At Sustain Recovery, we have observed repeated cases in which the drastic change from short-term intensive inpatient treatment to unstructured sober living or immediately returning back home has resulted in relapse. This is especially true for adolescents with co-occurring disorders, due to the difficult process of adjusting to the home environment without the use of drugs or alcohol, staying away from negative influences, and the lack of internal structure. As we see it, the structure that was imposed on the individual in addiction treatment (the clinical schedule), cannot be sustained without ongoing attention to structure. We know that when a resident comes into an Extended Care Treatment environment, which initially provides the same degree of structure as treatment, the necessary healthy living skills can be (re)introduced and utilized in “real time”, in the real world, with the support and safety net of the Sustain Recovery staff and community.
Many times the adolescents going through this experience have dropped out of school, have legal issues secondary to their substance use, and are without a safe and sober environment to live. The need for a more structured Extended Care geared towards adolescents that focuses on adult living skills, education, involvement in Twelve Step organizations and fun in recovery, is what is at the core of Sustain Recovery. As our residents are introduced to the opportunities to do worthwhile and esteem-able tasks, they develop self-worth and self-esteem.