What Is Sober Skills?

The Sober Skills program at The Florida House Experience is a specialty program for treatment graduates that helps to guide individuals in their early days of recovery to integrate back into society. Recovery does not just end as soon as treatment is over. The rate of relapse is actually highest in the earliest days of recovery. Families lose their loved ones from overdose and relapse when just weeks before they were grateful for their recovery. Because of this high chance for relapse related dangers, we believe that integrating a structured time period in which individuals learn to develop sober skills in early recovery is imperative to relapse prevention and recovery success.

Sober Skills at The Florida House Experience is currently a suggested 60 day residential stay at a community living facility just miles from our campus. Although 60 days is the recommended stay, many decide to stay for longer periods to continue developing and growing a new life purpose. Currently, this program is specifically designed for men who have been through individualized treatment with The Florida House Experience. The goal of the Sober Skills program is to prepare patients to assimilate back into society with the knowledge they need to prevent relapse and the connection to spirituality they require to remain determined on their recovery path.


The Importance of Sober Skills

Overdose is so common in the days right after treatment concludes because of tolerance. Many drug users are not aware that they after detox, their bodies are no longer used to the dose of a drug they were used to prior to treatment. During addiction, the body begins to recognize a substance and requires more of it to perform the desired effect. After the substance is detoxed from the body, the brain no longer recognizes it as a daily chemical that it needs to function properly. A relapsing individual is likely to take an amount of a drug they were used to using when their tolerance was high, causing overdose. Sober Skills prepares an individual for the outside world after treatment, and gives them the skills to remain sober so that overdose does not occur. Additionally, sober skills provides an individual with necessary education needed to not only remain sober, but become successful and content.


Is Sober Skills Different from Sober Living?

The Sober Skill program is different than a sober living or halfway house experience in that it is specifically designed with holistic approaches in mind. This means that we implement techniques and exercises that aim to cause an individual to internalize and find a deeper connection with their own spirituality. Exercises like mindfulness meditation give our patients the means to seek inner peace and well-being, while also being able to identify triggers and cravings that could lead to relapse once entered back into society. Being able to be one with the self gives an individual the power to respond to signals sent from the body. It is up to that individual to interpret these signals and listen to them in recovery.

Individuals who are enrolled into the Sober Skills program are encouraged to participate in community volunteer activities and alumni events. Each week an alumni meeting is held with over 100 attendees. The night involves dinner and a guest speaker that shares a testimonial. It’s a great place to meet peers that have been in the program and have remained sober over the course of many years. Additionally, men in the Sober Skills program are able to receive help from career building service department of the alumni and aftercare program. Career planning provides men in the sober skills program with resume building help, preparation for job interviews, aid in the application process, and even with professional attire for an interview!

Along with alumni services, those that are enrolled into the Sober Skill program are offered all of the amenities and resources that were available to them during treatment. This includes the resource center, medical treatment, medication management, and therapy services. Being provided with all of these services will provide those in the program with everything they need during their stay. In the final weeks of the program, individuals are encouraged to use the resources available to them to find work or schooling opportunities to further their success in life.


Sober Skills: A Specialty Service at The Florida House Experience

The Sober Skills program was designed to give men the option for a sober living experience that goes above and beyond the services of just an average halfway living environment. Sober Skills is about keeping focus on recovery goals and aiming to make the self better in preparation to enter back into society. It’s about discovering purpose for life. Many individuals don’t know where to turn once they’re outside of treatment, so they go back to their old lives. This is extremely dangerous, since if they do not yet know how to handle stressful situations outside of treatment they are likely to relapse. Sober Skills works on identifying each individual’s strengths and weaknesses and discovering what those mean in terms of living a life of sobriety. Additionally, the Sober Skills program gives people the option to live with like-minded individuals in the early days of sobriety to provide additional support and an environment that wishes for recovery success.


Garrett Muldoon, Director of Sober Skills at The Florida House ExperienceDirector of Sober Skills, Garrett Muldoon

Garrett Muldoon, the Director of Sober Skills, has been educated in addiction recovery since early childhood. At the age of 17 his education in this field of study became directly personal. A tragic accident led him to seek self-medication by way of alcohol consumption. For years drinking was his way of licking his wounds until finally, at the age of 38, he was desperate to be free from the despair that alcohol brought to his life.

That year, 1975, he chose recovery as his new way of living. This is when he stumbled on his life journey, a spiritual path to principled living. Soon thereafter, in 1983, he began work as an addiction counselor and program director, helping those who struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, must like him in the past. This work led him to the study and integration of psychological techniques, medical treatments, free-standing practices, and spiritual based teachings. This furthered education and practice led him back to teachings of his early life and career. He started to relearn the benefits of techniques like the Oxford Group two-way written prayer, stress reduction, and mindfulness meditation practices.  In 2007, he graced The Florida House Experience with his presence and implements all of his life teachings and skills into his personally directed program, Sober Skills.