Milton House is a first stage, skills based rehab that you would go to once you had completed a detox. You were not allowed to be on any medication whilst there, unless it was for a condition such as epilepsy or diabetes.
Sparkles went to this rehab when she left detox. She was interviewed by one of the the key work staff who asked her to give a brief history of her using, her subsequent addiction, and where she wanted to be, where she saw herself in a year. He then showed her the house that the residents lived in and took her to visit the skills center. The skills center is where the residents spent most of their days. It comprised of classrooms, a fully staffed kitchen where the residents ate, it even had a creche for the children of residents. The skills center was also open to non residents.
At the skills center there were classes in basic maths and English, budgeting skills, and relapse prevention. The residents planned all of the meals that would be cooked at the skills center (and the house) in one of the classrooms, and they would also write the weekly shopping order, which was delivered to the main house. The residents were expected to cook a meal at the skill center once a week, and they worked on a rota system to clear tables and wash up. This always seemed to be a contentious issue as most residents didn't like washing up.
There were also photography classes and an art class. These were to enable residents to gain a basic knowledge to access healthier pursuits when they left the rehab. There were also sports classes where you could either go swimming, ice skate, or play badminton. Some days we'd take a ball out to the park and just play football. But everyone enjoyed these outings, and everyone was expected to take part. The house the residents lived in was located 100yds from the skill center on a main road, on three floors.
There was one planning meeting (each week) when the weeks appointments, visits, doctors appointments, were put into the diary. If it wasn't planned, it wasn't happening. Every resident had to run their plans past the other resident for their comments, but the staff had the final say as to the planned event actually happening. Until a resident had been at the rehab for 4 of their six month stay they had to be accompanied by a long term resident who had been there for at least 4 months. This was to prevent relapse, or criminal activity such as stealing.
There were quite a few boundaries that had to be adhered to whenever one left the rehab, for example you were not allowed to visit a chemist, all meds had to be prescribed by a doctor and collected by the staff. There were relaxation classes, and three therapy groups per week. We also had workshops on alternative and complementary medicine. When residents were coming to the end of their stay they were given more privileges, but they had to be earned. Residents worked from a rota system concerning the cleaning and cooking at the main house. After you had been there a month you were allowed to request that someone come visit you, but again, this had to meet with the agreement of both residents and staff.
Sparkles found Milton house to be both helpful and beneficial for anyone who needed basic life skills to function in their normal day to day living. It was quite light on therapy, but residents were encouraged in weekly sessions with their key worker to access outside med help for any deep seated issues. They were also encouraged to get in touch with family and friends they'd lost touch with in an effort to forge broken ties, and reconnect. Health issues (which are usually left when anyone becomes addicted) were also addressed. NA/AA attendance was also encouraged.
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