but at The Last House sober living facility, we help our men conquer addiction once and for all. We believe that addiction is wholly treatable, and that the sober living community can help men identify the underlying issues behind why they misused or abused a drug in the first place. We focus on brotherhood, unity, and responsibility here– traits that, when combined, can help a man transform into a better version of himself than he ever thought possible. Call 1-866-677-0090 to get started with The Last House today.

Misuse versus Abuse: Understanding Addiction

When it comes to drug use, there’s often one question that’s commonly asked: is drug misuse the same as abuse?

In short, no. Both are unique issues that come about in different ways. However, both drug use and drug abuse can lead to addiction if not corrected as soon as possible. Fortunately, correcting drug misuse and drug abuse is possible once we identify either in our lives.

What’s the difference between drug use and drug abuse?

According to the FDA, the difference between drug misuse and drug abuse “mostly has to do with the individual’s intentions or motivations.” With drug misuse, a person may improperly take a drug with the purpose of self-medicating. Let’s say you have a headache, for instance, and ask a friend for a prescription pain reliever. Without your own prescription for the drug, you’re misusing it, even if it seems like you’re taking it for a legitimate purpose. When we treat ourselves, we’re not acting according to the directions of any medical provider, and the chances of incurring serious consequences increase.

Drug abuse, on the other hand, usually relates to taking a drug with the sole purpose of achieving a high or euphoria. More often than not, drug abuse involves taking higher doses of a drug than what has been prescribed, and specifically looking to get some sort of pleasurable result from it.

Whether abusing or misusing drugs, both actions are so dangerous because they involve taking a substance without medical oversight to guide us. Though taking prescription drugs always involves some sort of risk, the risks associated with a drug prescribed and managed by a healthcare professional are minimal compared to if it’s taken with no oversight. Additionally, when taking drugs as properly prescribed, the benefits far outweigh the risks.

If drug misuse and abuse aren’t the same, which one’s worse?

There is a huge problem with both drug misuse and abuse, and one isn’t worse than the other in the technical sense– primarily because both typically involve willfully using prescription medication in a way other than how it’s intended to be used. There’s no such thing as a “legitimate” reason to use drugs in a way that they aren’t supposed to be used. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, just one decade ago, “20 million persons in the United States age 12 or older had used prescription drugs nonmedically at least once in their lifetime, and 6.2 million had used them in the past month.” Whether misusing or abusing drugs, both can lead to dependence and addiction.

How can drug misuse be prevented?

The number one way to prevent ourselves from misusing drugs is to be sure that we are only taking medications that have been prescribed to us. Even if it seems innocuous enough to borrow a pain reliever here or there, prescription drugs, their combinations, and their dosages are carefully designed to cater to specific people for a variety of reasons. Some medications purely work with a certain blood type, or a certain fat to muscle ratio. Others have dangerous side effects that prevent them from being shared widely. Still others are prescribed to deal with a very specific set of issues or ailments. When we take drugs that aren’t ours, we’re playing the lottery with our lives, and the odds aren’t in our favor. If there is a drug that we think may benefit us, it’s always best to consult with a physician and let him/her make the call on the healthiest course of action for us, instead of taking things into our own hands.

As for misusing a drug that is prescribed to us, this can be prevented by carefully following the instructions given to us by our healthcare provider. If there’s a certain way that we’re supposed to take the drug, then that’s the only way we should take it. If there’s a certain amount of pills that are to be taken, then no more should be taken. When a physician tells us that our prescription is no longer needed, we should also make sure to properly discard of any leftover medication. If there are no specific instructions for discardal, the FDA recommends mixing the remaining medication with an undesirable substance, placing in an airtight container, and placing them in the trash.

How can drug abuse be prevented?

Because drug abuse is often more deliberate than misuse, the key to preventing it is to identify the reasons behind why we want to use, and fixing them. Going to a counselor or therapist is often a great way for us to learn how to work out the issues that may be going on internally or externally, and to learn how to channel negative energy into positive alternatives.

Though drug abuse and drug misuse are not the same, they can both lead to serious consequences that can turn deadly if we aren’t careful. Identifying and rectifying the issues that encourage us to abuse, and taking prescription medications only as directed can help prevent both misuse and abuse.

Here at The Last House sober living facility, we build men into champions of recovery by educating them and cultivating an environment where they feel respected, appreciated, and motivated. We believe that addiction is an illness that can be treated by educating the mind, stimulating the soul, and rebuilding the body. If you’re dealing with the effects of drug misuse or abuse, we encourage you to reach out at 1-866-677-0090 today.

Stepping Outside of Our Comfort Zones

Stepping Outside of Our Comfort Zones

We all like being comfortable. It’s part of being human. We enjoy relaxation, peaceful people, and serene environments. Comfort is great for a lot of things. It can help us destress, rethink, or simply catch up on rest– all of which is very important.

However, when it comes to sober living, sometimes the only way for us to make the changes we really need to make in our lives is to step outside of our comfort zones.

We won’t always tell ourselves this, because– let’s be honest– we don’t always like to hear that we need to put in the effort to get the results we want. In fact, sometimes, we’re more willing to be comfortable than to put in a little extra work. Like The Big Book says, “whenever we had to choose between character and comfort, the character-building was lost in the dust of our chase after what we thought was happiness.”

Here at The Last House, however, we forge recovery warriors– men who have not only dominated their addictions, but who also have no problem dominating anything else life throws at them.

In our sober living community, we understand that in order to become those warriors, sometimes we have to go through the fire to make us stronger. Going through the fire means working through our fallacies with the help of our brothers and our mentors, instead of trying to cover them up or avoid them. It means taking uncomfortable steps that we wouldn’t have normally taken to learn lessons that we wouldn’t have been able to learn otherwise. Some of us may have recently graduated school and never applied for a job before. Boom. Perfect risk to take here in sober living. Others of us have put down the bottle or the pills, but still use nicotine as a way to cope. There’s no other place to wean ourselves off of the stuff than around our brothers in sober living. Taking these risks may seem difficult, but the benefit we receive at the end more than makes up for it.

Stepping outside of our comfort zones in sober living can produce wonderful results, and make us stronger and more confident in our recovery journey. Remember, fire really does sharpen iron!

The Last House is a men’s sober living facility in sunny West Los Angeles. We help men learn how to step outside of their comfort zones and make the most out of their lives post-treatment. When men graduate from our program, they’re ready to conquer anything life throws at them with tact, grace, and confidence. Call 1-866-677-0090 to get started with us today!

The Importance of Honesty In Sober Living

The Importance of Honesty In Sober Living

Our parents always told us not to lie, and if we have kids, we’ve probably told them the same thing. Funny, then, that with all this telling each other not to lie, we still have all managed to do so somehow.

Lying is innate, unfortunately. It’s human nature to want to avoid pain and discomfort, and we lie as a way of doing that. In sober living, however, lying just can’t fly if we’re truly looking to maximize the impact of our lives after we graduate.

The Big Book notes three things as the essentials of recovery. “Willingness, honesty, and open-mindedness are the essentials of recovery,” it says.

In sober living, we take that to heart.

None of us are mind readers– not the mentors at the sober living house, not other staff members, and not the brothers that we live with. That means that if we don’t tell the truth, or we tell ourselves mistruths so much that we believe them, we can’t get help– because no one will know. Sober living requires us to be completely transparent in order to grow, much like initial treatment. The wonderful part about both is that they’re judgment free zones, and our transparency and honesty can only put us in a better position. When we’re honest and transparent in sober living, mistakes can become teaching moments, and whatever we’re dealing with can help someone else. We’re a unit, and units grow by contributing to each other. Our honesty allows us to make those contributions.

Honesty is transformative. If we can learn to be honest with ourselves in sober living, where rules are a lot more stringent and everything we do is steeped in accountability, we’ll be more than ready for the real world, where honesty isn’t necessarily something that always seems to make sense, but dishonesty always yields far worse results. Remember, sober living is nothing if it isn’t a platform to prepare us for the rest of our lives. Learning to be honest with ourselves and others is one of the easiest choices we can make, but it can open up a world of opportunity.

The Last House is a men’s sober living facility based in West Los Angeles. We help men become the very best versions of themselves that they can be by championing unity, teaching life skills, and providing peer support. Life after treatment is ours to conquer. Call 1-866-677-0090 to get started today!

Recovering for the Future

Recovering for the Future

Page 119 of The Big Book offers a simple, comforting look ahead for the wives of men that were a part of the inaugural AA groups of the1930s. “Your family is reunited,” it says, “alcohol is no longer a problem and you and your husband are working together toward an undreamed-of future.”

Itn the 1930s, this would have seemed all but impossible to many of the wives that might have read this. Their husbands had no doubt struggled with alcohol for years, and the mere thought of their being able build a future together soon was probably a lot for them to take in.

It happened, though. As Alcoholics Anonymous began to flourish, so, too, did the lives of many of its attendees, including several of these husbands. Over time, AA and its practices have become a staple in many recovery communities, and the 12-step process, introduced so, so long ago, has only continued to grow in its use and effectiveness.

As a men’s sober living facility, we here at The Last House work to be able to make that same kind of promise to the families of the men we live, work, and learn with. We aren’t AA, and we aren’t a treatment facility. We’re the bridge that links men from these places back to the real world, and, as such, we have the important responsibility of giving our brothers the tools they need to be able to create those successful futures with their families, friends and loved ones.

We do this by combining the principles set forth by our forefathers in the AA community with a focus on unity, life skills, and peer support. Our process is strict, but fair, and the bonds we form with the men that walk through those doors are bonds that won’t easily be broken. As a unit and a family, we tackle problems, situations, and tough issues head-on, while learning to navigate through whatever life throws at us with poise and confidence.

How does unity help me recover for the future?

The Big Book couldn’t be any clearer about the importance of unity for our personal recovery: “Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. unity.”

Recovery is a wholly collaborative process. As The Big Book states very early on, we alone are powerless against addiction. After all, if we were able to fight it on our own, there would likely be no such thing as addiction in the first place. In a sober living community like ours, we stress the importance of being able to rely on those we trust to help us make it through tough times. It’s no secret that a burden is lighter when shared by many people. Unity to us means holding our brothers accountable for their actions, and taking full responsibility for our own. It also means reaching out for help from a friend instead of thinking that we have to do it all on our own. Remember, in the real world, there’s often little opportunity for “re-dos”. Learning to enjoy, appreciate, and utilize the power of unity is a skill that is absolutely necessary for the future, specifically when it comes to dealing with potential problems that we might not know how to face on our own.

Unity isn’t necessarily a difficult concept to understand, but it’s learning to reach out to others, to use the resources provided for us, and to put the good of the group before ourselves that really makes all the difference. As men we can be proud, and while it’s admirable to be confident in ourselves, we sometimes confuse haughty pride for true confidence and end up dealing with the consequences the hard way. At The Last House, we teach that unity doesn’t mean that you’re showing weakness, but that you know how to work with your brothers to become even stronger individually. It’s in working together that we learn how to build that true confidence in ourselves and those that we support.

Life skills for the future

If there’s one thing sober living communities teach us, it’s how to prepare for life. As a segway between the treatment center and the real world, the sober living process strives to provide us with the tools we’ll need to become viable, contributing members of society, to take care of our responsibilities, and, as The Big Book asks of us, to be champions of the treatment process for others that need help. Here at The Last House, we teach men life skills for the future by encouraging them to be self-reliant and proactive in everything that they do. Whether it’s attending a court session or cooking dinner for their brothers, our men are required to be prompt, respectful, and dutiful in fulfilling the responsibilities they’re assigned. If they aren’t, consequences picked by the group hold them accountable and encourage them to get it right the next time.

Sober living is equal parts recovery community and real world experience. As such, our men get the chance to apply the skills they learn in our community to their day jobs, outings, and recreation outside of our facility on a daily basis. In doing so, they learn to build their self-reliance, confidence, and poise. By the time they’ve graduated from our sober living community, they aren’t just fitting into mainstream society– they’re excelling! We believe in the power of practicing the right habits, and The Big Book backs us up: “Our basic troubles are the same as everyone else’s, but when an honest effort is made “to practice these principles in all our affairs,” [we] seem to have the ability, by God’s grace, to take these troubles in stride and turn them into demonstrations of faith.” Practice really does make perfect, and the more we practice, the easier it is to transition into the real world with a bang!

The Last House is Los Angeles’ premier sober living facility for men transitioning out of treatment and into the real world. If you want more out of your life after treatment, call us at 1-866-677-0090 today!