Where do you go when you’ve finished your formal treatment program for addiction or alcoholism? For many, returning to old habits and habitats, old friends and old ways of coping can undermine even the best intentions to live without drugs or alcohol.

We don’t become addicts or alcoholics overnight; by the same token, we don’t cement our sobriety overnight. Getting out of treatment and returning to “society” without support for recovery is like an ice cube melting in the hot sun. Without support for sobriety, it’s just a matter of time before we give in to familiar routines, old ways of responding to life’s challenges, and the siren song of old drinking buddies.

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By Don Troutman, Founder, Clean & Sober Transitional Living

A common expression in the recovery community is “The only thing you need to change in recovery is every thing.” That’s true: getting and staying sober calls for new ways of thinking, new responses to old triggers, new friends who don’t drink or use drugs, families that function in new, healthy ways, and more. That’s a tall order. But there’s one essential element that underpins all of those necessary changes, and that’s integrity.

For the record, the dictionary defines “integrity” as “adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.” I’m astonished that so many people don’t seem to know what integrity means because integrity is the cornerstone of all civilized behavior, including recovery.

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John Perry, Co-Founder, Clean & Sober Recovery Services, Inc.

When someone has become dependent on alcohol or drugs, the first step on their road to recovery may be detoxification or “detox.” The detox process, which helps reduce physical discomfort while monitoring health and safety, is critical to safely leaving alcohol or benzodiazepines (such as Xanax) behind. Otherwise, abruptly stopping these substances can be life-threatening. And suddenly stopping other substances can be so difficult and uncomfortable that people simply give up and return to the familiar physical and mental comfort of drugs or alcohol.

With that in mind, we are excited to let you know that - starting in February - Clean & Sober Recovery Services will offer in-house detox as part of the Clean & Sober network of care.

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By Don Troutman, Founder, Clean & Sober Transitional Living

When you think of “recovery housing,” what crosses your mind? Most people’s definition of recovery housing begins and ends with “a house without drugs or alcohol.” News flash: recovery housing is that, and so much more.

The residents of CSTL shed light on what recovery housing means to them. “Being active in a sober living environment and being able to relate to another alcoholic has kept me clean and sober for over nineteen months and still going strong. For that, I’m grateful” wrote one of our residents. He’s talking about what social scientists consider “the glue” of recovery housing. It’s a culture of connection and community that gives us purpose and validation as human beings. Connection is the antidote for the loneliness and isolation that can be dangerous to those who struggle with drugs or alcohol. And fostering connection is one of the things we do best.

We designed CSTL to give people a chance to live with others who care about them. Our residents eat meals together. They volunteer together at Fair Oaks community events. They attend AA or NA meetings together, and they often walk together to those meetings. They gather in their sober homes to discuss the day or provide a shoulder to learn on. They strengthen their recovery by helping others be strong.

How do we know that recovery housing “works?” A growing body of evidence shows that recovery housing increases connectedness, a key indicator of quality of life. Our own numbers tell a similar tale. More than 6500 people have lived at CSTL since I opened the doors in 1989, and those residents have bolstered their recovery in a setting that’s been intentionally designed to increase connection and community. Overwhelmingly, our residents have sober “Ever Afters” when they transition from our recovery housing to the real world. In great part, that’s because they’ve built a strong support system via connection and community, pride and purpose.

Here’s another way that recovery housing works: Practically speaking, recovery housing opens doors that are often closed to addicts and alcoholics. Substance Use Disorder takes prisoners on many fronts. Evictions, bad credit, lost jobs and criminal convictions don’t make it easy for anyone to find housing. For the newly sober, recovery housing is often the only open door for safe, sober and affordable housing.

Others might roll up the Welcome mat and latch the deadbolt to those who seek a drug and alcohol-free life. Our doors at CSTL are wide open for those who want to change their lives.

Wishing you the best in 2018.

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