By the time most parents call us, they’re exhausted. They’ve tried it all… counseling, psychiatry, treatment centers, yet nothing seems to produce lasting results.
However, the problem isn’t the treatment, or even that your son doesn’t want to get better. It’s the duration of treatment that’s insufficient in most cases.
In the beginning, most parents try all the outpatient stuff first. When that doesn’t work, they pull out the “big guns” (residential treatment).
Hope For Families has partnered with Greenville Transitions to provide
recovery housing for young men who need additional structure and support.
When your doctor gives you 10 days of antibiotics, and you stop taking them after 3 days (because you feel better), you’ll notice the problem coming back. This is because you didn’t take the antibiotics long enough to really knock out the infection.
Addiction treatment works the same way. Most people let their guard down way too soon. If you’ve sent your son to treatment and then brought him back home, you know what I’m talking about!
If your son’s addiction is severe enough to send to inpatient treatment, you need to plan for at least 6-10 months of a structured step-down program. It’s going to take that long to create and solidify new behaviors, thinking patterns, and neuropathways.
It kills me to see parents spend thousands of dollars on a residential treatment program and not follow it up with a really good transition plan.
Almost everyone does well in residential treatment (it’s easy to stay sober when that’s your only job and you don’t have any access to drugs or alcohol). But, Staying sober while living “real life” is a whole different ballgame.
There’s lots of different kinds of recovery housing options. Some have little to no structure/supervision, while others have a lot of accountability built into their program.
Greenville Transitions has 3 full time staff members (all of which are in recovery themselves, which makes them easy to relate to).
During the first couple of phases, the staff will accompany your son to all appointments and outings.
Four Phase Program:
This system allows your son the time to build the necessary recovery skills and supports to sustain lasting sobriety.
The four phases of the Greenville Transitions Program are designed to gradually give your son more freedom and responsibilities.
Each resident is assigned a Hope For Families' Master's level addiction specialist, to meet with weekly and during all phases of this process, your son will be drug screened on a regular basis to ensure accountability.
In the final level, they’ll have a lot of freedom, but they’ll still have plenty staff and peer support.
Probably the most essential thing for young people in recovery, is to learn to have fun while being sober. Which is why Greenville Transitions has intentionally built in lots of outdoor activities, sports, and social events. If young people are bored in recovery, there’s not much chance of them staying sober, but if they love their new life, they won’t ever want to go back.
It’s like juggling. You shouldn’t throw the person all the balls at one time. It’s best to throw them one ball and see how they do, then throw them another, so on and so on.
A structured step down plan greatly increases your son’s chances of maintaining his sobriety.
I realize that most parents are financially and emotionally spent by the time their son gets ready to leave inpatient treatment (and the kid seems to be doing so much better), so they don’t push sober living as part of the after-care plan. I feel this is a huge mistake!
It’s literally like buying a REALLY expensive car, and then not changing the oil.
Protect your child’s recovery and insist they follow through with a structured step-down process.
Although most guys resist the idea of sober living at first, they quickly begin to connect and build positive recovery relationships. You’ll both be glad you did it.
And finally, they start to see some improvement, but after their son is discharged it’s not long before they’re right back at it.
The whole process is maddening! It leaves most parents feeling hopeless, angry, and broke.
I’m gonna let you in on a little secret… There’s a more effective way to build lasting recovery.
I want you to think about addiction treatment like you would think about taking antibiotics.