WHAT IF? A RECOVERY MODEL DESIGNED BY A PERSON IN RECOVERY

A woman in recovery wrote to me: What if there was a place for recovering addicts to go to get their equilibrium back? It takes five years for the body to heal and stabilize into normal endocrine function after addiction. It takes two years for the brain to heal and for its natural hormones to start flowing regularly again. During this recovery time is when the addict is most vulnerable. So what if there was a place for addicts to go that allowed them to stay in a safe place while they get their memory and focus back and learn a new trade, or go back to school to get their degree and learn organization and responsibility again. The next three years are spent finishing their degree and re-entering the workforce giving half of what they earn to the program and save the other half to purchase a car and apartment when they finish the program. By the end of this five-year program they would be in full recovery. They’d have a job, a car, and a place to live. They would be productive citizens of society again. What if?

My reflection: This idea is similar to the San Patrignano model in Italy, where people stay three-to-five years in order to fully recover. The recovery rate at San Patrignano is 78% after three years of exiting the community.

Today’s Promise to consider: What if there were a recovery model that provided a safe place for recovering people to live for several years in order to get it right? A place that offered the time to learn a trade, save money, and even continue education, all within the safe haven of a recovery community. The idea posited by this young woman makes total sense. I’d love to see a treatment center adopt this approach or at least our medical community explore the concept with research. Something needs to change with the way we treat addiction. What if?

 

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Diane
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Diane

I found this meditation very interesting. It appears that many people who apply for disability due to an addiction are rarely approved for benefits. However, it is also clear that it would be impossible for them to hold down any type of job. What if … these addicts/alcoholics were approved for disability and the money used to pay for a recovery program, one in which they would be required (perhaps ordered) to go through the program until they are healed? I believe that those who are addicted rarely make it, often die young. If our lawmakers would make it mandatory… Read more »

Kathleen
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Kathleen

Yes! Thankfully, we found a place just like this…Winston Salem Rescue Mission in North Carolina. They have answered so many prayers, I’m always hopeful that other cities will find a way to have such a program.

Mindy Bartholomae
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Mindy Bartholomae

I think our current system is sorely inadequate. The typical model of being sequestered away and often force fed 12 Steps, various therapies, group sessions, private sessions, meditation, yoga, focuses on “curing” the disease, when in fact, as the post said, it takes TIME. I’m certainly not discounting these things, but fundamentally, the addicted need to feel useful, needed, contributing members of society and that means providing some type of work. None of the rehabs, SLE’s our son went to required any real contribution except to attend meetings and not use. He went stir crazy and often fled. Yes, he… Read more »

Joanne Mele
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Joanne Mele

I totally agree with this model. Unfortunately in North America, rehabilitation facilities operate as a money making machine where the chances for staying clean and sober are so low. It constantly creates a vicious cycle for addicts trying to recover because the length of stay is so short. True change takes time- at least one year to 5 years. Why can’t expenses such as laundry, cooking, cleaning etc. be part of the program? San Patrignano is a beautiful example of how this model can work and I’m happy to say that after 9 months in, my daughter is thriving. It’s… Read more »

Terry
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Terry

My daughter went through a extended treatment home after rehab for 2 1/2 years in GA. They were required to go to meetings, volunteer in the community and after some time either work or go back to school. It was a good program for many reasons. Gave them more time being sober and to relearn the skills they lost through addiction. Accountability amongst other housemates was critical. Almost 4 years later she is still sober( grateful for today with no expectations of tomorrow) I believe these programs do give the addict a better chance at long term sobriety. The issue… Read more »

Pat Nichols
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Some great ideas have been posted but the critical question is how do we pay for this life saving type program? Well, those who are familiar with my past responses over many many years know I have the answer! 🙂 So, here you go, we stop spending (wasting) tax payer money on putting another man/lady on the moon and use all that money to fund such a program, after a few years the Fed’s can look at the billions of dollars America has saved through such a recovery program and they can now use that surplus money to put a… Read more »

Penny Petty
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Penny Petty

This sounds like an astounding approach to recovery. Most of our current recovery attempts only put a band aid on the addict’s wounds and give them a temporary fix for their disease. This long-term approach offering them a way to a new life by furthering their education, saving money, and planning for a new future while recovering is a great idea to me.

Ki Ki DesCombes
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Ki Ki DesCombes

I agree with this. Great concept. My 32yo addict daughter is sober, a new Mom, and living in our home.
She had been in off and on addiction for about 12 years. She has missed out on a lot of knowledge and
changes due to operating life from couch to couch to living only in the dark. Currently I am reteaching
her how to drive sober. These skills are stunted by addiction and even lost. Sign us up for this recovery
program. Thanks again Libby and friends for sharing. Ki Ki Missouri USA

Kathy
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Kathy

Agree!! My son after 12-15 and twice in jail he’s in a 3/4 house, goes to rehab half a day and works at night. He said it will take a long time to have his brain healed and I believe it. I only wish our country understood addiction in all forms…