Sober Living and Halfway Houses

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Information about Sober Living and Halfway Houses
Health & Medicine

Published on February 20, 2014

Author: JasonLeeOverbeyLISTM



The powerful case for the need for sober living houses, halfway houses, or transitional living.

Transitional Living /blog.html Sober Living Housing - UPDAT ES Jason Lee Overbey: Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 5:02 AM Sober Living. Transitional Living. Halfway Houses. An update on the need and status of recovery housing in the United States. They get a bad rap. We have to be honest and upfront if we want to make any progress in this field. We are talking about the field of alcohol recovery and addiction help. Those people who do not have any "close" dealings with alcoholics or addicts tend to think this abuse of alcohol and/or drugs is not their problem. This is, at least, what I face in my interactions with the public as Director of New Foundations Transitional Living. What many people fail to be able to see is that alcoholism and addiction is everyone's problem. Tallying up the costs of first responders, unemployment, property crime, violent crime, emergency room visits - and more - we can quickly and easily begin to see that, even if there is no direct link to alcoholism and drug addiction in our immediate families, we can see this major epidemic does indeed impact us all. It heavily impacts us socially, economically, and spiritually. It is all around us. Whether we like it or not it is the countryside, the inner city, the suburbs and even right next door in the "nicer" part of town. In Cincinnati alone, reports indicate that the Cincinnati Fire Department responded to over 500 calls of overdoses in 2013. That is almost 10 overdoses a week. And, of course, these are just the ones called in. Many more are never reported. The real truth is that most all of us, though, do not need all the statistics. We do not have to look too hard into our families or personal lives to find the grip of the disease nearby. I think we all know someone who suffers from alcoholism or drug addiction. And, at the very least, we have heard of the pain and suffering it not only causes the user, but their friends and family and employer... and more. I don't think it is a stretch to get any reasonable person to admit it affects us all. But if we had to, we could easily and readily make that case later. Easily! And this is just at first glance of the problem. What if we dared to pause for just a moment and look into addiction and its far- reaching tentacles into all of our lives a little further? If we did, and if we were honest with ourselves, we'd understand viscerally that the first question is, "What can we do? What can I do?" This question is loaded. There are varying answers. And rightly so. The epidemic is complicated and it is being treated on many fronts. Medically, legally, spiritually, through long term treatment and through sober living houses. And although we work very closely with the courts and with treatment centers and even the medical community - our true and real expertise is in providing and managing high level sober living housing to men and women who have already detoxed and need time and space to fully reintegrate into society. So naturally that is what we can answer best. This is real work. This is hard work. Many do not make it. But when any alcoholic or addict is ready - it WILL work! It always does! But remember we get a bad rap. The questions we are asked are condescending. Neighbors of our houses have fought against us. People fear our residents will commit crimes and are all ex- cons. And, we ourselves are no strangers to local ridicule and disparity based on ignorance of our real work. See this local news article for more: 28855building_preservation_group_scrutiniz es_transitional_house.html

Our internal studies prove unequivocally this is plain wrong. We invite you to explore those studies here: In the work of transitional housing we are more concerned with what the active addict and drug dealer down on the corner is doing than what the sober member at one of our houses is doing as he or she works hard to forge a brand new life clean. It's very simple. The recovering addict is not the threat! And... we are part of the solution and not the problem. And we maintain a very loyal adherence to transparency. We have an open door policy through email, through phone, through social media and through our Community Liaisons. We will always allow the public to schedule tours of our properties and to meet our residents so they can get a firsthand account of the hard work we really do. Having made a very basic first case here, we want to appeal to the National Institute of Health and their intensive studies of sober living houses and transitional living. 1. Here the NIH makes the case that addicts seeking help and alcoholics looking for recovery need more than that first burst of initial inpatient treatment. As a society, thinking the addict should and can "just stop", does the epidemic a terrible disservice. Doesn't it stand to reason that the addict who sees his or her life falling apart everywhere would want to live better? It seems they cannot break the cycle. And we are right. They cannot. They need help. We then fail when we think 28 days should fix it. Shouldn't it? If we truly attempted to understand the disease with an open mind and ready to learn we would very quickly grasp the notion that a life lived in years of active addiction cannot be undone in less than one month. Take a look at the first results here: "Lack of a stable, alcohol and drug free living environment can be a serious obstacle to sustained abstinence. Destructive living environments can derail recovery for even highly motivated individuals. Sober living houses (SLHs) are alcohol and drug free living environments for individuals attempting to abstain from alcohol and drugs. They are not licensed or funded by state or local governments and the residents themselves pay for costs. The philosophy of recovery emphasizes 12-step group attendance and peer support. We studied 300 individuals entering two different types of SLHs over an 18 month period. This paper summarizes our published findings documenting resident improvement on measures of alcohol and drug use, employment, arrests, and psychiatric symptoms. Involvement in 12step groups and characteristics of the social network were strong predictors of outcome, reaffirming the importance of social and environmental factors in recovery. The paper adds to our previous reports by providing a discussion of implications for treatment and criminal justice systems. We also describe the next steps in our research on SLHs, which will include: 1) an attempt to improve outcomes for residents referred from the criminal justice system and 2) a depiction of how attitudes of stakeholder groups create a community context that can facilitate and hinder the legitimacy of SLHs as a recovery modality." 2.Here the NIH makes the powerful case that housing immediately after initial detox and/or treatment greatly affects how an addict or alcoholic will recover. They see the importance of the stigmas associated with sober living houses in the further success of transitional living housing. And our houses are of critical importance in the lifelong journey of recovery. Read from the NIH about the Perceptions of Sober Living Houses here: "Affordable alcohol- and drug-free housing that supports recovery is limited in many areas. Sober living houses (SLHs) offer a unique living environment that supports abstinence and maintenance of a recovery lifestyle. Previous studies show that SLH residents make improvementson alcohol, drug and other problems that are maintained at 18-month follow-up." 3. Here the NIH makes the case that sober living environments and the importance thereof has been neglected in the treatment model and expand on it beautifully. Their abstract is below the link. Read the NIH A Clean and Sober Place to Live here: "The call for evidence based practices (EBP’s) in addiction treatment is nearly universal. It is a noteworthy movement in the field because treatment innovations have not always been implemented in community programs. However, other types of community based services that may be essential to sustained recovery have received less attention. This paper suggests sober living houses (SLH’s) are a good example of services that have been neglected in the addiction literature that might help individuals who need an alcohol and drug-free living environment to succeed in their recovery. The paper begins with an overview of the history and philosophy of this modality and then describes our 5-year longitudinal study titled, “An Analysis of Sober Living Houses.” Particular attention is paid to the structure and

philosophy of SLH’s and purported therapeutic factors. The paper ends with presentation of baseline data describing the residents who enter SLH’s and 6-month outcomes on 130 residents." 4. Again, the NIH makes a legitimate case - and shows a model - for structured transitional living for the addict and alcoholic. "Finding a living environment that supports recovery is a major challenge for many clients attending outpatient treatment. Yet it is important because family, friends, and roommates who encourage substance use or discourage recovery can undermine the progress made in treatment. Destructive living environments are most problematic for clients who have limited incomes and reside in urban areas where housing markets are tight. Individuals who are homeless face constant threats to their sobriety and often lack the stability necessary to attend treatment consistently. Options Recovery Services is an outpatient program in Berkeley, California that uses sober living houses (SLHs) to provide an alcohol and drug free living environment to clients while they attend the outpatient program. This paper describes the structure and processes of the houses along with six month outcome data on 46 residents. Improvements included the number of months using substances, maximum number of days of substance use per month, arrests, and employment. Seventy six percent of the residents remained in the house at least 5 months and 39% reported being employed at some point during the past 30 days. Outpatient programs should consider establishing SLHs for clients who lack a living environment supportive of sobriety." Read the NIH A Model for Sober Housing here: Here are just four papers about in- depth studies the National Institute of Health engaged in regarding what the man or woman seeking real recovery must consider when they leave jail or detox and treatment. The need is for a place for long term transitioning. One to three months is simply not enough. Not at all. Organiz ations like New Foundations Transitional Living fill the gap for long term structured housing for the newly clean and sober person! THIS is the model that works! Our services are in desperate need. But, like with any great accomplishment, we cannot do it alone. We need help. We need your help. And it starts with education. As always, please explore our website completely and scroll through our facebook page. You will find a wealth of knowledge about who we are and what we do there. And you can always email us at and and Thank you! tags: sober living, alcoholism, addiction, halfway house, transitional living, treatment, drug court, recovery Trackback Link Halfway Houses in Cincinnati Trackback Link

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