The National Association of Recovery Residences (NARR) with the Society of Community Research and Action (SCRA) has developed a policy statement on the value of Recovery Residences. Studies are showing the positive effects of these homes in long-term sobriety and they are now promoting education and training to increase referrals to recovery residences by social workers. They are also promoting programs to educate political leaders and the public of their efficacy as a resource for individuals, families, and communities throughout the U.S.
“Individuals build resources while living in a recovery residence that will continue to support their recovery as they transition to living independently and productively in the community.” A Primer on Recovery Residences in the United States released by NARR found among other notable benefits:
Participation in a recovery residence decreases in-treatment and post-treatment relapse rates and significantly increases recovery outcomes
They do not negatively affect neighborhoods and may even provide benefits to communities
More Research Needed
The policy statement also recommends that organizations such as the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Drug Abuse, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration provide funding for critical research related to Recovery Residences and their integration into existing health care initiatives being launched by state and federal government agencies. It also calls for strategies to educate and train addiction professionals and other health and human services professionals on the value of Recovery Residences, as well as public education and anti-stigma campaigns.
It is imperative that industry professionals and organizations support these actions as well as any movements that advocate for additional research of addiction treatment and the efficacy of Recovery Residences in the continuum of care.
With all the positive findings regarding recovery residences, it is perplexing why so many of them receive an onslaught of opposition from neighborhoods and communities. They call this the NIMBY syndrome or “not in my backyard.” Such mindsets only serve to perpetuate the stigma that all people who are recovering from an addiction are something less than stand-up citizens. This is like setting them up to fail before they even get out of the gate. Overcoming an addiction of any kind is extremely difficult; probably harder than anything else a person will encounter in their entire lives. The fact that they are brave enough to come forward and get help speaks volumes about their character. Society should be showing support and offering assistance instead of making it even more difficult for them to make a positive change.
Like so many other things in this world, this issue would be better served with love instead of fear. Praise them for having the courage to do what it takes to live a happier, healthier life! It’s finally becoming clear that recovery residences are a necessary component on that journey.