Helping emerging adults gain new life skills to overcome their addictive behaviours
Building Skills for a Healthy Life
At the Last Door Youth Addiction Treatment Program teaches that recovery from addiction is a lifelong process. The youth will continue to grow, facing life’s challenges outside of treatment and maintaining recovery throughout their lives. Last Door’s program is designed to provide the youth with the necessary tools to accomplish this. Our comprehensive approach involves individual counselling, group therapy, recreational activities, educational seminars, family support and aftercare planning.
After treatment many youth are returning to the comfort of their family homes, but many will also be living on their own. Either way, the transition from treatment to living independently can be jarring for a lot of these youth. We have created the Lifestyle Group program to help youth develop the needed skills to navigate their futures as self-sufficient and healthy adults. Last Door also provides assistance in creating a solid plan for continued support and follow–up care after the youth has left the program. This includes aftercare counselling, 12–Step meetings, and referrals to other community resources. Last Door is committed to providing the support and resources necessary for the youth to reach their highest potential and to begin living a life of sobriety.
Lifestyles Group meets twice weekly where various topics are discussed in a didactic group setting. A variety of learning tools are used in group including:
- Educational videos
- Guest speakers
- Field trips
What may seem like common knowledge to some can be missed by someone who has spent years living in addiction and obsessive or compulsive behaviours. To address this factor, group topics include but are not limited to:
- Health and Nutrition
- Dental Care
- Goal Setting
- Time management
- Financial Planning
- Potential relapse risks such as gambling, steroid abuse and vaping are also addressed
We are very lucky to have community members as guest speakers in our Lifestyles Groups. This includes nurses from the Fraser Health Authority that offer education on STIs and safe sex. Local dentists have presented numerous times on Dental Care, gifting the youth with new tooth-brushes and tooth-paste! Local financial institutions send staff to present banking, tax and financial planning tips. We try to build recovery capital strengths for our youth by connecting them with their community and supports.
An experiential exercise that our guys particularly enjoy is the “Grocery Shopping” challenge. Our guys are put into pairs, given $10 per pair and then taken to the nearby grocery store with the goal of getting everything they need to make themselves lunch that day. The goal of this challenge is to teach them to confidently feed themselves a nutritious meal after a long day’s work while managing their time well enough to be able to attend an evening meeting.
Eating a balanced diet is also essential for recovery. Eating a variety of healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, can help support the body and keep energy levels up. By having our youth program participate in activities like the Grocery Shopping Challenge we encourage our guys to live balanced and healthy lives.
A balanced life includes getting enough rest, eating healthy foods, exercising regularly, spending time being social, and engaging in meaningful activities that bring a sense of joy and purpose. Getting enough rest is important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This means setting limits and sticking to them, such as going to bed at a consistent time each night and avoiding using screens close to bedtime.
Exercise can help reduce stress and anxiety, as well as improve mood and physical well–being. Our youth program has physical fitness training twice a week with a Personal trainer at a local gym. This is done in a group to build a sense of peer support and community.
Spending time with friends and family is also important for maintaining balance in life. Engaging in meaningful conversations and activities with loved ones can bring joy and help build meaningful relationships.
Finally, engaging in meaningful activities that bring a sense of joy and purpose can help support recovery. This looks like many things for our Youth Program like:
- Taking classes
- Pursuing Hobbies
- 12 Step Meetings
- Community Events
Having activities that bring joy and purpose can help keep our guys focused and motivated on the path to recovery.
"I'm back in school, finally doing the things I want to do. I didn't want to go to treatment, but I'm glad I did."