Mountainside Extended Care: Sober Living with Structure

Published on March 2, 2019
Mountainside Canaan Aerial Shot

Canaan, CT – Today, Mountainside treatment center’s Extended Care program celebrates four years helping clients achieve their recovery goals. Extended Care at Mountainside is more than a traditional sober living program. Four unique components of the program – Community Living, Outpatient Services, a Work Program, and Fun and Adventure – encourage clients to remedy destructive patterns of thinking and behavior as well as deepen their connections with others in the recovery community.

After completing a residential or outpatient program, clients may need more time before they start living independently. Mountainside’s Extended Care program bridges the divide between treatment and everyday life. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), up to 60 percent of individuals in recovery eventually return to using substances, and most benefit from at least three months of treatment. Residing in a sober living environment can help those struggling with addiction to reverse old habits and master the skills necessary for long-term recovery.

“People in early recovery sometimes fall out of their routine, isolate themselves, and struggle to maintain their progress,” says Daniel Smith, Manager of the Extended Care program at Mountainside. “The three different phases of our program inspire clients to continue moving forward by helping them improve their relationships with themselves and others while balancing work and personal commitments. Through their experiences, they gain self-confidence, focus on making positive lifestyle changes, and create long-term goals.”

Through Extended Care, individuals acquire the tools necessary to sustain their sobriety during the most challenging phase of recovery. The Community Living and Work Program components of Extended Care allow clients to bond with their peers, develop accountability, and hone their communication skills. Living with others in recovery gives Extended Care clients the opportunity to become part of a close-knit community and form a support network, strengthening their chances of long-term sobriety.

Similarly, by working part-time at a Mountainside-affiliated facility, clients have the chance to learn about time management, budgeting, and teamwork in a supportive environment while earning a source of income. This employment opportunity provides clients with valuable experience they can take with them as they reintegrate into society and instills them with a greater sense of productivity and purpose.

A 2018 study in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment found that residents of sober living houses were more likely to abstain from using drugs and alcohol if they lived in housing affiliated with a treatment facility. Mountainside’s Extended Care program combines the basic framework of traditional sober living houses — where residents participate in 12 Step meetings and surround themselves with others in recovery — with addiction treatment services, educational workshops, and wellness activities.

Another distinct feature of Mountainside’s Extended Care program is Fun and Adventures, where individuals can participate in therapeutic activities and exciting trips. Through these excursions, Extended Care clients can experience substance-free fun and rediscover passions that may have fallen dormant during active use.

The Outpatient Services portion of the program includes individual and group counseling with a clinician where clients can learn about diverse topics including self-care, mindfulness, relapse prevention, and stress management.

“Healthy habits can take months to build. Extended Care offers a welcoming home where people in recovery can have the time and space they need to grow in recovery,” says Smith. “It makes the transition less daunting and reminds them that they are more than their addiction.”