When a person goes into treatment for their drug or alcohol addiction, they’re faced with potentially many new terms. An effective addiction treatment model often begins with residential drug rehab and ends with an intensive outpatient program. In between, however, patients often step down to an extended care or sober living home. Extended care can have many different definitions, depending on the facility; however, at Granite Recovery Centers, it is a structured sober living environment, a place where the client can live, get support, stay sober, and get the tools they need to transition back into society. Here, we speak with Morgan Grooms of The Granite House for Women in Concord, N.H. to learn more about extended care.
Between Residential Treatment and Independent Living
The Granite House for Women is an extended care program. Most people come right out of their residential treatment, which is the 28-day program. There’s more structure than what you would find at transitional living or sober houses. But there’s also less structure than what you would find at a residential treatment center. They have a little bit more freedom. We take them to appointments, we take them grocery shopping, other things that they need to do. We help them set up doctor’s appointments if they need to. We hold them accountable to their actions and their behaviors and we let them know when they’re falling short or when they’re doing well. We give them suggestions on how to handle things if they come to us and ask and we’re just there as a very strong emotional support system for them because, sometimes, families aren’t enough.
Softening the Transition
They haven’t been able to fully develop those emotional tools and they go from a highly structured place to–instantly–adult life. It’s overwhelming. They don’t know what to do, they don’t know how to handle it, and all those tools that they were taught for whatever length of time, go right out the window because they haven’t had time to put them in practice and learn how to put them in their everyday lives.
Extended Care Offers Extra Time and Support
In active addiction, people do not have the tools to be able to handle all the emotions they were feeling. Then when they get to residential treatment, they begin to learn how to deal with their emotions, but 30-45 days is just not enough time to really develop upon these lessons. Extended care steps in and gives them that extra time and support, focusing on these lessons and tools.
Implementing Emotional Tools
Extended care is a progressive program where we take away the training wheels for clients. This, in turn, helps force them to have to use those emotional tools they’ve been learning about. But at the same time, they still have a support system as backup if they’re not able to.
Integrating Practical Tools
We also teach practical tools. When they leave here they also, ideally, are able to now save money, be responsible for everyday things like grocery shopping, making appointments, actually going to appointments, taking care of their cars if they have their license, etc.
Watch the full interview here: