What Are the Types of Group Therapy?

What Are the Types of Group Therapy?

Several patients get psychotherapy from one or more mental health professionals during each session in group therapy. Group therapy can shorten wait times and provide access to mental healthcare for more individuals. While some people primarily use group therapy, others also participate in individual treatment sessions. 

Group therapy is one of the most acceptable methods to maintain your ongoing rehabilitation since long-lasting healing occurs in a community. Group therapy aids in practicing the fundamental life skills needed for persons in recovery to care for themselves daily correctly. 

Additionally, they support our comprehension of the constructive communication techniques we need to build new connections and mend any relationships we may have harmed by our destructive conduct. In this article, we’ll discuss types of group therapy, why it is essential, and how to find group therapy programs in Los Angeles. 

The Last House Sober Living is a network of transitional living homes providing structured sober living for men in Los Angeles. Long-term recovery is encouraged by the atmosphere our sober homes foster. This program lays the groundwork for a new life filled with excitement and joy while remaining sober.


What Are the Types of Group Therapy?

Group therapy comes in various forms, and each group’s treatment plan is unique. We will discuss five of the most general categories in the following sections.

Psychoeducational Groups

The main goals of psychoeducational group therapy are to inform participants of their problems and give them new coping mechanisms. These teams typically concentrate on a particular illness, including drug use disorder, anxiety, or phobias.

Skill Development Groups

Groups that specialize in skills development introduce and enhance the abilities individuals need to deal with certain mental health disorders. Aspects of psychoeducational groups may be included in these groups. The members’ behavioral and cognitive resources must be strengthened to support their ability to make wise decisions and stay out of dangerous circumstances.

Groups for Relapse Prevention

After successfully completing a drug treatment program, a person could believe that their road to recovery is done. In reality, once a person returns to their regular daily activities, the true job of rehabilitation starts. Drug users are most vulnerable in the early stages of recovery. Therefore, newly sober individuals must receive the extra assistance they need to make this transition as painless as possible.

Relapse prevention support groups are a mainstay of aftercare programs and are created to assist clients in identifying the environmental triggers that may cause them to relapse. Clients in these groups concentrate on improving their coping mechanisms and heavily rely on peer support, ongoing participation in 12-step groups, and educational programs to help them comprehend the chronic addiction condition.

Interpersonal Groups

Social connections, including how much support you receive from others and how these interactions affect your mental health, are the subject of interpersonal groups.

Behavioral and Cognitive Groups

The goal of cognitive behavioral group therapy is to remodel the ideas that underlie harmful behaviors in an individual. For instance, cognitive behavioral treatment programs for drug use disorders start by recognizing the circumstances and surroundings that serve as catalysts for addictive behavior. Members can create management measures to promote lower use once they have this information.


Why Is Group Therapy Important?

Researchers evaluated and studied the efficacy of a 7-week group therapy approach for treating depression that was web- and mobile-based. Participants reported considerable improvements in their general health and depression symptoms. Over the three-month follow-up period, these improvements stayed steady.

According to a piece in the American Psychological Association’s Monitor on Psychology, group therapy is effective for the following issues according to standards set by the Society of Clinical Psychology (APA Division 12):

  • Bipolar illness
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Panic attack
  • Social anxiety
  • Substance use disorder

There are several benefits of group therapy. Some of these benefits are listed below:

  • Encouragement, Safety, and Support

People who participate in group therapy might benefit from the encouragement and support of their fellow group members. Participants can see that others in the group are experiencing the same thing, which might make them feel less alone.

  • Understanding Social Skills

Working with a group allows the therapist to see each person’s reactions to others and social behavior up close. The therapist may provide each client with helpful comments based on this data.

  • Positive Support System

Groups can provide a sounding board and a network of support. Other group members frequently assist you in developing specific ideas for addressing a challenging circumstance or life problem and hold you accountable along the process. Listening and talking to others regularly also aids in putting your issues in perspective.

At The Last House, we aim to offer residents a secure, enjoyable, program-focused environment where people with substance abuse may find meaning in their lives. This will ensure they make progress and lay the groundwork for a life that is not just drug- and alcohol-free but also prosperous in all other respects. 


How to Find Group Therapy Programs in Los Angeles

Our staff members have a wealth of information with years of experience, educational backgrounds, counseling certifications, and a variety of specializations in health, wellness, and employment services. You can contact us today to learn more about how to find the best Los Angeles sober living for men.

How Do Sober Living Houses Work?

What is Aftercare in Addiction Treatment?

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


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


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


How Long Does Addiction Treatment Programs Last?

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


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

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


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


What is Aftercare in Addiction Treatment?

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


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

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


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


What is the Importance of Aftercare in Recovery?

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


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

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


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


Finding Comprehensive Aftercare Programs

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

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


How Do Sober Living Houses Work?

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

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

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

What is Sober Living?

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

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

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

How Do Sober Living Houses Work?

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

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

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

What is it Like in a Sober Living House?

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Find Sober Living in California

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

What is SMART Recovery?

What is SMART Recovery?

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

What is SMART Recovery?

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

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

How is SMART Recovery Different From 12 Step Programs?

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

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

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

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

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

Are There Online SMART Recovery Meetings?

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

How to Find SMART Recovery Meetings

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

Are There Support Groups for Parents of Addicts?

Are There Support Groups for Parents of Addicts?

You’ve probably made it here because you have a child that has been battling their own addiction. You’ve tried everything, and at this point, you are desperate because nothing seems to work. Although you are not the one going through the addiction, you are still being affected by its consequences. In addition, you are feeling hopeless and alone because it seems like no one around you truly understands what you’re going through. That can feel very isolating and scary, but the truth is, you are not alone. There are many other families out there that are going through similar situations as you. You may be wondering how you can find them. 

Are There Support Groups for Parents of Addicts? 

Many support groups are available for parents of addicts looking for a safe space to share their concerns, seek support, and ask questions. A quick google search will allow you to find support groups specific to your area as mental health centers often have them available. There are also groups that are run nationally, such as Nar-Anon, Al-Anon, and Families Anonymous. The most important thing about these groups is that they are always anonymous, do not cost anything to the members, and are available on a walk-in basis. 

Nar-Anon Family Groups

Nar-Anon Family Groups is a 12-step program for family members and friends of addicts. It is a place for people to go for support when they are struggling with dealing with the behavior of an addict, whether it’s their brother/sister, mother/father, sister/son, friend, and more. This group allows its members to share their experiences, look for support, and ask questions in a safe space. Just like Narcotics Anonymous, this group is also anonymous. Meetings are available in-person or online. There is no financial cost associated with attending. 

Al-Anon Family Groups

Al-Anon Family Groups, similar to Nar-Anon, is also a 12-step program for family members and friends of addicts. However, it is geared specifically toward those who are affected by a loved one’s alcohol abuse. Al-Anon is also a place to seek support, share experiences, and ask questions anonymously. They have meetings available online and in person. There is no financial cost associated with attending.

Families Anonymous

Families Anonymous is also a 12-step program for family members of addicts. It was originally created in 1971 by a group of parents in California who were concerned about their children battling substance use. Today, this group helps provide support and a safe space for all family members and friends who are struggling with someone in their life who is battling addiction. 

How to Get Your Child Help with Addiction Today

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

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

What Happens if OCD Is Left Untreated?

What Happens if OCD Is Left Untreated?

You may hear people talk about having OCD in a light-hearted manner, but OCD is not a joke. Obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, involves thoughts and behaviors that overtake the individual. Sadly what happens if OCD is left untreated is that the individual becomes paralyzed by obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors. At The Last House, we understand mental health, and we know the complexities of obsessive-compulsive disorder. In addition, we know how untreated OCD can lead to self-medicating to cope with the symptoms. We’re here to help you manage your OCD and any substance use so that you can lead a full life. 

What Is OCD?

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a chronic mental health disorder in which a person experiences uncontrollable, repeated thoughts and/or behaviors that they feel compelled to repeat over and over. OCD is characterized by obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are repeated thoughts, urges, or mental images that cause anxiety. Compulsions are repetitive behaviors that a person feels the desire to do in response to obsessive thoughts. For example, everyone may turn back to check that a door is locked or check to make sure that the oven has indeed been turned off. However, obsessive-compulsive disorder is much more than rechecking a detail now and then. While most can overcome thoughts to recheck items, that is not always the case for those suffering from OCD. An inability to function is what happens when OCD is left untreated. 

What Are the Signs of OCD?

Those with OCD will face obsessions, compulsions, or a combination of the two.  Common obsessions include:

  • A fear of germs,
  • Unwanted taboo thoughts, 
  • Aggressive thoughts toward self, and 
  • Having things in a symmetrical or perfect order.

In response to these compulsive thoughts, many with OCD find themselves cleaning or handwashing exxcessively, arranging items in a precise way, repeatedly rechecking things, and compulsively counting. Most with OCD do not derive any pleasure from these ritualistic behaviors but repeat them to get relief from the obsessive thoughts. Some with OCD will also have motor tics such as facial grimacing, eye blinking, throat clearing, sniffing, grunting sounds, or more. Many, if not all, of these symptoms may increase when the individual is under additional stress. 

What Happens if OCD Is Left Untreated?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder can be treated so that the symptoms can be managed. Often symptoms will ebb and flow over time. Self-medication and isolation are two examples of what happens if OCD is left untreated. Many with OCD will begin to aboid situations or people that trigger their symptoms. Others will turn to drugs and alcohol to quiet the obsessive thoughts. Left untreated, OCD diminishes the individual’s quality of life and reduces the ability to function independently. Through therapy and other approaches, obsessive-compulsive disorder can be managed to allow for a full, independent, happy life. OCD doesn’t have to result in isolation and despair. 

How To Get Help With OCD Today

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.  Comprised of active members of the Los Angeles Sober Living community, our staff is familiar with many recovery support groups in the area.  We understand the relationship between mental health and addiction. We can support you while you learn how to manage your OCD without isolating or turning to drugs and alcohol. If you’re wondering how to create your sober life, The Last House is here to help. 

What Is the Most Common Misconception Surrounding Mental Health?

What Is the Most Common Misconception Surrounding Mental Health?

The number of misconceptions about mental health and mental illness is both staggering and saddening. While the stigma surrounding mental illness is decreasing, there is still a significant amount of misinformation. Perhaps the most common misconception surrounding mental health is that you don’t have to work to nurture your mental health. Mental health, like physical health, requires maintenance. Just like you have to provide nutrition and movement to sustain your physical health, you must also nourish and exercise your mental health.   At The Last House, we love to talk about mental health. We are here to help you learn more about your mental health and provide any support that you might need. 

What Is Mental Illness?

The National Alliance on Mental Illness defined mental illness as a condition that affects an individual’s thinking, feeling, behavior, or mood. Mental illness often impacts a person’s day-to-day life and their ability to relate to others. One of the most common misconceptions surrounding mental health is that mental illness is rare. Researchers have found that one in five adults in the United States experiences mental illness each year. Additionally, one in six youth aged six to seventeen also experiences mental illness each year. Mental illness is rarely the result of one event but results from a combination of genetics, environmental factors, and lifestyle. Mental health disorders and mental illness are not indicators that someone is broken or needs to be fixed. 

What Are Common Mental Illnesses?

There are many different mental health disorders, and most affect your mood, behavior, or thinking. It is not unusual for someone to be diagnosed with more than one mental illness. Common mental illness categories include anxiety disorders, behavioral disorders, eating disorders, substance use disorders, mood disorders, personality disorders, psychotic disorders, trauma disorders, and more.  While anxiety disorders include obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorders, and phobias, behavioral disorders include illnesses such as Attention Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) and Oppositional-Defiant Disorder (ODD). 

Other mental illnesses can be tied to food or substances. This is the case with drug and alcohol use disorders, anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating. Personality disorders include borderline personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder. Mood disorders can involve fluctuations between moods, as is the case with bipolar disorder, or persistent, unchanging mood as is the case with depression. Trauma disorders are tied to the experience of living through a traumatic experience, while psychotic disorders like schizophrenia often include hallucinations and delusions. Sadly, suicidal thoughts and behavior can accompany all of the various mental health disorders. 

What Is the Most Common Misconception Surrounding Mental Illness?

When examining what is the most common misconception surrounding mental illness, there are a lot of misconceptions from which to choose. However, one of the most common and most damaging is that those with mental illness are violent and/or unpredictable. The truth is that those with mental illness are not more likely to engage in violence. Instead, those with mental illness are ten times more likely to be the victim of violent crime. Often, we are surrounded by people who are actively coping with mental illness, and we don’t even know it. 

How to End the Stigma Around Mental Illness Today

Ending the stigma around mental illness begins with openly discussing mental health. Mental health and mental illness need to be discussed openly rather than in hushed whispers. You would never expect someone to feel shame for a medical diagnosis, and we must approach mental illness in the same way. 

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 participate in their sobriety and nurture their mental health.  We help you learn how to live through service commitments, sober parties, conventions, dances, and house outings. 

At The Last House, you’ll learn how to have a meaningful life filled with fun in sobriety. Composed of active members of the Los Angeles Sober Living community, our staff is familiar with many recovery support groups in the area. So if you’re wondering how to create your sober life, The Last House is here to help. 

Why Drug or Alcohol Addiction Is a Chronic Relapsing Illness

Why Drug or Alcohol Addiction Is a Chronic Relapsing Illness

It’s hard to find a disease that is more heartbreaking and frustrating than addiction. You may spend years trying to convince yourself or a loved one to stop using drugs and alcohol. Then, one day, you decide to try, and you get some sober days under your belt only to find yourself relapsing. You might see relapse as a failure, but sometimes relapse is a part of recovery. Your brain doesn’t know how to cope without drugs and alcohol, so it’s going to take some practice to do so. Drug or alcohol addiction is a chronic relapsing illness because it’s a disease that affects the mind, body, and spirit. At The Last House, we understand how frustrating addiction can be and why relapse can seem like a failure. However, we also know that there are valuable lessons to be learned from a relapse. 

What Is Addiction?

Most people will not see their first drink or their first drug as the gateway to a life filled with addiction. Not everyone who uses will find themselves addicted. Addiction occurs when there is a perfect storm between biological, social, and psychological factors. Many won’t realize that they’ve crossed over into addiction until it is too late. Addiction is a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive and hard to control, despite harmful consequences. Repeatedly using drugs and alcohol changes the brain, with continued use resulting in more changes. The more you use drugs and alcohol, the more you will need to use them to achieve the same effect. Before you even know what happened, all of your decisions are about getting more drugs to use more drugs. You may start each day intending not to use, but drug or alcohol addiction is a chronic relapsing illness. Knowing this can help you to approach your recovery differently. 

Why Drug or Alcohol Addiction Is a Chronic Relapsing Illness

Using drugs or alcohol changes you, and it takes time for you to undo the damage that has been done to your body and your mind.  Detoxing your body takes far less time than rewiring the pathways in your brain. If you’ve been turning to drugs and alcohol for the last ten years, your brain will still see drugs and alcohol as the “go-to” for a long time. Drug or alcohol addiction is a chronic relapsing illness because, for years, you have been telling your brain that drugs and alcohol are the answer – regardless of the question. Post-acute withdrawal syndrome is a collection of symptoms that you may experience for months or even years after you stop using. Symptoms include feeling edgy, having difficulty sleeping, being tired, experiencing memory issues, and having urges to use. Understanding these symptoms can help you be better prepared to face cravings and avoid a relapse. 

How To Maintain Long-Term Recovery From a Drug or Alcohol Addiction

Maintaining long-term sobriety requires vigilance. In the same way that an individual diagnosed with diabetes must manage their healthy daily, so must a person who faces addiction. Staying sober requires daily effort. If you discover that someone you love has been using drugs or alcohol, 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 loved one create a sober life, The Last House is here to help. Contact us today. 

Resources for Adult Children of Addicted Parents

Resources for Adult Children of Addicted Parents

Just like other chronic diseases, addiction is a disease that affects the entire family. Addiction changes the addict and, as a result, impacts how they interact with their family. The entire household is changed by addiction. The effects of having an addicted parent can be felt long after childhood and long after the parent gets sober. Our parents set the tone for the relationships we form throughout the rest of our lives. Dysfunction in these relationships can create dysfunction in our later relationships. 

Adult children of addicted parents may find that they struggle more in their relationships than those who grew up without addiction in their homes. At The Last House, we understand the devastating effects of addiction on the family and we know how those effects can linger. We know the value of working through these effects and are happy to help you explore the available resources. 

What Does It Mean To Be Adult Children of Addicted Parents?

Whether your parent has found their way to recovery or not, you may still be feeling the effects of their addiction. Adult children of addicted parents grow up with at least some level of dysfunction and it affects how they interact with the rest of the world. Many who are adult children of addicted parents find themselves struggling with addiction and others will find themselves in relationships with addicts.

The children of addicts often engage in many unhealthy behaviors in relationships. They often are unable to set healthy boundaries with others, put the needs of others before their own, and engage in people-pleasing.  Adult Children of Alcoholics/Dysfunctional Families (ACA) is a twelve-step program that offers children of addicts a place to heal from growing up with an addict and the associated dysfunction. ACA describes itself as “a safe, nonjudgmental environment that allows us to grieve our childhoods and conduct an honest inventory of ourselves and our family—so we may (i) identify and heal core trauma, (ii) experience freedom from shame and abandonment, and (iii) become our own loving parents”.  Through participation in peer support groups such as ACA and working with a therapist, many adult children of addicted parents can heal. 

Examples of How Addiction Affects Family Members

As children, we learn about attachment, nurturing, and socialization from our families. If one or both of our parents struggle with addiction, the way that we interact with other individuals will be impacted. Growing up with an addicted parent can lead to unmet developmental needs. The chaos of an addicted parent often leads to the disruption of attachment, roles, routines, communication, finances, and socialization. Because addiction requires so many secrets and lies, it can be hard for a child to understand what is and is not real. Additionally, many adult children of addicted parents report having to grow up much faster to take on the responsibilities that their parent was not fulfilling or to deal with the abuse that occurred. The effects of being the child of an addicted parent are long-lasting and often require a great deal of therapeutic work to overcome. 

Why You Should Live In a Sober Living House

Located throughout West Los Angeles, The Last House is a network of structured sober living homes. We believe in enabling our clients to have a meaningful life. The Last House will provide you with the tools to participate in your recovery.  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. As active members of the Los Angeles Sober Living community, our staff understands what it takes to stay sober and can support you in your journey. So, if you’re wondering how to create your sober life, The Last House is here to help. 

How to Learn Relapse Prevention Coping Skills

How to Learn Relapse Prevention Coping Skills

Originally, relapse prevention was a separate aspect of addiction treatment, not combined with the standard treatment, but something reserved for after… later. This practice was in place for many years, before relapse prevention was integrated into addiction treatment, giving addicts the opportunity to practice these prevention measures in a controlled environment like rehab.

Relapse prevention coping skills are the skills necessary for individuals to learn to maintain sobriety after leaving addiction treatment. Through this process individuals are able to learn and practice these relapse prevention coping skills to make them habits prior to their return or next real world trigger. 

The Last House integrates relapse prevention coping skills into their addiction treatment programs by providing real world experiences for practice and supportive community. To see how we utilize these coping skills and to see how we can support your sustainable recovery, contact us today at The Last House.

What Are Relapse Prevention Coping Skills?

Relapse prevention skills are a combination of mental and physically habitual practices you can put into place to monitor your personal mental health. This can be done by addressing the following things: fear, redefining fun, learning from setbacks, and becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable. These mental tasks can help prevent individuals from falling into one of these three forms of relapse- emotional, mental, or physical.

Physically, there are several relapse prevention techniques that you can put into place in your daily life that will help you maintain long-term sobriety and mental strength. Being aware of your surroundings, maintaining a healthy diet and rest habits, participating in self-care activities, and accessing your support system are physical things you can do to keep your mind and body strong. 

How Do You Learn Relapse Prevention Coping Skills?

In addiction treatment you will be taught many helpful relapse prevention tools and develop a relapse prevention plan. For example, one of the tools you may be taught in treatment is “HALT: Ask yourself if you are Hungry? Angry? Lonely? Or Tired? Oftentimes being hungry, angry, lonely, or tired can trigger a desire to use, and therefore it is important to identify [and] address the underlying need instead of using a substance.” Or even “SOBER: Use the SOBER brief meditation when feeling a desire to use: Stop, Observe, Breathe, Expand, Respond.” 

While these tools may be specifically taught in addiction treatment, it is also important to remember that through your relapse prevention plan, you may have a recovery wallet card, a support network, or self-help groups that you can attend to support you through this time.

How Can the Last House Help Me With Relapse Prevention?

Our addiction treatment program can support you at any point in the addiction treatment process. Our clients learn to manage their addiction in a safe, fun, and program-oriented setting where they can learn to focus on their purpose, progress, and building the foundation for their future.

At The Last House we offer addiction treatment through sober living communities and our clinical campus where men are building a sober community through shared experiences and connections. And we don’t just focus on addiction. We work with our clients to help them manage all their mental health needs through a holistic approach to developing a stable base of development and lifelong achievement.

Through our sober programs, clients are taught relapse prevention skills and are given the opportunity to use them in real-life situations and group sober outings. Through this process clients can experience the triggers and struggles of addiction while surrounded by a support system of men working together towards sustainable recovery.

Contact The Last House today to see how we can support your recovery.