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Old 03-30-2011, 07:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Do recovery houses (halfway houses) work?

Our son, 18, is nearing the end of his 30 days at rehab for substance abuse (marijuana). All the information we are reading & receiving from his counselors say a half-way house is best for him. A 90 day program that will monitor him and also help him care for himself, get a job and learn to live life sober & responsibly.

He is nervous / scared to go to the halfway house. He is hearing "talk" from some of the people who have been there or are there now - and he is afraid going to the halfway house is going to expose him to a higher chance of relapse than if he came home. We think the halfway house is a good step - but I have been trying to research the effectiveness of these facilities and haven't had much luck.

What can people where offer on the topic? Did you have a loved one / family member stay at a halfway house and did you feel it was beneficial? Any advice / experience at all is greatly appreciated. We have looked at 2 so far - they seem well run - not in the best parts of town but that's sort of expected. The people there seem dedicated and serious about their work.
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Old 03-30-2011, 08:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Thanks for the speedy reply. That echoes my thoughts also. I know my son wants to come home - but we're not really ready to support him here as we both work and he'll be on his own a lot - too much IMHO. We'll continue to look at some of the houses in town.
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Old 03-30-2011, 09:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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All I would strongly advice is check out the place, go there, find out as much information as possible. I personally am leery of sober living houses because I know toooo many people who have lived there thinking it was a safe, sober, healthy new start while learning to be sober. Anyways every person I know just ended meeting other people who aided/enabled in there addiction and therefore relasping. I am not saying all sober living homes are like that, but my experience has been very negative. So please check them out and research all the various places.
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Old 03-30-2011, 09:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My son's experience was not that good

I agree with the poster above that some are in a sober living facility because they want to be and some are there because they have to be. My son went willingly. He did get jobs and actually managed the house eventually. However, it turns out that the sober living home owner was the one supplying these men with their drugs of choice. This man was the one who sold my son his last heroin. My soon shot up the heroin the next day and died of a heroin overdose 3 years ago. What an evil, evil man selling drugs to addicts. I guess my only advice is to be super careful in choosing the sober living home.
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Old 03-30-2011, 10:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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My daughter's experience wasn't good either. The sober house was on the list at her rehab but they didn't have an existing relationship with them (it was out of state). Having said that, I still believe they are beneficial and serve a good purpose. If my daughter has to go back down that road again, I wouldn't hesitate to pay for it initially, and I would examine them with a fine tooth comb.

I'd check with the state mental health board for complaints and make sure they are certified with the state. Each state has different laws and some are more stringent than others. I'd also ask the director and counselors if they're in recovery, for how long, and what kind of program they work. I'd accept nothing less than five years sobriety and expect them to work the same recovery program they require of the residents. In other words, I would grill them until I'm 100% comfortable. If they were to become uncomfortable or dismissive, that's not a place I'd send my daughter.
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Old 03-30-2011, 10:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I personally went through one almost 30 years ago now, and it is still running strong in the same location.

It was an excellent experience for those that wanted recovery (I did). We had rules and regulations, chores to do, meetings to attend in the house and 5 meetings a week to attend outside the house. We had two weeks and then had better find a job, even if it was 'flipping' burgers.

As each of us stayed sober, interacted with each other and the outside world, went to meetings as requried, we slowly earned more privileges, as possibly a weekend day to go home, and then eventually an actual overnight visit at home, later even curfews so we could go for coffee with others from our meetings, etc

I have had many a sponsee go through a Sober Living House over the years and every one has done better in their recovery and adapting to living sober than those who have not.

Yes, I have had some relapse, those that started hanging with others in the house that were not serious about their recovery. It is still the A's choice whether they get sober and stay sober or not.

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Old 03-31-2011, 07:50 AM   #7 (permalink)
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My daughter was 19 when she entered a sober living house. I found out later that there was nothing 'sober' about it. She followed all the rules, got a job within two weeks, found a sponsor and attended meetings. She used marijuana while she was there, and although she was never tested, she had a bottle of synthetic urine and a warmer ready just in case. She tells of story of one housemate who had meth hidden in his computer and another who came to a meeting drunk.

Interestingly, though, it was this sober house that scared her straight. We used to talk about what she saw there and see how a life-time of drug use ruins a life. Her roommate was in her late 30s, a crack addict, who had no job, house, friends, and was an emotional mess. When we talked, I would compare this poor 30 something girl to my daughter's sisters and friends of a similar age. Drug-free 30 year olds, had degrees, children, jobs, houses, wonderful lives, and a promising future. It was this dichotomy that scared my daugher straight. My daughter was in a non-sober living house, and I would have never thought a situation like this would be beneficial.

Don't think that the transistion from using to non-using will be easy or quick. There were lots of bumps along the way and I am not naive in thinking that my daughter will always be clean and sober. I used to judge her progress if I saw progress. I would take comfort in the fact that she was better than she had been in the past and was taking positive steps toward a clean and sober life. Someone told me that relapse is part of recovery, and in her case that was definitely true. Each time my daughter relapsed she used less that previous times. I was told that the addict remembers how it felt good to be sober and when they use want the feeling associated with sobriety back.

Good luck. I know how difficult this is for you and your family.
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Old 03-31-2011, 08:27 AM   #8 (permalink)
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My daughter is at a sober living right now.Yes, In have heard horror stories of drug use, of the leaders selling drugs, etc. What you need to understand is that many people are court ordered to go and absolutely are biding their time.We tried rehab before without follow up care ..a disaster. This time she did 30 days inpatient, over 90 IOP, and has been at the sober living for 6 mo.She has 6 mo. clean last week.
She also chose to leave our town as she knew what was in store for her close by..she was 18 when she started at the SLE.I knew that for her getting the he** out of dodge was probably going to save her life.
Like almost everything else in life, it is what you make it.I would definately check around for some referrals and do background checks for violations.SOunds like you understand the impoortance of follow up care which is awesome.I personally almost had a breakdown when my daughter came home from her 1st rehab..she neede alot more treatment and relapsed w/in 2 weeks.
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Old 03-31-2011, 10:43 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I don't know if sober living houses work or not. I do know that allowing my AS to come back to live with us after rehab did not.

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Old 03-31-2011, 11:27 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Some sober living homes have deals with the Department of Corrections in their state. They get out of prison early and go to these sober houses. These are usually not good choices as very few people are their on their own.
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:02 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Thank you all very much for your replies. We took your advice & checked out several sober living houses, and have chosen one for our son - well he chose it also. He should be transitioning over this week or even today. He is still in his IOP and the facility is close to the main rehab location. Like many that posted, he is very young - 18 - and I think seeing people much older than himself (or even us, his parents) who have been struggling with addiction problems all their life has had the greatest impact.
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Old 04-05-2011, 11:20 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Yea! So glad you opted for out of home after care, just from my experience..it was the worst hell I ever went through..we make sucky rehabs for our kids:rotfxko
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:22 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Several years ago our 19 yr old daughter went to rehab for alcohol addiction. After 30 days her counselors advised us to put her in a sober living facility. This was all new to us. She was out of state & I was very apprehensive about her moving in with other addicts out of state. However, since this was not my area of expertise I chose to take the advice I had spent so much money to get.
I took her there & it took everything in me to leave her there. It was not anything like where she had grown up.
She had only been away from home to go to college & live in a dorm.

I would make this decision again. She had rules, curfews, responsibilities, mandatory meetings, drug testing, etc...
She stayed there 3 months. The job she got was seasonal & she was having a hard time finding a new one. The "owner" offered to forgo her rent for sexual favors. She refused, moved in with someone she met in meetings. She thought this girl was sober. Until she came home to a party the second night she came home. She stayed with another friend, called me to loan her money for an apt. I told her I wouldn't do that but I would come & get her.

When she got home she was more responsible & appreciative than she had ever been. The living in that environment had helped her grow up.

However, she did have lots of horror stories about some of the people who lived there. But I agree that it's like anywhere, if you are committed to being sober it works. If you are not, it won't. She learned that what she had grown up with was not what everybody else had. She had real appreciation for her family.

I believe if she had come straight home, it would have been a disaster. Same old friends, ignoring our rules, we were just "overlords", etc....

She learned a lot about real life, in a some what controlled environment.

Her biggest problem (& it still is), is finding friends in her age group, 22 now, that don't party. But she is committed to that & has been able to do so, it's just not as easy.

Good luck, thinking about you....
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