Sober living homes can save lives. They have good success rates of individuals staying sober whereas without a stable sober housing opportunity many young adults suffering with drug or alcohol addiction experience successive failed treatments. This revolving experience of treatment/relapse is very damaging to these young adults who already often suffer with low self esteem issues. Without a supportive, long term sober living opportunity, repeated relapse cycles are almost inevitable. Tragically this cycle will eventually and likely culminate in a revolving door of incarceration or death by overdose.
Currently, there is a Fentanyl opioid epidemic that is taking young adults’ lives at an unprecedented rate. Many overdose deaths occur after a young adult has succeeded in seeking detox and doing treatment. Unfortunately, these courageous steps rarely prevent relapse when there is no sober housing to transition to following detox and inpatient treatment. Oregon ranks as one of the three worst states in the United States both for drug addiction as well as for lack of drug treatment facilities. Sober living opportunities of one year or more are one of the most needed and least available treatment resources. Ask any addict with long term recovery success who made it out of repeated cycles of relapse what finally made the difference and they will almost uniformly name a structured, affordable sober living environment of one year duration. And yet this is a nonexistent opportunity in Tillamook county or our north county. .
Our local youth must leave the area to receive Drug&Alcohol Detox and initial inpatient treatment. After these initial 3-6 weeks of treatment they are spewed back out with often no solid housing available or if they can find sober housing it is more often than not in the Portland area. Making it newly sober in Portland when their life experience, families, job connections and community are our 3 villages is a huge culture shock. In spite of honest attempts to adapt, heal and stay sober, this culture shock is often overwhelming and an element of potential relapse.
Sober young adults are an asset to our community! They are an immediate source of workers for local businesses. They are a role model of sobriety to other local youth. In this way they also contribute to create a sober youth culture in our community which is extremely needed and generally lacking. A working residential sober living farm would also be a remarkable resource if any of the farms in our area can imagine helping to birth this opportunity.
As a community we have always shown insight, leadership and the ability to get remarkable things done. Isn’t it time we applied our collective resources to help save the lives of some our most vulnerable?
Please contact me if you are interested to help in any way. I have been focused on this need for a number of years now and have a network of information and resources. Sheila Moran