Tag: halfway houses

Can This Recovering Addict Successfully Crowdfund Her Halfway House?

Her Dream & Her Passion

jennifer and her daughter
Jennifer and her Wynter via Cape News

Jennifer Bows and her nine-year-old daughter Wynter are fighting an uphill battle. Jennifer, whose been in recovery for five years, wants to open a sober living home in Sagamore Beach, Massachusetts.

The only problem? She doesn’t have the upfront money needed to buy a house and start helping women. So, the scrappy Jennifer and her precocious daughter have turned to crowdfunding in an attempt to secure financing.

So far, things aren’t going great. Around a month into the campaign and the two have raised $180 of the $100,000 needed to buy a home (which, by the way, is a tiny investment in Cape Cod real estate).

Read on to learn what sets Jennifer’s proposed program apart and to explore the ethics of crowdfunding an addiction recovery program!

Learn about the link between sober living & long-term recovery!

What Makes Jennifer’s Program Different?

Jennifer Bow’s idea is to create a sober living home – commonly called a halfway house – for young women between 18 and 25 years old.

Sounds pretty standard, right? There are a ton of those across the country. So what makes Jennifer’s home different?

Well, she wants to do more than simply provide a place for addicts in early-recovery to rest their heads at night. She wants to create a program that will help women transition back to life.

To accomplish this, Jennifer is using her experience as a licensed drug and alcohol counselor as well as her years in recovery.

Some of the requirements she has in mind include making sure residents hold a job, are in school, or become involved with community service, have mandatory on-site therapy, and focus on the twelve-steps as an avenue of recovery.

According to Wynter, who was interviewed in a local Cape Cod newspaper, “She’s going to have some structure…She’s going to have meetings and get people back into reality” (Capenews.net)

According to Jennifer herself,

“I would like to purchase a home so I can open a 12 step sober home for women ages 18 to 25. I want to offer a place for young women to go after treatment, where I can give them structure and support so they will stay clean and sober and be successful and productive in society” (excerpted from Jennifer’s Go Fund Me page).

So far so good, right? It looks like Jennifer and her daughter are trying hard to raise money for a great cause. We certainly support their efforts and encourage you to check out their Go Fund Me page!

Still, her story raises an interesting question – is it ethical to crowdsource money for addiction treatment programs?

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Is it Ethical to Crowdfund Recovery Services?

Well, is it? There’s no doubt in my mind that Jennifer’s primary focus is on helping others. That’s one of the great gifts of recovery – we stop focusing so much on ourselves and turn our attention to helping other people.

Still, $100,000 is a lot of money. It really is a steal for Cape Cod real estate, but it’s a lot for people to donate. Not to mention that once her sober living facility is up and running – it has the potential to generate large amounts of personal income.

So, is it ethical for Jennifer to turn to crowdfunding to raise the money needed to start her program? Is it ethical for anyone to crowdsource money for addiction programs?

I think the answer lies in the individual’s motives. If someone is looking to fund their addiction treatment program just so they can make a buck – it’s not ethical. If someone is looking to fund their addiction treatment program so they can help others – it’s ethical.

crowd sourcing drug addiction treatment

That distinction, however, often falls into gray area. The Lighthouse Recovery Institute blog is a great example! Our primary purpose with this blog is to inform and education people about what addiction and recovery are really like. Still, it’s also generates phone calls to our facility.

Is that the primary purpose of these articles (including the one you’re reading right now)? Not at all – the primary purpose will always be education and empowerment. Does it play some part? Certainly.

And that’s the reality for just about every addiction treatment program across the country. We offer helpful services – we save lives – but not without some interest in our financial health. That’s the world of business.

Anyway, we’ve wandered off on a tangent here. The question remains, is it ethical to crowdfund a sober living home? It all depends on the individual case. In Jennifer and Wynter’s case – absolutely!

Help! I Can’t Stop Using Drugs!

The Ugly Cycle of Drug Abuse

My name is David and I’m an addict and alcoholic. I’ve been sober since April 17th, 2008. Despite those many years of sobriety, which I’m grateful for, I’m still an addict and alcoholic at heart.

want to stop using but cant
via Flickr user Clare Bell

That means, by default, I can’t stop getting high and I can’t stop drinking. It means that once I put a mind altering chemical into my body, I continue to use until the wheels fall off. It means that I’m great at starting, but horrible at finishing.

Maybe you’re like me. Maybe you have a loved one who’s like me. Maybe you’re confused and unsure about what you are. It doesn’t matter – you’ve come to the right place!

I’m going to share my experience with active addiction and alcoholism below. After that, I’m going to share how I got sober once and for all. I was as bad an alcoholic and junky as they come. If I can put down the needle, the powder, the pills, and the bottle – so can you!

If you need immediate help – if you or a loved one can’t stop getting high or can’t stop drinking and want to start a new way of life today – call Lighthouse. They’re the unrivaled experts at addiction treatment.

Read on for my story of compulsive relapse and to learn how I finally stopped drugging and drinking.

Learn why halfway houses help lead to long term sobriety!

I Can’t Stop Getting High

My addiction “origin story” isn’t much different from anyone else’s. I always felt uncomfortable and awkward in my own skin. Whenever I did anything good or accomplished something, I felt like a fake and like everyone was about to figure me out.

You know, common addict and alcoholic thinking.

I’m going to focus on what happened to me after I was introduced to recovery, which, ironically enough, was about a year before I actually got sober.

I’d been to an inpatient rehab because I couldn’t stop using drugs. I was in there for over four months. I got out and started attending meetings, going to therapy, and trying to live a healthy life.

I was high within a month. What happened? I wasn’t ready to deal with life on life’s terms (it’s cliché but also true).

I wasn’t ready to face the world without the comfort of painkillers and heroin. I wasn’t ready to be accountable for my actions. I wasn’t ready to do “adult” things like pay rent on time, pay credit card bills on time, show up for work on time, etc.

I basically wasn’t ready to do anything on time! I wanted to do things my way and my way led me to a place where I hated myself and couldn’t stop getting high. I wanted to stop, but couldn’t!

It talks about this place in recovery literature. It’s called the jumping off point and is described as the place where us addicts and alcoholics can’t imagine life with, or without, chemicals.

Sound familiar?

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I Can’t Stop Drinking

There I was, stuck in a vicious cycle of relapse, short periods of recovery, and more relapse. I was living in halfway houses and, when I got kicked out for failing a drug test, the streets.

My life was a mess. What did I do? I stopped getting high. I marshaled all my willpower and decided I was never again going to stick a needle in my arm or a dollar bill up my nose.

Guess what? It worked…sort of.

I stayed off drugs for a period of months, but I began to drink like a fish. Instead of taking a good, hard look at myself – I turned to alcohol to make everything bearable.

It did, for a while, but then I was left in a familiar position. All of a sudden, I couldn’t stop drinking! All my addictive tendencies had been uprooted from the land of narcotics to the land of booze.

Again, I found myself at that jumping off point within a short period of time. I couldn’t imagine living with or without liquor and beer. I wanted to, but I just couldn’t stop drinking.

Finally, on April 16th, 2008, I took my final drink and drug. I forgot to mention that after about six months I’d started to use pills and heroin again.

On April 16th, 2008, I took a few chugs from a bottle of gin and used the last of my money to buy some pills. I injected the pills around midnight. I walked into treatment the next morning and never looked back.

Speaking of relapse, learn how to avoid one!

There is a Solution!

So that’s my personal story of being unable to stop getting high and drinking. What about the good stuff though? What about recovery? What about the solution?

cant stop drinking or getting high

Well, I found my solution in treatment and twelve-step fellowships.

While in treatment, I actually listened to my therapist. Whatever he said, I did. He told me to complete assignments by a certain date and I had them done the day before.

I shared in all the therapy groups and took an active role in the treatment community. I was still scared out of my mind by life, but I was making an effort to show up anyway.

After treatment, I began to regularly attend a twelve-step fellowship. I got a sponsor and, like my therapy, did whatever that man said. He told me to read a certain page – I read it everyday. He told me to write out my resentments and fears – I wrote them out.

I’ve been doing that ever since and it’s working pretty well. I just celebrated seven years of continuous sobriety. What a blessing! More important, though, I celebrated seven years free of fear and behaving like a crappy person. I celebrated seven years of being a good son, friend, student, employee, and significant other.

What more can you ask?

So, if you’re like me – you can’t stop using drugs no matter how hard you try – or if you have a loved one like me – they simply can’t stop drinking even though they want to – you’re in the right place.

Call Lighthouse today! Our addiction professionals are compassionate, caring, and often in recovery themselves. They’ve been where we’ve been. They know how to get better and they’ll be able to guide you along the road of sobriety.

Until then, good luck and God bless my friends!

Why Halfway Houses Help Lead to Long-Term Sobriety

Written By: Fiona Stockard

Do Halfway Houses Help Recovery?

do halfway houses help?

If you’ve been in a treatment center, it’s probably been strongly suggested that you go to a halfway house afterwards. If you have a loved one in treatment, you’ve probably heard the same thing.

The bottom line is that halfway houses, and other forms of sober living, offer many benefits. They’re structured, substance free environments. They provide alcoholics in early-sobriety a level of accountability that’s incredibly helpful. They’re usually run and staffed by people in recovery themselves.

Does sober living help lead to long-term sobriety, though? Let’s find out.

Learn about the amazing places recovery can take you!

The Benefits of Sober Living

• They’re a great transitional living space. In fact, the whole point of sober living is to help addicts and alcoholics move seamlessly from substance abuse treatment to the real world.

• They’re drug and alcohol free. Residents usually sign a contract upon entering a sober house. If they relapse, they violate the contract and are promptly kicked out. Responsible halfway houses will then work to get the resident into a treatment center or detox.

• Through this “sobriety contract,” house meetings, drug tests, breathalyzers, and community support, recovery houses offer accountability that helps those in early-sobriety.

• They offer structure that’s incredibly beneficial for those transitioning from rehab back to the world. Any responsible sober house will require residents have a job, are in school, or are volunteering. Responsible sober houses also require residents to attend a certain amount of twelve-step meetings, to have a sponsor, and to be involved in step work.

• They’re offer week-to-week lease terms. This helps residents in early-recovery (who are usually in difficult financial situations) afford rent. Also, many recovery houses are more than willing to arrange payment plans.

• Halfway houses are often affiliated with other transitional living facilities. These are places like three-quarter houses (a less structured version of halfway houses) and general sober living houses (a house where the only rule is those living there must be sober).

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The Drawbacks of Sober Living

Halfway houses, and other forms of sober living, definitely have some benefits. What about drawbacks, though? Are there reasons someone fresh from treatment shouldn’t go to one?

• I’m sure you noticed I qualified some of the above points with the word “responsible.” Not all halfway houses are responsible. Some strictly exist to make money off the newly sober. If you’re looking at sober living for yourself or a loved one, it’s important to do research and find an ethical facility. Check out N.A.R.R. (the National Association of Recovery Residences).

• Sober living is often coed. Now, it’s rare to find men and women living in the same recovery house (in fact, that’s a good example of owners/operators being irresponsible). Still, recovery houses can have a men’s section and women’s section side-by-side.

• Like any type of sobriety resource, there are people who relapse at halfway houses. In fact, the high concentration of those in early-recovery make relapse a very real issue. If one resident uses, it’s possible others will join them. Of course, this can happen anywhere alcoholics gather, but it’s still worth being aware of.

What are the blessings sobriety gives us?

Does Sober Living Lead to Long-Term Sobriety?

While there’s not a simple yes or no answer to this question, it’s safe to say there are many benefits to attending a halfway house.

For those in early-sobriety, sober living offers accountability, structure, a support network, and general help during a tough time. Halfway houses can also be shady and present a risk for relapse.

However, I’d say these benefits outweigh the drawbacks. If you do research, you’re won’t end up in an unethical facility. If you’re committed to staying sober (i.e. getting into the steps), you’re not going to relapse. That’s been my experience, anyway.

So, this alcoholic heartily recommends attending a halfway house or some other form of sober living. Will they ensure long-term sobriety? Nope. Will they help during a difficult and unsure time? You bet.

Is addiction genetic?

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