Author: Justin Mckibben
People are strange when you’re a stranger. Being in recovery it can seem like we are a little extra strange to some, or not strange enough for others. So of course finding a roommate while in recovery can be a daunting task. For some people it is already difficult finding someone you can stand to live with. With a lot of people, searching through room-for-rent ads on Craigslist makes them just as anxious as trying to find a roommate in their halfway house.
Some of us just get lucky, and some of us definitely don’t. Of course with people who have a track record of bad behavior it isn’t easy to instantly establish trust. But now a new website is helping connect sober people with a desire to live in a house build on sobriety. All over America recovering addicts and alcoholics have a recovery roommate website to link up with new living arrangements, specifically for clean living.
A new recovery roommate website is called MySoberRoommate.com. It just launched online this past June and it already changing how sober people everywhere find roommates. MySoberRoommate.com was created by addiction therapist Jesse Sandler, LCSW, who specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy. His partner, Dr. Emily Churg, was also a key contributor to its development. Sandler is based in Los Angeles, and in an interview he said he was inspired to create a website that overcomes addiction recovery stigma. There are sober social media apps, but this is another place where likeminded people in recovery can connect.
So how does this recovery roommate website actually work?
Well, via their page users (who no longer use) can search and connect with sober roommates. It serves both sides, so if you’re looking for a place to move or if you want to rent a room in your own place. So far, the website has already attracted nearly 1,000 members in just two months. And professionals in the recovery field are already seeing it gain traction among clients.
Filling the Space
Now that we touched on the ‘how’ we get to the ‘why’ of it. One aspect of the work Sandler does with his clients includes helping with the transition from inpatient rehab to a halfway house, then to their own place. When asked about the site Sandler said,
“I would sit with my clients in my office and we’d go on the Internet, and there was nothing out there like this. I was shocked to see that.”
The challenge with assisting with the transition from halfway house to a home is finding a roommate dedicated to sobriety. Sandler acknowledged that for many people, when they attend treatment they aren’t even in their home state anymore. Being out of town and on your own can make it difficult to connect with the local recovery community. So to add to that the intimacy of living with another person, finding a recovering roommate in the area can be very difficult.
“One of the most important components in maintaining sobriety is your living environment. When people in recovery move out of rehab or sober living facilities, the worst thing they can do is go back to the toxic living environments they were in before they got clean,”
Sandler told WestsideToday.com when discussing the importance of the recovery roommate website,
“The second worst thing is to live with people who are actively using. And the third is to live alone, which breeds isolation.”
He concluded, as many have before, that one of the best ways to improve the chances of staying sober is to surround yourself with people who are committed to recovery.
Moving In and Moving On
So far it appears the response to the recovery roommate website has been very good. Sandler stated,
“Several of my colleagues have reached out and told me that their clients used MySoberRoommate.com to successfully find a roommate,”
“We have received emails from several members telling us that they had a positive experience using the site.”
The MySoberRoommate team is currently trying to compile a catalog of stories about the “best bad experiences with a non-sober roommate” for an upcoming YouTube series. They are also planning to release the short video reenactments for these testimonials in the next few months. So moving on from just helping people connect, the minds behind this recovery roommate website are also trying to create creative and informative features online to help break the stigma and shed some light on how people in recovery really live.
The question becomes, who would use a recovery roommate website to find their next place? If you’re new in recovery, or been around a while and just ready to start fresh, would you use an option like this to find someone to live with?
When you find the right people to live with they can end up becoming some of your biggest supports in recovery. However, you also have to remember that not everyone in recovery will stay clean. Try to stick with people who are doing the right thing, especially at home. Establishing a strong foundation in sobriety is very important to building a future in sobriety. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call us toll-free. We want to help. You are not alone.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)
Author: Shernide Delva
*Trigger Warning* This piece discusses trigger warnings. Please avoid if you are uncomfortable with the idea of questioning whether or not trigger warnings should exist.
The use of trigger warnings has become more mainstream. Now, some are wondering if this generation has taken it too far. Are we overdoing the trigger warnings?
In case you do not know, a “trigger” is something that triggers a negative or uncomfortable reaction. “Trigger Warnings” work to warn people the content they are about to see or read could make them uncomfortable. Trigger warnings give people the option of avoiding content that could cause emotional distress.
Recently, many have observed that society has become more socially conscious or “politically correct.” Whether or not that is a positive thing is a manner of opinion. However, the use of “trigger warnings” have undeniably increased in use.
Initially, trigger warnings spawned from post-traumatic stress disorders. Those who suffer from PTSD benefit from these warnings because they are more sensitive to sensory input. Anything from a film or piece of media might trigger a person with PTSD and cause them to suffer PTSD symptoms. It could be as simple as a sound or smell, physical space, a particular object, or a person. Anything that reminds the mind of a past trauma can result in PTSD symptoms. A person with PTSD may find trigger warnings helpful because it helps them avoid situations that trigger their PTSD symptoms.
The problem with trigger warnings is that everyone is affected differently. Even arbitrary things can be triggering for someone. It is natural for people to be more sensitive to things than others. We all come from a diverse background and upbringing. The question is whether protecting people from possible triggers is beneficial. Everyone is different. If everyone has one, should they all be accommodated? Are we becoming overly sensitive to other people’s “triggers?”
Do Trigger Warnings Help Those With Mental Health Issues?
An article in The Atlantic thoroughly questions whether or not trigger warnings are beneficial to those who have mental health challenges like anxiety and depression. The author argues that trigger warnings create a “fortune telling” society in which people prepare for the worse every time they speak. The act of “fortune telling” involves “seeing the potential danger in an everyday situation.”
On some college campuses, students demand trigger warnings for classic novels like The Great Gatsby and Catcher in the Rye. They argue that the sexually explicit content, violence, and language of these books should come with a trigger warning. As an avid reader, I find the concept of this unusual. While it is true that some students will react more to the content than others, are trigger warnings helping or hurting these developing students?
PTSD and Anxiety: Do Trigger Warnings Benefit Them?
For those who suffer from PTSD, like Molly Miller, trigger warnings have prevented her PTSD episodes and have helped her live a more manageable life.
“Some people feel like trigger warnings coddle sensitive people. I don’t see it that way. I see trigger warnings as a common courtesy to help prevent sufferers of PTSD, like me, from reliving our trauma. I recognize it is not fail-proof, and getting upset by our memories is a part of life. But what is so wrong with making an effort?” She wrote.
On the contrary, author Samuel Barr described his experience with PTSD. At the age of ten, Barr was abused by an older boy. He was left emotionally devastated and suffered PTSD because of the experience. He talks about how he spiraled “downward into a deep depression.” Still, Barr does not believe his mental health condition should warrant a trigger warning. Until he learned to stop seeing himself as a victim and finally received helped, he was forced to tip-toe in society. He says he believes this trigger warning mindset is not beneficial.
“Trigger warnings are one of the latest fads in an ongoing cultural obsession with glorifying victimhood, and as a former victim, I can confidently say there is nothing glorious about it. Contrary to the noble intentions of its supporters, trigger warnings do more to harm people with trauma backgrounds than help them.”
Should We Embrace Them?
Furthermore, Barr believes people should face their trauma rather than run away from them. These warnings will only continue to get out of hand and affect those who produce content in the first place.
“If you start warning, for one thing, you have to decide which unpleasant thing is worth a trigger and which isn’t. That isn’t a position an editor should be in,” stated Jessica Coen, editor at Jezebel magazine.
Johnathan Heidt, the author of “The Coddling of the American Mind,”says we are entering a climate where we presume the worse about the fragility and vulnerability of others. He describes this as vindictive impulsiveness which is “ a culture in which everyone must think twice before speaking up.”
Does this help anyone? Once again, that question can be debated, however for some mental health conditions, it can cause more harm than good:
“According to the most-basic tenets of psychology, helping people with anxiety disorders avoid the things they fear is misguided,” he continues.
Trigger Warnings and Addiction Treatment
When dealing with addiction treatment, addicts who seek treatment come from all types of background and find they are more sensitive to certain things than others. Professionals in the addiction field work to help those seeking treatment develop the tools to lead a healthy life in recovery.
In treatments, clients learn what triggers could result in a relapse. When It comes to addiction, triggers are a very real thing. A person, place, event, or unresolved mental health are triggers in addiction. Therapists help addicts understand what their triggers are. Ultimately, each person has to decide whether to avoid all their triggers or try to overcome them.
For those early in recovery, facing triggers can be a very dangerous idea. Therefore, trigger warnings appearing before photos or content that could raise temptation might be helpful. However, years into the recovery, triggers may not be triggering at all.
Everyone should play an active role in helping others feel comfortable and safe. Sometimes it is good to be aware of how you affect other and what types of things affect you emotionally. You may have to navigate life avoiding triggers and paying more attention to the positives. In recovery, you learn the tools you need to succeed. Take it a day at a time. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.
Author: Shernide Delva
The complexity around homelessness and alcoholism is one that most people choose to ignore. It is easier to ignore the drunken panhandler on the street than consider the possible solutions to reduce the problem. However, for cities that struggle with a large homeless population, advocates fight for policies that will allow the homeless population to seek shelter despite their struggles with alcoholism. The question is, should homeless shelters require sobriety?
While there are people who want to help the homeless population, there are difficulties in helping people in these situations. Policies in communities around how homeless alcoholics are treated and housed in the community have long caused controversy Even if a homeless shelter caseworker can get a housing voucher for an individual; they have to find a landlord who is willing to rent to a street alcoholic. The reality is, according to surveys, 38% of homeless people abuse alcohol while 26% regularly use other drugs. These statistics confirm that drug addiction among the homeless population is significantly higher than the general population.
Let’s say a homeless person acquires access to a homeless shelter. At the shelter, there are very limited support services to help the client adapt and adjust to their new environment. Their alcoholism is rarely addressed nor is the psychological needs of the individual. As a result, they are often evicted which starts the cycle of homelessness all over again.
Whether or not homeless addicts should have access to resources is a complicated problem and no one is entirely at fault. On one hand, a homeless person with substance abuse problems could be a liability to those around them and the staff. On the other hand, this issue must be addressed because some cities spend tens, or hundreds of thousands of dollars a year through crisis services who take care of this population.
But is it Enabling ?
Some feel that homeless people who are under the influence should not be allowed to reside in a homeless shelter or have access to government assistance. They believe that allowing access to these resources could be enabling the person to continue using. After all, if they have access to these facilities while using, why stop? This is the exact reason why numerous shelters do not allow anyone who is under the influence of alcohol (at all) to stay. The thought has always remained to demand abstinence. Anything else just encourages the behaviors.
Other disagrees and offers other solutions. Bob Fowler is the executive director of the Milestone foundation. The facility has been operating out of Portland, Maine since 1967. Fowler believes that providing resources to people in need are better than denying them access at all. Sometimes harm reduction is a goal worth fighting for.
“For me, this is a basic harm reduction approach. The people we serve are dealing with drug and alcohol addiction as well as homelessness. Depriving shelter to these individuals won’t do a thing to help the addiction. Engagement and compassion, on the other hand, just might,” Fowler said in a recent interview.
There are two sides to every argument, and Fowler’s point of view does make sense. Perhaps housing concerns should be addressed before anything else. Instead of a person attempting sobriety before fixing the rest of their life, in this case, it may be better to provide resources prior to achieving sobriety. Finding homeless people a place to live first may provide them with the support they need to tackle their health concerns later. It provides a healthier existence, which could result in them choosing to drink less on their own.
This is an issue that will continue to raise controversy. In the same ways that harm reduction methods for drug addiction continue to raise controversy. Just recently, states like New York has implemented safe injection facilities that some argue are enabling people, rather than helping them in life after sobriety.
Still, there is something to be said about harm reduction programs. If anything, options like this need to be considered. The rates of overdoses continue to soar. If there is a way of reducing these numbers, it should be brought to the table. Options like these can at least be part of the solution. If your or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.
Substance Abuse Treatment in Clyde Hill, WA: Knowing the Options
There are various locations for substance abuse treatment in Clyde Hill, WA and each has a different approach to the process of recovery. Make sure you do your research to find what addresses what is most important to you, and make the choice of substance abuse treatment in Clyde Hill, WA based on your personal needs. You should always keep in mind that in substance abuse treatment in Clyde Hill, WA offers a multitude of treatment options to choose from, including:
Anyone can become confused or over-whelmed by asking recovering alcoholics or drug addicts about substance abuse treatment in Clyde Hill, WA or how they personally overcame their substance abuse. They may describe such different and appeal approaches. Some popular suggestions are listed as:
- Self-help groups
Essential to successful treatment one thing is certain: practically any approach will work for some of the people, some of the time. Simply put, successful recovery has got to be tailor-made for each individual. A great deal of variation exists in the degree of dependence among drug users, and the programs substance abuse treatment in Clyde Hill, WA can provide.
Substance Abuse Treatment in Clyde Hill, WA: Effective Factors of Treatment
Knowing the extent of your recovery program is vital to achieving permanent sobriety. Any substance abuse treatment in Clyde Hill, WA should offer the following services:
- Safe environment where participants are screened for drugs and alcohol
- Counseling where individual emotional issues can be addressed
- Emphasis on healthy living
- Should be licensed and accredited by appropriate governing authorities
- Fully licenses and certified staff
- Continuing recover plans including peer review and counseling
- Relapse prevention plan
- Stress management counseling
Substance Abuse Treatment in Clyde Hill, WA: The Purpose of Treatment
Most centers for long-term substance abuse treatment in Clyde Hill, WA typically charge anywhere between $11,000 and $24,000 or more per month. So it is very important to learn everything about the options, from 30-day inpatient programs to hospitalization for addiction before choosing the best treatment plan to begin your recovery. After completing a healthy detox, the usual next phase in combating substance abuse or alcoholism is an inpatient program. These institutions for substance abuse treatment in Clyde Hill, WA create a safe place for patients to transition. Patients attend support groups, group and individual therapy sessions, and are still monitored by a medical staff to ease them through them out of active addiction. This actually makes it easier to understand the disease of addiction for the individual by dealing with both personal problems and clinical staff that can help. Substance abuse treatment in Clyde Hill, WA is designed to teach men and women how to cope with stress, and to learn about substance abuse and addiction, as well as the effects of such behaviors on daily life and the body.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse or addiction and is looking for substance abuse treatment in Clyde Hill, WA please call 1-800-951-6135.
Today’s blog was inspired by this latest bit of “recovery”-related news:
A man stopped by police after someone reported seeing something suspicious “told police that he was staying at the Boca House, a sober living halfway house for men, and they did not allow visitors to stay overnight. Police say the man put his girlfriend in a large hockey equipment bag so he could take her into his apartment. The girlfriend told police that she voluntarily got into the bag.”
I say this is “recovery”-related because, although it has to do with a halfway house, it’s not a sign of strong recovery. Nevertheless, we all have them – our sexcapades – the ridiculous things we did in the name of getting booty in early recovery. Let’s face it, once the drugs were out of our system, our libidos became a force to be reckoned with. And as addicts, we are by nature, pleasure-seeking beings. So, here it is, a list of some of the crazy things and risks we took for some of that sweet, sweet lovin’.
Consummating a rehab romance in a department store fitting room
Bumping uglies in the backseat of your car in some undoubtedly sketchy darkened parking lot
Hooking up in the back of the druggie buggie on the way to groups, and on the way home
Finding an empty group room in which to “get it on” while everyone else is still at breakfast
Here in south Florida, a common “sextination” is the beach after dark – it’s awkward when the local teens show up because that’s just something they do on Friday nights, so I’ve heard
The family bathroom at Walmart: a single bathroom that has a deadbolt on the door – perfect; I know a couple of people who resorted to this one; they made sure to bring a large, cushy blanket to spread out on the floor – yes, the floor of a public bathroom
Having sex while your roommate is in the room and, *hopefully* sleeping soundly
Scaling a wall to the second floor where the female apartments are, this was called “spiderman-ing up” where I was living
Forging an overnight pass and getting a motel room – this time, for booty-slappin, not crack-smoking…wow, things have changed
Hooking up with one (or more) of the techs and therefore ensuring a full-proof hook-up plan – until you both get found out, that is
Sneaking into your slam piece’s room and then hiding in the closet, under the bed, or out on the back porch till after their bed-check
Being the reason the maintenance crew was ordered to remove the locks from the laundry room door – it doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the spin cycle (but it might)
Having the cajones to sneak someone in from across the country and suddenly becoming a magician by making that person and their huge suitcase disappear during a surprise spot-check
It’s fun to get a kick out of these ridiculous ways that people will try to get around the rules to get it on, but what kind of dignity or respect do you have for yourself if this is what you resort to? What does it say about your chances of staying sober if you can’t even follow the rules for a couple of months?
These rules exist for a very good reason – to keep us out of relationships in our early recovery because we need to focus on ourselves and on regaining self-worth. If we rush into a relationship, whether purely physical or something more, we are cutting our chances at being successful at recovering from a very serious and life-threatening disease. Many of us also have issues with codependency and so it is unhealthy to jump into a relationship and seek out validation from another person. And not to mention how many people relapse when these relationships don’t work out.
A lot of us also have what is called ‘cross addictions’ to sex and drugs, and sometimes that doesn’t even become clear until after the drugs are out of our system and we start replacing that drug euphoria with the high of having-especially-risky sex. And this leads to yet another serious consideration: the spread of disease. If you made it through active addiction without having contracted a sexually transmitted disease, you’re not necessarily out of the clear. Just because you are clean and your new-found love is, too, doesn’t mean he or she is disease-free.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, drug addiction, or sex addiction please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135