Transitional Living for Teens and Young Adults
Transitional Living for Teens and Young Adults
Following residential treatment, many teenagers and young adults move to a transitional living center. These centers, also known as “sober living homes,” serve as places for youth to have an independent life while slowly transitioning back into society, using the resources and tools gained at their residential treatment center.
Providing a place of encouragement and support, transitional living programs offer young adults a launching point, knowing they can handle the stressors of everyday life while staying sober.
Learn more about transitional housing, why it is crucial in addiction recovery, and what teens and young adults can expect while living in one.
What Is Transitional Living?
Transitional living programs are places for young people to move after completing a residential treatment program. Typically, your teen or young adult child will stay in a program like this for about six to eighteen months, but stays can be longer or shorter depending on each individual’s needs.
Transitional living programs can also support homeless youth and support families through homelessness. Stays in homeless transitional centers are much shorter than staying in the program for addiction recovery.
In the United States, most transitional housing centers are autonomous and have no affiliation with government entities or larger organizations. Because of this, they often charge a monthly fee or rent. In return, they provide a clean, comfortable and safe place to live while also providing a care plan.
Although residents of the transitional living programs can be self-admitted, most usually come from residential treatment centers where they have received a referral to a transitional home for further healing.
Transitional living centers provide a place for people recovering from addiction to gain confidence, re-establish their identity and self-worth, and find compassion and love through personal relationships.
Most programs feature home-like living situations where residents, staff and volunteers cooperate in a family-like relationship while teaching life skills. More than a halfway house, transitional housing strives for complete healing.
How Can Transitional Living Help Teens Heal?
While young people find initial healing at residential treatment centers, there are still complex life issues that each person will have to find a way to deal with while staying sober. These can require unique guidance. Transitional living centers provide a safe and secure environment to launch back into society while still having a structured living environment that reinforces the foundation of newfound sobriety.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse found that the likelihood an addict will relapse is 40-60%. While relapsing is not an indication of failure, it can be perilous, since clean bodies no longer have the tolerance they had before treatment, and overdoses and even death, can occur.
Transitional living can help older youth and young adults struggling with addiction to identify:
- How to handle real-life situations while staying sober
- Stress cues
This helps to reduce the chances of relapse.
The Benefits of Transitional Living
Recovery is an ongoing process, and transitional living can play a crucial role in full recovery and wellness. There are many benefits to these programs, and several studies continue to show how vital transitional living can be after residential treatment for teenagers and young adults.
One study, conducted by The Alcohol Research Group Public Health Institute, found that “positive longitudinal outcomes for 300 individuals living in two different types of SLHs, which suggests they might be an effective option for those in need of alcohol and drug-free housing. Improvements were noted in alcohol and drug use, arrests, psychiatric symptoms and employment.”
Another study found that those young people who resided in a transitional living center or sober living house for six months following treatment showed significant improvement in work, mental health, and substance use.
The support in transitional living offers a variety of benefits for your teen daughters and sons who may be recovering from addiction:
- People recovering from addiction can slowly integrate themselves using the tools learned at their residential treatment center.
- People living in a transitional center have onsite support and the opportunity to make friends outside of the house.
- Transitional living provides a safe and stable atmosphere away from harmful influences.
- Transitional living provides structure and have regulations concerning drug use.
- Transitional living serves as a gradual re-entrance into a community and back into a lifestyle without alcohol or drugs.
- Transitional living provides an opportunity to reconnect with family, friends and even find or resume employment at a slower pace.
- Transitional living programs can help residents understand money management, paying bills and working while staying sober.
What to Expect From Transitional Living Programs
Transitional living is different from a residential treatment center, and it can be challenging for your teen or young adult daughters and sons to adjust to the new responsibilities that come with the move.
Remember that the purpose of a center like this is to prepare young people for the “real world.” So, unlike residential treatment centers, meals are not provided and recreation is not planned. There is a new level of independent living that may be hard and may threaten relapse.
However, transitional living also provides support and people who know what your child is going through in the program.
To keep these centers as places of healing and effective life skills training, there are important rules that residents must follow:
- Active involvement in healing and continued recovery efforts
- No alcohol
- No drugs
- No sexual contact with other residents
- No violence
- Prompt payment
- Show respect at all times for other residents, their belongings and physical property
- Smoking or vaping is allowed in some centers, but only in designated areas
Start Your Family’s Healing Journey With Embark Behavioral Health
If your teen or young adult child suffers from depression, mood disorders, substance abuse, or other mental health concerns, Embark Behavioral Health is here to help. We are a well-recognized and respected family behavioral health provider that offers a complementary continuum of programs with internationally-validated outcomes.
We offer 19 programs in 14 states, all specializing in the mental health of pre-teens, teens and young adults. Many of our students have trauma from their childhood and have been adopted or are in foster care.
We know committing to a transitional living center is difficult, and that it is something any parent would struggle with doing. Our programs are led by compassionate and clinically-trained professionals who care deeply about your child and are dedicated to providing high-quality mental health services.
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