Extended Care | Surfside Structured Sober Living:
Surfside Structured Sober Living was created in 2016, as a different type of extended care, due to a lack of services being provided to men recovering from addiction and alcoholism. Young people afflicted with addiction often fail to make or maintain standard age appropriate bench marks that lead someone into a successful life. These individuals are emotionally disabled and lack the ability to navigate the real world. Typically they leave addiction treatment, try to find sustainable employment or start college again, and weeks later find themselves intoxicated and back at square one.
Surfside Structured Sober Living extended care provides a truly safe and structured sober living environment for these men as they move from addiction treatment through recovery into a new life. We are rooted in the 12 steps and use an array of tools and activities to help young men rebuild, rediscover and recover. We have 11 full time staff available at all hours to support our residents and help guide them into a new life.
How our Extended Care works:
Once we determine admission eligibility and the resident arrives at Surfside they start in Phase 1 of our 4 Phase life development program. The resident begins to acclimate to our program and culture while beginning his phase work. As he progresses, he earns more freedom and the ability to move through the other phases. This process could take around 6 months and is building toward full independence. One of the most unique things Surfside’s extended care offers is the ability to move through the program at one’s own pace. Our day is broken up into 3 main portions. The morning: this is a time for phase development, community services and emotional growth. The afternoon: during this period of the day residents are participating in multiple sports and activities, there are 1-2 options for residents each day. This promotes positive hobbies, good health and physical movement. The evening: this is the time for rest and relaxation. The guys eat a good meal, watch some TV and head to a 12-step meeting. Afterword, they wind down before going to bed.
We are trying to teach that hard work pays off and that you don’t get something just because you want it; this builds self esteem and gives each resident the dignity to take responsibility for themselves and do the things they say they are going to do. Abraham Lincoln said “Our actions must speak so loud people can not hear our words”, this is the principle in which our extended care sober living is built on.
Clinical and Medical Services:
Surfside utilizes multiple providers in the community for different types of therapy, psychiatry, doctors, dentists and other medical services. Appointments are scheduled through our Recovery Specialists or Program Director during weekly case management times. The Surfside team does provide transportation and ensures our residents are able to get to each appointment.
Why we do what we do:
It has become standard in addiction recovery for men often enter a unstructured sober living house with little to no supervision after they complete treatment. Or they attend the type of extended care where they sit in group all day talking about what they should do when they leave. Once they leave the parents pay the rent, food and all other bills, eager to give any assistance that might “save” the addict in their lives. When “Johnny” tells Mom he can’t find a job, he fails to mention that being totally unsupervised gives him the opportunity to play video games for hours, never leaving the house to search for a job. Not to mention that Johnny has probably never had real employment and if he did, he does not have a current resume and list of references. “Johnny” might attend some meetings as a house requirement, but does not enjoy them, nor does he build a network beyond the men in his house. Mom and Dad continue to send money as he relaxes on his new sober vacation. The money goes quickly because he does not know how to properly budget or cook for himself. More money is sent to him. Over time, the obsession to use creeps into his mind. He eventually relapses and goes back to rehab, convinced that this time will be the last time. This cycle continues almost endlessly.
Sometimes, the family brings “Johnny” home, hopeful that their loving and watchful eye will keep him clean. He lays around the house doing the bare minimum. There are consistent arguments in the home. The family stays broken and no one gets well. Unfortunately, he starts to think that he can do “it” one more time. This starts the cycle again.
We frequently see these young men shipped to states a long distance from home, usually to programs boasting that this change in environment will ensure recovery. The families cannot visit the program due to distance and time restrictions, nor are they able to see what is truly happening with their son.
The other thing we see is that the families send their loved one to a “free sober living or extended care” that is “insurance based”. This is an illegal practice used to entice families because they have a good out-of-network benefits. If they are willing to cut corners here, what else are they willing to cut corners on? Once the insurance benefit is used up, usually 30-45 days, they are out and end up into a un-structured sober house where they eventually use and fall back into the same cycle.
Surfside’s Extended Care Structured Sober Living in New Jersey provides an atmosphere for recovery that is monitored and enables the resident to become productive and accountable to the world around him. Our guys find a home with other men their age while getting support and forming connections. Residents will work their way through the 12 step process as they do volunteer work, build resumes, learn to budget, eat healthy and participate in the local community support groups; on top of all this they get the opportunity to participate in activities on a weekly basis. Giving these guys an opportunity to become accountable to themselves and responsible for their actions can lead to a lasting change.
Although there is a lot to rebuild, the residents will also learn to bond with their community and family. Residents of Surfside Structured Sober Living will be exposed to daily adventure-based and action sport activities with their housemates. This structured sober living encourages men to take responsibility for their own recovery and tap into new, exciting hobbies. When we combine these factors with a structured, supportive home that’s filled with people who genuinely care and hold each other accountable, it becomes a catalyst for lasting change.