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!

Perception is the Battle

Perception is the Battle

What if the only barrier between you and an amazing life after treatment was your perception? What if the only reason you weren’t sure if you were ready for life after treatment was because you kept telling yourself you weren’t?

These are questions that many of us don’t quite know how to answer. The truth is, we don’t often like to admit that the only person in the way of our own happiness and success might very well be ourselves. It unsettles us to know that we may be preventing something incredible from happening simply because we’re afraid to give it a chance to happen.

For many men after treatment, however, this is the exact situation we face. We enter treatment with one mission: to get better. Once we do get better, though, our perception sometimes shifts from our treatment to our future. If we’re not careful, we may even become tempted to shrug off the things we learned in treatment and focus on the unsurety of not knowing what’s out there waiting for us.

Perception is powerful, and it plays a very decisive role in our lives. In sober living, we learn to harness the power of perception to change our fear into hope, and our insecurity into confidence. Just because the future is out of our control doesn’t mean we need to be afraid of it!

How does sober living change my perception?

As The Big Book indicates, it isn’t until we realize that we are helpless against addiction on our own and take the steps to get help that recovery can truly start. Likewise, it isn’t until we change the way we view life after treatment that we can really take the steps to make the most of it.

Think about it– if you’ve just graduated from an intensive treatment program, the last time you really had a go at the outside world was well before you ever stepped foot through the doors of that treatment facility. That could have been anywhere from three to six months ago. Perhaps even longer. Even if you went the outpatient route, your days were so structured and inundated with therapy, activities, and programming that you likely had little chance to involve yourself in too much else. While that intense schedule is perfect for treatment, you need a bridge between that kind of living and the rest of your life, which, more than likely, won’t be quite as treatment-heavy. Without that bridge, you may not be nearly as prepared as you should be to re-enter a world that can be anything but forgiving.

Enter sober living. The sober living environment allows you to gradually make the adjustment back to the real world, and in doing so, adjusts your perception of what awaits you after graduation. Think of it a bit like swimming. Jumping headfirst from the diving board into the deep end isn’t really the best method for learning how to swim, even if you have the skills to do it. Instead, one might suggest starting shallow and building your confidence before having a go at the deep end. We know which method we would try!

At The Last House, one of the things that makes our sober living community so successful is the fact that we champion independence. In our minds, there’s no better way to build up your confidence in yourself and your ability to excel after treatment than by giving you the room to do it. Community rules and guidelines are built by and for the brothers, and each man is responsible for keeping himself in line, and holding the man beside him accountable for his actions as well.

With increased confidence in our own independence and self-reliance, our perception of next steps, again, shifts considerably. We aren’t nearly as afraid to confront what awaits us in the real world because we’ve built the skill set we need to conquer it in sober living. Since sober living communities encourage our involvement in the outside world by mandating that we look for work, attend court dates, and engage in community outings, our return to the real world isn’t intimidating at all. In fact, we look forward to it. As The Big Book states, “from a trembling, despairing, nervous wreck, had emerged a man brimming over with self-reliance and contentment.”

The last way that sober living changes our perception about life after treatment is perhaps the very best. In our sober living communities, we are encouraged to utilize our strengths and strengthen our weaknesses. Simply put, we rely on our brothers to help us identify areas of our lives that need some work, and collaborate to fix them. If we’re selfish, peer support can help us fix it. If we’re passive, group outings can boost our confidence. No matter what we may struggle with, there’s a sober living activity designed to fix it, and because of this, we graduate from sober living considerably more self-aware than we ever were before. Knowing our strengths and weaknesses and how to use them and deal with them gives us more confidence for facing the future!

The Last House is a premier men’s sober living facility in West Los Angeles that specializes in making gentlemen out of the men that come to us post-treatment. Call us at 1-866-677-0090 to see how we can help you gain the confidence to blow life out of the water after treatment!

Shedding the Stereotypes of Addiction

Shedding the Stereotypes of Addiction

When most people think of addicts, they think of three things: ego, entitlement, and selfishness. People believe that, particularly in the millennial era, addiction is characterized by spoiled twenty and thirty-somethings who weren’t used to hearing the word “no” enough when they were growing up. We know that isn’t really the truth, and that addiction affects a great deal of people of all ages, races, shapes, sizes, and ethnicities. If addiction was only an issue for “spoiled brat millenials,” then the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, a notorious drunk in his own right, would not have co-founded the iconic organization at nearly forty years old, and it certainly wouldn’t have been founded in the 1930s (millennials weren’t around then, yet).

While we know this stereotype is not completely accurate, of course, some young men do fit the bill. As a sober living facility in Los Angeles, we take on a wide range of men that come to us from situations in which entitlement, ego, or selfishness did drive them to use substances (or if it didn’t drive them to use, drove them to continue using). After recovery, these men aren’t necessarily ready to take the plunge into a world that might not be as forgiving as family members or loved ones were, and they enlist our help to get them prepared.

At The Last House, we’re in the business of combating these negative stereotypes with a few positive ones of our own. Our facilities foster brotherhood, companionship, discipline, self-worth independence, and accountability. We make the perfect gentlemen out of men that otherwise may have had trouble finding their way after treatment. The work we do in shedding these stereotypes as a sober living facility allows the men that we work with to leave our program as viable, contributing members of society, and gentlemen that anyone would love to be around.

How do you shed the stereotypes of addiction?

The Big Book is very clear on the power of positive thought in addiction treatment, and that’s one of the primary ways we as a sober living facility slowly shed the stereotypes portrayed by our clients. As men who have escaped the cycle of addiction, the power of thought goes a lot further for us than for others who never had to wrestle with losing the ability to rationalize, make good decisions, and control their wants and needs. Chapter three of The Big Book hits the nail on the head: “The delusion that we are like other people, or presently may be, must be smashed.” While this particular passage refers to action we should take while addicted, it makes it very clear that those that have gone through addiction are not like other people in many ways, which couldn’t be more right. One of these is the power of thought.

The power of thought begins with the understanding that the sober living facility is not a place for men to come and relax. It is a place of work, and a place to be only if you are committed to bettering yourself and working to help better your brothers who stand beside you. If this is not your ultimatum, we urge you to leave and pursue another avenue, or to try your hand at returning to the real world where you may or may not excel, depending on how prepared you are upon entering. We champion the power of thought by reinforcing positives, and refusing to overlook negatives. Land a job interview? Heaps of praise from our staff and your brothers. Come late to one meeting out of ten? There’s a consequence– no matter the other nine perfect attendances. Thought processes start to shift when it is realized that every action has a reaction, and that even the slightest deviation from rules, no matter how much good you’ve done, invokes some sort of punishment. We take this strategy from The Big Book itself, and its keen focus on accepting consequences as a means of growing in recovery (“We know that little good can come to any alcoholic who joins A.A. unless he has first accepted his devastating weakness and all its consequences.”) Over time, a changing thought process drastically changes stereotypes concerning ego and attitude. Our clients learn very quickly that thinking things will go their way, and that they do not have to follow the rules of the house will land them in trouble with not just the staff, but with the brothers they have come to know, love, and hold accountable as well.

We also shed stereotypes by encouraging the men of our program to work to not only return to society without issue, but to return to society as gentlemen, and as better men than they were before they even got involved with substances. As individuals that have already battled through addiction and come out on the right side of treatment, our men already have clearer heads and a better sense of self worth than many of their peers who never went through an ordeal with addiction. We use that heightened self-awareness and self worth to encourage our men that now is as good a time as any to conquer those dreams, slay those dragons, and prove to the world that recovery is not just about quitting drugs. It’s about coming out better, stronger, and more powerful than ever before.

At The Last House of West Los Angeles, we offer premier sober living care for men that are ready to get more out of their lives, and to make an impact on their communities when they return home. To get started, call us right now at 1-866-677-0090. We can’t wait to meet you!

Sober Living, in Theory

Sober living, in theory

Everyone knows what addiction is. It’s a vile disease that takes over the brain, renders our will useless, and ultimately wreaks havoc on our entire body while driving us away from family members, friends, loved ones, and those who care about us. Thanks to the movement to generate more information about addiction, we also now know what addiction treatment is. We understand just how powerful looking deep inside of ourselves to fix our problems can be, and we realize that therapy can be a wonderful way of getting to the root of the issues that cause us to rely on substances in the first place.

Sober living, however, is a concept that hasn’t quite caught up to the mainstream as fast as other aspects of the addiction recovery process have. While many people credit addiction treatment with ridding them of their addiction, they forget the powerful impact sober living can make when it comes to transitioning from treatment to life on their own.

As Dr. Drew said during our radio interview on his eponymous show, addiction treatment has changed. In the generation of millennials, addiction treatment has become more about coddling and less about learning the skills to excel in life after treatment. In some cases, there is a severe disconnect between the behavior men display, and the actions they feel entitled to receive from others.

At a facility like The Last House, we connect the disconnect.

Our sober living facility focuses on making men the very best they can be by championing their independence, confidence, and self-sufficiency, and encouraging them to build bonds with brothers that will last a lifetime. The Big Book couldn’t say it any better: “it became clear that if we ever were to feel emotionally secure among grown-up people, we would have to put our lives on a give-and-take basis; we would have to develop the sense of being in partnership or brotherhood with all those around us.” In our eyes, brotherhood is key to a successful transition to life after treatment. Having a tribe that will hold you accountable, force you to keep your word, take responsibility for your actions, and put the well-being of the group before yourself is an invaluable part in learning the skills necessary to make the most out of life after treatment.

Sober living, in theory, is designed to make you more than just a better person after treatment. It’s designed to give you the tools you need to become a contributing member of your community, and a champion of the recovery process for others that may need your guidance. At The Last House, we follow the Big Book’s assertion that being able to help others that are suffering through the same things we suffered through before treatment both keeps us on the straight and narrow, and allows us to give back. In fact, The Big Book couldn’t be any clearer about how important being able to help others is, especially in saying that “helping others is the foundation stone of our recovery.”

The core values of sober living

At The Last House, there are three concepts we preach more than anything: the concept of unity, the power of peer support, and the importance of life skills. Understanding these key values is the key to success for our clients.

Unity is a powerful tool in the transition from treatment to life on your own afterwards. Addiction treatment is not a one-man process, and the extension of treatment afterwards shouldn’t be either. Unity means knowing that your brothers have your back through thick and thin, and reassuring them that you have theirs. It’s what gives you the confidence to better yourself, and to step out of your comfort zone. The wonderful thing about sober living is that, although we operate in a very structured environment, it isn’t the same as treatment. Clients have the freedom to go out, work, engage with others, and live their lives. This is where the power of unity shows through the most. The brothers in our sober living homes are never forced to form bonds and relationships– their shared environment, triumphs, and failures causes them to form organically. These bonds are hard to break, and they last for years after graduation from our sober living program.

Peer support is next, and ties directly into our unity concept. In sober living, your brother is your best friend, your confidant, and your biggest fan. Whether it’s cooking meals for each other, taking turns cleaning up recreation areas, or enjoying a group outing together, sober living provides an environment brimming with opportunities for clients to give and receive help to and from each other. We find this so important, because the same practice of helping each other in the sober living community becomes a learned practice that clients replicate after graduation. As The Big Book says, one of the best ways to stay sober is to surround yourselves with others who are working on the same goal. Two are much stronger than one, and a group focused on the same thing is virtually unstoppable.

Finally, at The Last House and most other sober living communities, life skills are created, developed, and strengthened every day. In every aspect of what we do, we incorporate concepts that tie in with something greater– being the best person you can be, and a viable contributing member of your community after recovery.

Sober living is an awesome way to build the skills you need to transition into life after treatment with ease. The Last House is Los Angeles’ leading sober living community for men looking for guidance, support, and strength from other brothers. Call us today at
1-866-677-0090 to see how we can help you!

The Gentleman’s Guide to Recovery

The Gentleman’s Guide to Recovery

Chris Kirby, Director of Admissions here at The Last House, kicked off a Dr. Drew segment quite pointedly. “We’re dealing with a disease that is characterized by ego, entitlement, and selfishness,” he said.

He couldn’t be more right.

As drugs and alcohol have become more and more mainstream in American culture, many millennials have suffered the devastating consequences of addiction. Fortunately, addiction awareness has increased, and many of these men and women are getting the help they need at recovery facilities nationwide.

When they leave these facilities, however, there can sometimes be a steep learning curve, particularly if their treatment was coddling or didn’t present the real-world experiences that they would likely face after graduation. For men, this can be an issue, because a “learning curve” could mean trouble finding a job or providing for their families.

This is where sober living comes in.

At The Last House, an all-male sober living house in West Los Angeles, we focus on the exact opposite of coddling, and mitigate ego, entitlement and selfishness by providing a rigorous but fair living environment and pushing our clients to get out into the workforce, take responsibility for their actions, and be proud of who they are after treatment, without relying on others like family members and friends to do things for them.

Sober living facilities like The Last House place a premium on providing support for men that need a system that will allow them to get back on their feet, champion their recovery, and have an encouraging tribe of brothers to help them make the right decisions. We’re here not only to help men transition back to life on their own. We’re here to make them gentlemen, and, as the

The Big Book says, to help them learn how to drive and motivate others to pursue recovery as well.

How does sober living make me a gentleman?

Page 88 of The Big Book couldn’t be clearer: “We alcoholics are undisciplined.”

This statement doesn’t just apply to alcoholics, though. Many men who have suffered from addiction and gone through treatment may have the discipline to refrain from using substances, but this doesn’t mean that they have the discipline for everything. Just like anything else, we have to learn discipline and the importance of it in order to train ourselves to do the things we need to do for our lives, our health, and our families after treatment. In learning discipline, we also learn self-reliance, and acquire an essential trait of the gentleman: the ability to control ourselves and become truly independent.

In sober living, men learn to appreciate a structured environment, rules, and discipline, in much the same way the military learns structure and order. We have curfews, required meetings, and consequences for our actions that make us that much more inclined to follow procedures. It’s not that rules are shoved down the throat, or that punishments are harsh or unfair (for missing a mandatory meeting, for instance, the required and fair consequence is to write an essay on the importance of punctuality), but we learn that rules and parameters are actually healthy for us in a way that we probably wouldn’t have out on our own.

The Big Book is the inspiration behind the sober living facility’s discipline policy, and it couldn’t make more sense:  “Did anyone ever hear of a society which couldn’t somehow discipline its members and enforce obedience to necessary rules and regulations?”

In sober living, we know that the only way to get the most out of each other, to become gentlemen and champions of the benefits of recovery, is to hold each other to a standard of excellence and order. That standard is upheld by the rules we follow.

Sober living also makes men into gentlemen by teaching the importance of self-reliance. The Big Book speaks about self-reliance in a number of ways, and, it is true that when addicted, self-reliance can sometimes prevent us from getting the help we need. However, after treatment, it is important that we learn to rely on ourselves again. In fact, it is one of the markers of a true gentleman, and it shows the world that we have what it takes to take care of ourselves and make notable contributions to our communities.

When addicted, the world often sees us as people that cannot control ourselves. Addiction can make us a nervous wreck almost incapable of functioning normally in society, and at this stage, self-reliance is out of the question. With treatment and the right sober living plan, however, this changes. The Big Book uses the phrase “from a trembling, despairing, nervous wreck, had emerged a man brimming over with self-reliance and contentment” when describing the man that has successfully recovered with the help of such treatment. At The Last House sober living facility, we teach this self-reliance by forcing our clients to do for themselves. Whether this means rotating group dinner shifts, going on job interviews, or showing up early to court dates, we show our men that self-reliance is all about an attitude, and the brothers in our facility help each other foster that attitude organically.

Being a gentleman starts with discipline, which transforms into a self-reliance that breeds confidence, surety, and meaningful societal contributions. At The Last House, our sober living community provides the tools men need to make more of themselves than they were even before addiction. We don’t just teach men to live life after addiction. We teach them to live life to the fullest. Call us at 1-866-677-0090, and start taking your life back today!