In Silver Springs, Maryland, there is a community of halfway homes called The Oxford House. Since 1975, the self-supporting drug-free home has hosted between six and 15 residents at a time, each. From the outside, these 1,900 houses appear to be typical community sober homes. But the business has drawn attention from researchers like psychologist Leonard Paul of DePaul University for both efficiency and a unique approach: The Oxford house employs zero professional staff, advocates not one specific method of recovery, and lets residents stay for as long as they wish. Individuals who seek treatment at these establishments are significantly less likely to relapse than patients treated by typical outpatient programs and self-help groups.
Participants in an Oxford house are free to go about treatment in whichever way they choose. The emphasis is on supporting whichever decision they make as a community that offers guidance and collaboration. Following an assessment of about 2,000 houses and their rates of success, Dr. Paul noted that the safer the neighborhood, and the stronger the community connections, the more likely addicts were to remain sober. He believes recovering addicts and caring communities thrive off each other—a “win-win situation.” This puts energy into their community in helpful ways, like community service, and the community in turn shows their appreciation with more support.
Not everyone supports the Oxford model— in areas like Mississippi, the governor has asked the Department of Health to pull the plug—but the importance of community support is a universal truth among experts.
Remember, though, that such programs are only for recovering addicts: they teach you to live sober, not to get sober. If you’re currently suffering from addiction, consult with your doctor about treatment options or contact The Last Resort. We maintain the same belief that community is the way forward in recovery.
To get a sense of our approach to addiction here at The Last Resort, please explore our website. Feel free to give us a call for further information: (512)-360-3600