117: Is There Recovery in Recovery Houses? (Sort Of)

We talk with John about recovery houses. How effective is recovery housing? Are there certain practices that take place in some recovery houses that are useful to assisting recovery to take place? Are there things recovery houses are doing that aren’t beneficial at all? What makes a “good” recovery house? What can house owners and managers do differently that might inspire recovery? Should recovery housing in some way become part of the medical recovery process, so that there’s more oversight and evidenced based practices in place, and also so that it can be somewhat covered by insurance? Listen in as we explore the world of recovery housing. Join the conversation by leaving a message, emailing us at RecoverySortOf@gmail.com,  or find us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, or find us on our website at www.recoverysortof.com.

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recovery sort of is a podcast where we discuss recovery topics from the perspective of people living in long-term recovery this podcast does not intend to represent the views of any particular group organization or fellowship the attitudes expressed are solely the opinion of its contributors be advised there may be strong language or topics of an adult nature

welcome back it’s recovery sort of i’m jason a guy who kind of was in a recovery house at one point and i’m billy i’m a person in long-term recovery my name is john i’m an addict who’s been in every single halfway house in delaware and maryland is about and if you haven’t guessed today we’re going to talk about recovery houses whether they’re useful what they’re like if there’s any standard if they follow a similar guideline to each other and that’s what john here is for so we’re gonna we’re gonna let john go ahead and tell us a little bit about himself my name is john mcgee um i’m an addict i was born an addict like um and uh i got almost 10 months now i’ve been in almost every recovery house around um and i stopped doing drugs my life got better this is basically um i’m a chronic relapser i grew up in delaware and i came out to maryland five years ago and did the halfway house tour um so yeah that’s that that’s who i am i guess crackhead dope head did it all um addicted to more and i did anything to make me not feel or to feel so yeah so how did you find out about recovery like was it what’s been the normal routine like is it go to treatment get out of treatment go to a recovery house and then progress on that seems to be the the logical path for most people i didn’t find out about recovery or rehab or any of that until i went to jail so i got locked up in ccdc in elkton and when i was in there for good time i started taking these classes and i met a guy in there who’s bringing classes in and uh when i got out he let me come over he let me sleep at his house for five days until i got into a halfway house my first one in elkton maryland yeah now when you say classes you mean like meeting like n a meetings it was n a meetings there was some kind of drug class brought in by the health department and it was useless yeah it was a real [ _ ] joke because i did a lot of h and i in jails and we would come in and they would say n a classes are now being held in the cafeteria and i would always just be like we’re not [ _ ] classes like i’m not here to teach anybody anything when i used to work at a place in in like a manufacturing plant and there was another guy in there that was in n a and the people there would always ask him like you still in them classes like i never understood the the you’re gonna graduate or something yeah i mean i get a diploma so what was your first recovery house like what was that experience and did it seem like it was helpful so my first one i got out of ccdc and i moved into a house called solutions that doesn’t exist anymore and so they were not the solution hey we called ourselves the solution boys and because we had the solution and i relapsed so going back to what was like that you said that was your first introduction to recovery how long yeah um i stayed there for about a m i want to say two months and i got kicked out clean honestly for uh being late now it seems like each halfway house has certain rules and regulations and there’s like different grades to them this one had a curfew um you had to go to so many meetings you had a house meeting at the end of the week and i i think i think it was a good house i mean it really depends on the people in it honestly if you get like a good house with people that are serious about recovery and are serious about changing their lives i’m a big supporter of like you are who you hang out with and if you put yourself around good people you will become a good person even if you’re a piece of [ _ ] like me and that’s basically how i got to where i am today not saying that i’m not a piece of [ _ ] but i’m a better piece of [ __ ] than i was four years ago not a dry dusty piece of a little fresher solid and you mentioned different levels and things so from what i understand there are there’s recovery housing which is based on like addiction recovery it usually has some sort of house managers yeah and like rules and regulations about whatever how many meetings you should go to or what recovery you’re doing then there are halfway houses which are i guess a little different they aren’t always based around recovery so they don’t necessarily require you to go to certain amounts of meetings and things like that and then there are three quarter way houses which are even a level looser than that probably almost more like what you described where you were is where you’re just almost like a roommate you’re expected to sort of take care of yourself and manage most of your life on your own correct and i have lived in every one of them um the three-quarter so i went to solutions and then i ended up in an oxford house and that’s a three-quarter house we manage ourselves there’s no house manager we pay our rent we meet up once a once a week and we discuss our bills we pay everything but we still drug test each other and we hold each other accountable now for that like that worked for me for a very long time um just because the way my work schedule is and the kind of personality i am like i want freedom but i still need someone to hold me accountable at the end of the day and that did that was that did that for me for a long time and if you want to get high in those houses like there’s ways there’s if you want to get high you’re going to get high no matter what you got to want it and uh but i had a lot of fun in those oxford houses a lot of fun you know you got this you you’re able to like go sleep somewhere two nights a week you’re able to have people come over into your room and they could sleep over for a night or two during the week and i ran with that yeah and from what i understand of three-quarter houses like you’re more um the rules aren’t necessarily governed it’s more the group of people that are in the house kind of decide if behaviors are okay or not okay right where you can like if if you can have these sleepovers or whatever or if you can have people stay there like it’s it’s kind of really up to the group of people at the house yes all in favor of john getting laid tonight basically that’s basically basically so so that’s where they voted against that like they were like no no women for john for at least 60 days wow yeah because you didn’t live by that did you i did for a little bit but yeah 60 minutes i just went over to the mommy and me house it was right down the street they call it the mommy and mcgee house honestly

mommy and me oh boy mcgee and me the milf house yeah um so you meant you like you said you came out of jail and went to a recovery house yeah i came out of jail and was a straight animal like i would introduce myself as johnny the dumpster like i didn’t know how to live i didn’t i was using drugs since i was 15 and i was raised by addicts so it was like my whole life was getting high i mean or manipulation and and all that i never had any real role models so like when i was 10 years old i was like i want to be like the people around me and i want to get high i want to you know and it took me to finding going to these halfway houses and meeting people that had actual long time long term goals and stuff like that to realize what i really wanted in life and these halfway houses helped build me to to what i am today not saying that i’m great or anything but i’m not getting high you know and um i i feel like i’m somewhat of a good person well and they i i guess the idea is they help with their recidivism you know they introduce you back into society you know like paying bills like that’s a normal thing for normal people but us living on the streets getting high with a book bag you know i have a skill set like i can ruin my whole life with twenty dollars like i’m really good at it i can use 20 bucks and be homeless in 10 minutes like and go survive in the city with a book bag and like going to a place where there’s rules where i’ve never had rules my whole life like i could smoke weed at 13 in my house as i was watching tv like it was nothing you know at 15 i was smoking crack with my mom like i never had any rules so i moved in these houses and they’re like i’m 32 years old and they’re like you got to be home by 10 o’clock and i’m like what the [ _ ] like i got what well and also it’s men or other people that have been through similar situations to you they’ve been in and out of jail they’ve been used and they’ve been homeless on the street so it’s not like it’s a no it’s just not churches but it’s not like it’s a church or somebody else telling you these rules like it’s other recovering people people that have two years clean you know that are watching me saying i’m gonna be home at this time and i’m like [ _ ] and they’re like it works for me you know and it’s the truth you know i i just followed the rules as best i could until i got kicked out of most of them now how about like paying rent like were you able to pay rent right away or do they pay right away i had funding through uh different different uh corporations i guess or whatever uh outreach places voices of hope being one of them paid my rent once or twice uh there’s all different kinds rca acr acr acr yeah yeah i mean places like this would pay my rent until i could find a job and get on my own feet and that was a big thing like i feel like with these houses like you go in and you’re you’re broken you don’t have anything and you get the funding and you just get to try to get a job as best as fast as you can and i’m lucky with that because i have a trade and you just start saving up money you start accumulating things accumulating time away from drugs and so when the funding runs out you have a little bit of money put to the side so you can pay your rent and i would suggest stay there for a year and uh if you can stay out of relationships and uh

is that really a thing it i when i first came around i didn’t think it was i was like [ __ ] these guys i’m gonna get laid you know and then i fell in love with the wrong person and uh i thought i was the worst addict in the world until i met her

well then and they just say water seeks its own level sick is sick

so save up the money and then uh work on yourself wait and see before you move out make sure you got like a year clean you have a car you have everything you need and you have enough money to buy your apartment and still have money left over so you’re not struggling when you get out this is like the time to rebuild rebuild your life whatever or rebuild or build like with me i had to build one because i never had one so i just stuck around there eventually i became a house well assistant house manager one of the houses and um i still try to uh work with the halfway houses today as best i can give them rides or i’m i’m the n a plumber so i go around and help and do the plumbing in all the recovery houses so i get to see all the new guys coming in and [ _ ] so gotcha yeah so it sounds like for people either coming out of treatment or coming out of being incarcerated or or just looking for a change normally that you know they’re going to be the people or the halfway house or recovery house is going to be the place where you can surround yourself with hopefully good people that are in recovery in some sort of program that wants are going to be trying to change and help you uh navigate that that change of environments like you said going from living either on the streets or in jail or you know with using to a more manageable step one yeah definitely step one for uh coming into one and just meeting friends like i that’s where i met most of my friends in halfway houses or in the rooms and uh it just it i found family there you know because of the way i used and the people i used with i had to cut all those people off and make find new friends and family and uh because of the halfway houses and n a i found that and that’s what keeps me clean now have you been any more like really structured ones with a lot of rules and because of course the three-quarter way or halfway houses usually have less rules or the house sets up you know the rules have you been in like an actual like strict recovery house with blackouts and take your phone and all that fun [ _ ] i was i was in this one called the will house in bel air and it’s a good program it really is it’s good people in there when i moved in i wasn’t allowed to have a phone for i think two weeks wasn’t allowed to leave the property unless it was for work without another person so i’d have like two people with me and me and another person like we weren’t allowed to leave the property even to go to the store you had to have someone with you um and it was we on friday nights we had to eat dinner together like that was a new thing eat dinner together and then we had to do an in-house meeting you know um it’s it’s good it just wasn’t at that point i was a veteran to these halfway houses and i’m like i don’t need all this you know what i mean like when i first came here like i said i was a monster i was i didn’t know anything and i was just crazy and then over time you know gotten better and then i went to that house that was a great house and uh i just felt like it was too much structure for me at that point even though i relapsed before you know but it just yeah i was in a one-year program once in baltimore called the helping up mission i mean it’s not a halfway house it’s like a huge halfway house building and uh it was very church based and uh you had classes during the day it was more it was a program i guess it wasn’t a halfway house but that that was the most structured place i’ve ever been even more structured than jail i mean honestly in jail they just put you in a cage this place they want to walk you around you got to wear dress up to go to church and every day it was just ridiculous i it’s not my thing i’m not that religious of a person to be going to church every day how long did you make it there two weeks only two weeks that’s 1 26 of the program i mean it’s not terrible i’m really bothered like because i’m a guy who lives in this world of balance i’m really bothered that there’s halfway houses and three-quarter houses and not one quarter houses i don’t know why that just what would a one-quarter house be is that like the program you were yeah i’m guessing that’s like dexter yeah i don’t know that’s one i didn’t go to that’s the but dexter they say that it has very good out um turnover like they like the best in the state i think well from what i understand i mean just my never been in a recovery house but sponsoring people or being around people that have been in houses it’s like any of the programs can be successful it’s all up to the participant to exactly to give in and and do it you know it’s like if you go there to any of them and decide you’re going to do what the [ _ ] you want to do and not follow rules and try to manipulate and conch it you’re going to get what you get you know yeah you get in what you put in is what you get out of this and but from what i understand like dexter gives you like a lot of the tools you need to to succeed you know like counseling and and um they make sure you go to meetings they they um they they’re around most of the time good people because they’re hand-picked and from one understand it has a really good overturn of people staying clean after they get out of the program and i think one of the goals of any recovery housing should be is my [ _ ] two cents even though i don’t manage any recovery houses is to develop that like support group or support network for recovery one of my criticisms is and this is what i had experienced when i went through treatment is a lot of times in treatment they’ll tell you not to go to a recovery house in the area where you’re from you know because the risk of going back to your home environment so they want to send you to a new environment but for me like my family and everybody that i you know loved and cared about that wasn’t in my addiction was all here in cecil county i didn’t want to [ _ ] leave like this is where my family was everyone’s different i had to leave delaware to come here to try to get clean and that didn’t work out so then i had to go to bel air and go to the halfway house delaware was too close to maryland where we are yeah yeah we’ll go with that we’ll go with that i and uh when i moved out to bel air i didn’t know anyone i mean just the people that i met going to the treatment center out there and i just kept on doing what i was doing what i was doing here when i was clean like when i’m clean i’m trying to i do the 100 you know i’m going to meetings i’m talking to people i’m you know uh step work and everything and when i moved out there i when i was here i had distractions from past relationships that seemed that would take me out so when i moved out to bel air it wasn’t it was it was like i could reinvent myself again because when i when i first came here everyone knew me as johnny the dumpster you know and like this this facade of myself and i would walk in the rooms and scream mcgee and i would be like ah you know and get pulled back into that even though i’m trying to change but like my first year here i was crazy so when i moved out to bel air i just kind of shut up a little bit and listened more and just reinvented myself out there with the halfway house communities and with n a and uh because the way i was doing it before just wasn’t working you know i kind of just put my head down and shut up a little bit so how useful i mean we talk about this and i don’t want to single out any particular house but a house that maybe is a little more selective about who they take in and we talk about oh well it seems like they have good outcomes but one does it seem like it or do they right and two how effective is that for the people who can’t get in like that’s gotta feel pretty well it’s not good for the people that can’t get in because they’re not getting in there right i mean but so it’s really like well how useful is this place are they just hand selecting people that have a good chance of making it is that what’s increasing their chances like could those people make it anywhere i don’t know what the selective how they how they select the people that they’re that they’re letting in maybe it’s something to do with how willingness they want to be when they do the interview you know what i mean like some of these places they they want to put you in therapy they want to take your money they want to like the man house and and um in bel air you’re not allowed a cell phone for i think the whole time you live there you have to go to one meeting a day probably super healthy yeah you have chores you have to do and and i mean it’s it’s your program and it’s the man house because you’re not allowed to talk to any girls you’re not allowed to do any of that and it’s super is that why they call it the man house i i think it’s actually called the manhouse it’s named after the woman that was in aaa and her last name was man i don’t know the history of aaa that well but the man house is named after a woman named man her last name was man i’m pretty sure something like that i yeah and uh and uh has a high success rate you know how does that work in the world of 2021 where we’re we’re much more understanding of the idea that not everybody’s you know heterosexual i i don’t know that’s it gets a good point there i feel like the man house could turn into the new ymca it’s fun to stay at the m a n n so i heard this concept recently and i wanted to run it by you but it’s coming up sort of in this conversation so i’m gonna bring it up now it’s called pro social shaming have you heard that term before no okay so we always have this idea that shaming of anyone seems pretty good like you shouldn’t ever shame people that’s a that’s a derogatory term well there’s this concept that’s called pro social shaming which is in groups and i imagine this like a really structured halfway house like that is one of them is that they come up with these cultures and these norms within that community and if you don’t adhere to them you know they will in essence shame you to bring you back in fold with the groups and what they found is that groups with this high uh like a lot of rules and a lot of regulations and a lot of this pro-social shaming typically have more success than more open programs if you look at like christian churches it’s almost like the more structured and rigid they are in a lot of the beliefs though like the bigger the church denominations are because people like the camaraderie like there’s some there’s some benefits that come with being in that tight group there’s a lot of you know benefits that come from the group yeah another little boy’s telling the pastor yeah that’s true but if you allow other people to come in what they use the term freeloaders if you allow all these freeloaders to come in and and get all the benefits of the group without the pro-social shaming they will actually break down and destroy the group so it’s an interesting concept i just i hadn’t heard it before and i was like huh you know is that why like a program that is really structured with all these rules like we’re gonna take your phone and we’re gonna some of them have like blackouts like you’re not allowed to talk to any people outside of that house for 30 days two weeks or four weeks you only can communicate or get rides from people within the house you know things like that if all that pro-social shaming leads to higher levels of success too so genetically it makes sense right we’re kind of wired to be in these groups of like you’re either in the in crowd or you die like that’s sort of our genetic history 14 000 years ago but i i mean i i think that concept’s interesting i could see why it leads to success but i don’t know necessarily that we need to do that to equal success right i think the successful part of that might come from this idea of inclusivity right reading a parent book a long time ago parenting book it was talking about this idea of like when you want to give your kids a guideline that you guys do you you use your last name and and you say we’re we don’t do this right you’re part of this group we’re crystals we’re mcgees we’re turks and we don’t do that right because it makes people feel a part of very especially and so yeah if you’re in a house and and they’ve got these rules and you’re on the inside of that that probably does feel really inclusive and connecting and we talk about you know the opposite of uh you know addiction is connection sometimes so i could imagine that would work i just i don’t know that we need to necessarily do it that way well and my concern was well that’s great for the success of the group but is that good for the success of the whole of our community you know what i mean like it’s great that that house can save 20 people but what about the other and fifty people that need help right they feel even worse there’s only so many rooms yeah i mean that’s one thing did you ever interview and get turned down somewhere many times many times and how does it feel to think oh that program’s successful but i’m just too bad for them too i mean i understand why it was done with me you know yes yeah on um andrew he uh would not let me go to his halfway house because he knew if i moved back to elkton that i would be high again in six months because of my my uh the track record track record yeah i ended up moving staying in bel air and then became successful i mean thus far you know how do we know that wouldn’t happen if you came here though just from the past i mean i would move i honestly i can’t i don’t know how many halfway houses i lived in because some of them i lived in the same one four times right you know like uh why i went i lived in everyone in elkton every halfway house in elkton and some and i think two of them i lived one four times and i lived in the other one six times so over the pat over how are you saying there’s been what six i think that i know of there was a couple in limitless uh oxford principles um bagwa i didn’t live in basketball that’s the only one i didn’t live in solutions uh then one of them moved to a different house um what yeah i think that’s it yeah yeah but i lived in all of them multiple times solutions i lived there three times like it wasn’t just a one stay thing it was there multiple times and then i even tried delaware with the oxford houses and that that was good it was just that i wasn’t ready i would get a uppercut and with some feelings and some emotions and i knew exactly where to go you know in delaware because that’s where i was raised so i went straight to the city you know i was i was 10 minutes away and i only had one experience with a recovery house and it set me off like i never went out of treatment i always just went home because i had good family supports my parents didn’t use and i didn’t have to go home to a using environment and they were positive support so i didn’t go into recovery housing then but when i did get in recovery this time um it was more just a personal choice like i just woke up one day it’s like i’m [ _ ] done i’m gonna get clean i started going to meetings like about 30 days in i went to this recovery house and interviewed and it was uh i want to say it was an oxford house i’m pretty sure it was and i interviewed with all the people at the house and then they voted and said no it sounds like an oxford house and so that left a bad taste in my mouth with recovery housing i was always like [ _ ] that [ _ ] that’s you know and that was it i was i never went it’s definitely it all depends on the people in the house i mean for real especially in the oxford house if you in a in an oxford house if someone gets high they can hide it you know but just because of the people it that there’s no manager and it’s the people managing it but i’ve i’ve always said if someone gets high in a halfway house it’s like strawberries in the refrigerator one gets moldy and like you leave it in the fridge that mold is going to jump to the next berry to the next berry and then you have a sick house you know and then they have uh outreach that are like the oxford police that come over and they drug test the whole house and clean clean up shop kick everyone out or whatever they got to do move a couple people to different houses you know so and we’ve seen that here or at least i’ve experienced that here in this recovery community like there’s been times i’ve known people that been in different houses you know for long periods of time and they seem to be really good and and they have a really successful program you see a lot of their people at meetings are engaged in recovery supports and you know it seems really good and then a couple of months go by and then you hear like oh [ _ ] everybody in that house is getting high now and you know yeah whole house it can change on a dime you know are there any things like are there any indicators that you’ve ever noticed that would be like oh this maybe isn’t a good place or do you not really know going in until you get in you really don’t know going in because you know we’re all addicts and we’re good at hiding things putting on a good face and living with somebody you learn a lot about them and you see that their habits of coming home watching tv taking a shower i mean just whatever because there’s only so many bathrooms in the house if someone starts coming home and going straight to their room for three hours and then coming out in their work clothes still and you’re like whoa you know what’s going on with you you know you just went upstairs and shot dope and fell asleep in your bed you know usually you come home take a shower put on your nice clothes cook dinner and then go to a meeting if you’re just coming home going straight to bed either you had a really hard day but if you’ve been doing it for two weeks now like you’re up to something you just you just pay attention to what people do and especially if you live with them for a while you know i mean i’ve been that guy that came home from work and went upstairs and [ _ ] smoked crack in the halfway house doesn’t i’ve done it and i’m not proud of it but i did it and let me tell you don’t do it it is [ _ ] paranoid you have you’re in a room in a house with eight other guys and you’re smoking crack now when i smoke crack i’m paranoid already but now i’m in a recovery house with eight other people and the only thing someone has to do is walk in my room and i’m kicked out you know it’s way worse than the cops thinking that the cops are coming when you said you smoked crack in a recovery house all i could think was you can’t peek out the blinds they’re going to come in the [ _ ] door right i’m like do you cut like a mail slot in your

i always thought of that with people that go to meetings high i’m like that is the last [ __ ] place i would ever want to be highs at a meeting and i’ve been there too it sucks

this episode has been brought to you in part by voices of hope inc a non-profit recovery organization made up of people in recovery family members and allies together members strive to protect the dignity of those that use drugs and those in recovery by advocating for treatment harm reduction and support resources and mentoring please visit us at www.voices hope and consider donating to our calls

so what what makes a good recovery house like are there certain practices besides the people right i get that like the environment is definitely going to make it but like is there certain qualifications have you seen certain things over time that you’re like oh these practices kind of work these were somewhat useless it’s honestly like i feel like there’s levels like there’s a like you start here and then you can work your way up to the three-quarter house like you know what i mean you come out at your first time in treatment your first time out of treatment your first time out of jail first time trying to get clean like go to a structured house for a little while get your you know get a job get on your own feet yeah you know get some stuff and then like start to go up in in the levels of stuff i mean that’s what i see that works a lot for people and end up in a three-quarter house so that you’re basically living on your own but you’re still being held accountable you know and then find some guys and get like a you know rent a room together so you still have some accountability before you go out into the world and with no accountability at all you know my first year held me accountable was honestly probation because i was over my head like i don’t want to go back to jail i have five years over my head you know and i went to these recovery houses and uh they were holding me accountable too um but rules that don’t make sense um honestly they’re real they all make sense because they’re it’s things that you that you should live by i mean like cleaning up you got a chore every day you got to take the trash out you know um the phone thing for a whole year that’s a little ridiculous honestly because like the kind of work i do i can get a phone call right now and saying like i gotta go go to a job and make some money like if i don’t have a phone what are they gonna write me a letter you know what i mean like so that doesn’t make sense to me not having a phone for a year but i understand why they take the phone away because that’s your connection to like your old life you know if you don’t get a new number and you don’t get it and you keep your same facebook like you can still have connections to your old life that you’re you know i mean like all your dealers and all your friends that you got high with like every time i got clean i had to get a new facebook and people that actually know me know that i have like 12. you know because i i had to start over reset my life you know so i understand it but i disagree with it it doesn’t fit me you know yeah and i’ve heard some other rules uh one of them that always struck me a little weird and again i kind of get it but it doesn’t seem overly helpful is that you have to leave the house by a certain time in the day and then you can’t come back till a certain time at night and that’s regardless of if you have a job or anything else like you have to leave by nine o’clock or ten o’clock and then you can’t come back until five o’clock i forgot about that rule honestly because i went through that my first my first couple months in recovery in the solution house and i didn’t have a job i didn’t have an idea didn’t have a social security card didn’t have anything i came to that house like a trash bag of clothes if i had that and i had to hang out the health department until like one o’clock until i could go back to the house and like i see how it pushes you out of the house it tries to get rid of like freeloaders basically people that are just gonna sit there until your funding you know is up and then you’re back getting high again because that’s what a lot of people do in these recovery houses they get funding for two months they go to these halfway houses and they just they do nothing they don’t work on themselves they don’t try to be get a job they don’t try anything and they just freeload for two months and then boom they’re back on the streets living the way they have for many many years and they’re comfortable like that this is like a break for them to get some weight up you know maybe get some money in their pocket maybe if they decide to get a job you know and then i hear a lot of people say i i’m in a recovery house i’m not paying 150 a week that’s way too much money but it isn’t really because it’s the accountability that you’re paying for you know the accountability the the um networking and all that that keeps you clean because if you weren’t paying that and you’re just getting your own place no one’s holding you accountable anymore and a lot of people stay for three months get their own place and then they’re [ _ ] high their first week because they have no network and no you know none of that and they haven’t figured out they haven’t figured out their emotions and feelings and all that and you know and they get high so i’ll say and i don’t know that any one of these recovery house programs works better than another or doesn’t or any of that but my experience is being around meetings people who are in recovery houses i can’t say that like it stood out that any of these people necessarily did better because they were in a recovery house or not like i feel like yeah some people stay and some people don’t and same thing with the program you know right right it’s all up to the person i guess for me that raises the question like is this really because there’s a lot of money on the back end of this right that like people in recovery aren’t necessarily aware of like there’s tax breaks there’s all these different things that go into it right there’s state funding federal funding i can’t swear that actually this recovery house is doing anything because like you said it’s probably the same percentages of just everybody else that comes in and i don’t know that that justifies having them if it wasn’t for the halfway houses i wouldn’t i don’t know if i would know about recovery and i sure the hell wouldn’t had a place to go to grow to to be to continue my journey in recovery where i would i would i know i tell you what if i got out of jail and i had to live in elkton because of my probation and i had nowhere to go if i lived underneath a bridge i know i wouldn’t be going to meetings i would have been getting high and i would have went back to jail for five years so having the halfway house gave me an opportunity to grow into a better person because i had a place to go that was safe because of the way i live prior i would i you know i wouldn’t have took that opportunity to grow yeah and i imagine i mean and you mentioned it earlier and this is what i think is that that modeling of people that are trying to live clean and successful helps like so for myself i lived in a healthy family my parents paid bills we never went without food like we had stuff so i knew what normal life looked like i mean i couldn’t do it very well i would get my own place and not pay the bills and end up you know kicked out because i was using all my money on drugs yeah but it wasn’t i didn’t know how to do it i just chose not to do it whereas it sounds like your situation might have been a little different it doesn’t sound like yeah my role models didn’t help right we just bounced around you know my whole life so right like 11 schools in nine years so like we didn’t stay too long anywhere is there something we could do better though like instead of uh the recovery house system which each one seems different in its own ways and has its own rules and guidelines and and none of them seem to necessarily work better than any others i get that you’re saying it’s a it’s a good environment and something to introduce you to meetings and to network possibly is there some way because there’s a there’s complaints that like the medicalization of uh treatment for addiction is very much like hey you do this 28 day program or we detox you basically and then send you out in the world should we maybe do we need to medicalize further treatment whereas it’s not like maybe it’s more standardized maybe there’s more medical you know treatment type facilities that last longer that you live in that reorient you to the world are we doing it well having it just oh you know joe schmoe can go [ _ ] buy a house and turn it into a recovery house and make his own rules and do whatever well if there was like a perfect way to recover for for the average person i would say that they would go to a detox they would go to like a three month program of treatment so that their mind gets further away from the drug and then they start to miss reality of being in the real world and then go to a halfway house so that they get that taste of freedom from the treatment that they will get with the halfway house but it isn’t like too much you know what i mean so there’s still control and you’re getting like a little bit better a little bit a little bit more freedom a little bit more freedom and you appreciate that freedom more and then you know you move your way up the halfway house to a three-quarter house and you’re like huh eight months ago i was in a detox where i wasn’t allowed to leave the leave the grounds and then i and i was sick and then i went to a treatment where i wasn’t allowed to leave then i went to this house where i was allowed out until 10 o’clock and you just slowly progress being re reduced into society you know i mean that would be the perfect way for someone that’s i guess you know i i plan on opening my own recovery house in like a year honestly yeah yeah i mean if everything in my life keeps on going the way it does it’s a good i mean like you said there’s money in it and i like money and i i make money and then i don’t know what to invest in but i’ve been to so many of these houses that i know how they work and it’s i owe a lot to these halfway houses even though they kicked me out even though like i learned [ _ ] from getting kicked out of them honestly you know i learned a lot about myself called pro social shaming pro socially shame you until you’re better i mean this wasn’t a good thing to be asked to come and speak about the recovery houses it wasn’t like yeah you know you you it’s not a good thing to been to every recovery house in the state of delaware in maryland you know but it’s good that you’re not dead yes i’m very lucky to be alive many times over i mean when we think about standardization and and like do they need i feel like right now people can just kind of do whatever the [ _ ] they want and call it a recovery house right and yeah and it creates tough situations and no win situations right this person used do we put them out in the cold street tonight do we you know it’s it’s 10 30 at night do we let them stay till the morning do we try to get them back into detox instead of kicking them out like there’s it’s complicated i’m not saying there’s a good set of standards but i just feel like it’s way too wide open where you have houses like you said where everybody’s using or houses where everybody’s on point like well then on top of that they are trying so there’s work being done towards that getting down in the middle of the night well just getting more of a uh oversight or structure um carlos that we had on the one episode he does a lot of work in that area um but they’re they’re working towards that some sort of standardization of recovery housing um the other sort of back issue is that the state has a lot of it’s uh whatever you want to call it rules and regulations that it does put on houses that take state funding so if you’re going to take any sort of state funding there are certain rules that get uh pushed onto the houses that can cause some friction one of them being that if you take state funding you’re not supposed to be able to turn down people that are on medicaid assisted treatment so what do you do with someone who’s a on you know i’ll just say a heavy dose of you know yeah some sort of maintenance that’s in another house with a bunch of people of abstinence you know you can’t necessarily tell that guy he needs to go to 12-step meetings because that’s not in alignment with that treatment model and so that creates a whole nother like how do you regulate that like they’ve created a problem with that rule and the idea is great the idea is that anyone that’s on a maintenance program should have equal access to housing as anyone else we can’t just have every recovery house can’t just be abstinence-based then you have nothing to support people that choose a different pathway but the implicat or the application of that hasn’t been so easy to manage and my experience with the maintenance um regular halfway houses they either have like a maintenance house where everyone’s on maintenance and maybe the manager isn’t so he can watch them but he’s [ _ ] stressed the hell out all the time honestly and pulling his own hair out and then they have you know total absence of houses where no one’s getting high no one’s doing any i’m not getting high but no one’s on maintenance and then there’s oxford houses where you have a mixture and the people that are usually in maintenance in these houses usually don’t last too long because you know it’s it’s ran by the inmates and the inmates get jealous of seeing someone nod out at the couch because they’re methadone yeah because they’re you know [ _ ] takeovers in my fridge like [ _ ] yeah you know and you can’t if you’re trying to stay clean get clean or whatever and there’s someone in your house nodding out at the stove like you get you get jealous you miss that feeling you know so it that’s that’s that’s a hard that’s hard right there it’s tough yeah i mean i’ve been there you know and uh it doesn’t work out too well usually so that’s one of the things they’re working on i think that’s why this one guy that i’m real good friends with he owns a couple humans like four houses alton bel air and i went through one of them he had he separates them he has clean houses and and maintenance houses and it’s just i mean they work you know but the state funding you’re right the state funding will only will only fund you if if uh that you take the main you gotta take everybody right you can’t pick and choose collectively now with people getting kicked out at night like because that that’s the thing that’s going on right now and that’s really kicking halfway house’s asses right now is like most the time your house meetings at nine o’clock at night even sometimes even 10 o’clock at night it depends on how many the owner owns and it gets the way he gets around or whatever and you go and you have this house meeting and at the end of the house meeting you take a drug test now it’s like 9 30 10 o’clock at night and you’re taking a drug test and you fail now you’re getting kicked out so now you gotta get kicked out nine nine ten o’clock at night and you have a car and you go get in your car and you get high and then you crash and kill somebody or kill yourself but you can’t stay at the house because you’re high and you got six other guys in the house they’re looking at you high and they’re getting jealous or or you know or it’s triggering triggering them and so they’re like they don’t know what to do with these people because they don’t want to kick them out and they don’t want to keep them in the house because you keep someone in the house that’s high other people will get high eventually you know so they’re they’re trying to figure out a way to do it yeah the other problem with that sorry not to cut it off is that you’ve also like in your case where you’ve relocated you’re taking people that aren’t from an area bringing them to an area so someone who might be from the eastern shore or somewhere up in delaware ends up here in elkton then you kick them out of the recovery house and if they don’t have a car or maybe don’t have money too then they’re just [ _ ] homeless in a new place like and now that you’ve you’ve created an environment where you’re transplanting you know problems people that are going to need resources or addicts that are going to need resources because you encourage them to come here that’s the flip side of that is that house encourage those people to come there there’s a i don’t want to say a sales pitch but when you go to any rehab the houses are in communication with the rehab because they want the referrals and as you mentioned there’s like a back end to all this for money and the houses need those referrals so that they can stay full they don’t make any money when they’re not full so they’re in connection with the treatment providers so that they’re a good referral for people so they’re selling people hey come to my house you know up here in elkton but then you use and i kick you out and now you’ve you’re homeless and affected our community right yeah yeah you’re homeless somewhere else yeah yeah carlos also presented the idea to us when he was on on that episode about the idea that like we have these house managers but they’re they’re you know basically getting free rent usually or reduced rent and they’re not that’s not their full-time job so like it’s really they’re working 40 hours a week or more already at their job and then they’re supposed to be this house manager but don’t have the energy or resources really to have the time to to manage the house like they would need to and that there should be a standardized you know house manager role that gets paid that that’s what the person does you know somewhat in a professional capacity do you think that would be useful yeah maybe some kind of training or some sort of there’s different levels to the house manager thing you know what i mean some people to be a house manager i think you should have at least a year clean first off and work a program and like and are trying to better yourself now making that a full-time position is is i don’t think is is worth it you know unless you have 20 guys in the house or something most houses only have six to nine guys i mean six to eight guys most halfway houses do and like they go out to work they do their thing they sleep so like they’re only really up in the house for five hours a day you know i mean honestly you know so you just you just talk to them a little bit and watch them and make sure that their habits are the same and you know and you have other people in the house watching out too i mean that’s a good thing you got to have like communication with the people in the house you become friends you become a unit become a family and you just watch each other and the house manager is the one that is supposed to have the full communication with the owner of the house in case something does happen you know and um i don’t know about getting like a full salary for that because then it wouldn’t it wouldn’t make any money you know a house that’s that you know i could see having free rent yeah let’s just say having someone free right that’s most of what happens you get free rent or you get reduced rent but getting an actual paycheck from a house that only has eight guys it wouldn’t be profitable for the owner of the house hard roll too i’ve known people it’s hard to kick someone out in the middle of the night well that or if you want to be the militant guy that upholds the rules obviously people aren’t going to like you very much because even the people that are there that are serious about recovery you always want to break some rules you know what i mean even if it’s a minor rule here or there you’re kind of like yeah this one doesn’t matter aren’t you going to look the other way for me because we’re buddies you know it definitely happens you got to get that guy [ _ ] that guy but me i get a slide you know definitely happens um and if you get a bunch of people that are going to meetings like say all of them are in the same fellowship whether it’s a a or n a then you got that whole social click you know what i mean you want to fit in with your social clique so you can’t be throwing your buddies out in the middle of the night or you know on a guy’s ass because he hasn’t been to meetings in a month or two like it’s just it’s so hard i lived in the house that was half a half n a and the n a guys definitely kind of stuck together and we would you know we would argue with the a guys you know because the way the steps work and [ _ ] and they were like yeah i’m on step six i’m already sponsoring two people and we’re like yeah i’m on step one on question 50 and i’m like i didn’t have a conversation today to get on step three and yeah you know you have three months cleaning you have two sponsees and you’re on step five like whoa okay you know what i mean like hope they stay alive we would [ _ ] go in and out with these guys about it all the time i posted a meme about aa steps versus na steps the other day and so many people in the comments were like i don’t get it and i’m like have you never like where the [ _ ] do you live like this is everybody knows this [ _ ] what do you mean you don’t understand they’re the same steps i’m like oh my god okay they’re a conversation so you know one thing i have found interesting about this discussion so far is that uh when i before i did this before i had all this online interaction with recovery communities my take would probably be the same as what i’ve heard today but i feel like all these recovery house programs are really really based around this idea of going to a 12-step complete abstinence-based program of recovery and seeing what i see online in the recovery communities that is like not what everybody’s doing right there are so many different paths to recovery and so many different ways people do it and and so i’m just curious like how set up are these recovery houses to handle people who are recovering in some completely different way right whether that’s like oh what i do is therapy every week or what i do is you know a strict meditation and yoga program like i feel like a lot of recovery houses are forcing you to 12-step meetings which is the stricter houses are yeah that doesn’t seem very inclusive to me for what i know recovery to be nowadays yeah the um more of the the stricter houses they want you go to a 12-step meeting now other ones they’ll accept therapy i’ve been in houses that accept therapy that um uh what’s the other one um smart recovery things like that it’s just harder to get like a slip sign because some recovery houses they want you to take a paper in and get it signed to prove that you’ve been going to this many meetings especially the recovery houses that want you to go to one every day or five a week or something like that so i’ve never been even when i was in houses that i had assigned slips i was never big on bringing my slip like i’m i’m not i’m i’m not you’re going to take my word that i went to these meetings and more than likely you’re going to see me there and you’re going to know that i was in a meeting because i’m a [ _ ] loudmouth guy so i just i but i and then in the oxford houses i think or or that model i shouldn’t just use them but there isn’t even like a manager right no no manager so everyone has to watch each other yeah so you could do i mean i’d say you could do whatever you want but the idea is if you go into that house and if they accept you in and you tell them what your path of recovery is you would think that they would be okay with that they don’t require you to go to meetings but they might be hard to get in they want you to they want you to but once you get into the oxford house and you’re there for a little bit a lot of people fall back on meetings and then they end up getting high i mean i’ve i’ve done it you know i started going to meetings i mean i moved into an oxford house i stopped going to meetings so much i started hanging out with my girlfriend more and then she got high and i was high you know so it’s just uh a lot of them that they’re and with the oxford house you can do therapy and count you can do smart recovery you can do n a you can do it you can do anything you want whatever you want that helps that you say helps you recover change and become a better person you can use that as doing something to to grow you know well like in this in this ever ongoing conversation between me and you about like what keeps the shame of pushing people into a place that maybe isn’t the right recovery model for them and like if you’re going to detoxes or treatment and they’re pushing you to recovery houses out of your area in your area or if that’s the only place you have to go you know somebody like john who didn’t have anywhere else to go really and that’s where they’re telling you in the recovery house that needs to be you know you have to go to these 12-step programs like that’s somewhere along the way people are being funneled into these places when i just don’t feel like that’s the only or best sometimes way of recovery anymore and so we you know we just keep talking about how does this keep happening well this is one of the ways recovery houses are pushing people there i don’t know any other options yeah the hope is that if you’re in a decent treatment facility with a good counselor or case manager who’s making these referrals that they’re going to refer you to a program that’s in alignment with what you want to do like not every house requires abstinence in 12 steps some do and you would hope that the counselor who is on your case is going to refer you to the path that you choose the problem i think is and we touched on it on some of the other episodes is client brokering and kickbacks for referrals and things like that that’s where it can get a little sketchy well but how many people too in in treatment with 26 days or 20 days when they’re planning out where you’re gonna go how many have been exposed to this idea that there’s other recovery models right and i’m not just talking about some kind of maintenance anything anything that’s outside of the scope of 12-step right there’s people who [ _ ] go to art therapy or something i don’t know like there’s a billion different ways that i’m seeing people online are finding recovery and staying here and finding happiness how do you know what 20 days clean if you’ve never been exposed to them like i don’t feel like they’re talked about and i feel like you go to treatment and they’re like well these are your options there’s suboxone or there’s 12 step right like are they really in there talking about man there’s i think smart’s getting a lot of push these days okay yeah you can do i mean anymore google’s the [ _ ] way you find most things if you just start googling non-12-step recovery you can come up with stuff because i’ve done research looking at we’ve wanted to have other people on about other recovery programs so i’ve googled it and you can find there’s a bunch there’s programs out there for like how to whatever you call it like maintenance not maintenance but how to manage yeah moderation management and things like that and they’re not hard to find those programs i don’t know about like say housing would depend on your interview process and what the house was willing to expect i guess just like you know without i mean and here i am a guy in recovery for an amount of time like without this interaction we’ve gotten from doing this podcast of me just chatting with people online about their recoveries i had no [ _ ] clue that abstinence wasn’t the only way right so here i am a guy who who considers himself worldly and and you know spent 15 years of my life in recovery thinking abstinence was the only way or the gold standard and so now i’m like how does somebody who’s been living under a bridge for the last 20 years have any idea that there’s other things other than abstinence to choose and when they go to treatment and they say hey what kind of path to recovery do you want well abstinence that’s all the [ _ ] i’ve ever heard of well and that was part of the thing i think was hoping with ray was that i i think through a lot of these programs now they aren’t ju i don’t know about rehabs it would be interesting to talk to someone who’s just now getting out of a rehab to see we got a couple rehabs in this area i don’t know what rehabs are saying but if you go to the health department they will give you all your options they will not just tell you 12 steps or maintenance like they are very educated in what you’re supposed to be doing now if you come to a place like voices they’re going to give you some other options they encourage smart or whatever so it is starting to pick up but yeah 15 20 years ago if you went to treatment it was abstinence and that was that that was just that was the only thing if you talked to people walking in the door of voices six months ago whenever the hell it was that i was here people don’t know like you can present these other options hey there’s all these they’re like no no no abstinence is recovery that’s what it looks like like they only know 12 like that’s all people have ever heard one the most common one is just stop doing drugs and your life gets better to 12th street i mean that’s so it’s just i mean you look at that as a problem see he looks at that as a problem i do want to when everybody’s dying like it’s obviously not the answer well they’re they’re doing the drugs that they’re not supposed to be doing so if if the scientific study shows that 12 step only works for 10 percent of people which it doesn’t by the way that isn’t a scientific study so you can’t say that you’re making [ _ ] up no it’s a scientific stuff that’s all right we’ll talk about that uh if that’s what happens ten percent of people get actually helped by that or whatever right and we watch people die all the time i mean it was just another person in our area or from our area that that’s gone over the last couple days like yeah i was friends with him yeah and and i mean i can’t tell you how many people it’s been since i got here at what point do we say well maybe something’s a little awful but how many of those people have also tried or been on a maintenance program or tried or been on other recovery programs i don’t want to say because they had one interaction with a 12-step fellowship and they overdosed that it’s the 12-step fellowship is the cause they could have had interactions with maintenance programs they could have had interactions with counseling and therapy you know what i mean it’s not necessarily fair to say because you had an interaction with a 12-step fellowship and then you died the fellowship doesn’t work i’m not saying the fellowship doesn’t work i’m saying this if we had a thing that helped cancer and it worked for 10 of the cancer people that we sent to it we would still be [ _ ] looking for a better answer we would say oh yeah that’s i mean hey at least one in 10 are getting saved but there’s got to be something that works more effectively than this and it’s just interesting to me that when i i bring this up to people it’s never like that same sentiment in them it’s like oh no the people [ _ ] failed that’s their [ _ ] problem and i’m like if we know this is only doing it for a certain percentage of people why aren’t we still looking for a better answer why are we just so confused there’s a business people that are i mean so yeah i think within the 12-step community you might not hear that as much but if you reach out beyond like now with all the harm reduction methods that are going on and this the i don’t want to say advent of smart it’s been around but you’re starting to see more smart more recovery dharma like these different options are becoming available i mean people are i don’t know that anybody that’s trying to squash them or put them down and say that you shouldn’t do them the 12-step programs or programs that you get what you put into it all right if you you do if the more you put the more you put yourself into the steps networking the program meetings and stuff like that you start to become better now the cancer thing it’s just you take a shot and you’re you know it works or it doesn’t with this you have to put work in on yourself to become better that’s a good story but 20 years ago there was a guy who was going to six meetings a week and working steps and had a network and called a sponsor every day and used anyway so what’s that that is

that’s choice it’s not that’s when it becomes choice you chose to get high did you choose to get high the first time you got high the first um no okay i know it was presented to me by my family people that i trust and it was it was there and i tried it what first time what do you use to cope today what do you use when you say ah this probably isn’t a bad idea but i’m gonna do it i i’m a workaholic okay so i’m addicted to money and i like food and i like sex i have a girlfriend for that today that’s different so usually i was i’ve lived life different but i have a girlfriend so yeah i guess from a therapy standpoint like people use coping measures because life is intolerable right it’s a survival skill it’s a survival mechanism and so it’s it’s very much less this uh higher level thinking choice that we seem to want to make it out to be that’s that’s my take on it uh i don’t when we’re in survival mode when our nervous system is like fight flight or freeze there’s there’s all that front level frontal lobe brain stuff that’s all shut the [ __ ] off like i i don’t have choice anymore i have i gotta get by somehow but i guess when i look at this story you said about the guy with 20 years you know he didn’t have 20 years that was just 20 years ago that happened oh well even if a guy got 20 years and then used like i don’t know that that’s a necessarily a success or a failure like that level of abstinence or period of life that he had doing something different he wasn’t he’s not dead he’s not overdosed his life hopefully got better during that thing so i wouldn’t necessarily call anyone that comes into 12-step and then decides to use again like that doesn’t make that a failure no no doesn’t mean the affiliate program doesn’t hasn’t helped them or worked no i’m not saying that i’m saying that that we have this i just feel like we blame the people who don’t get it for not doing it and i don’t know that that’s exactly true that story is

i’ve been trying to stay clean for five years and i’m a chronic relapse and me taking a break from doing drugs getting my life together somewhat and then losing it all again because i got high and then getting it all back and losing it getting all back and losing it over and over for many years many times like i learned something about myself each relapse going out and coming back going out i gotten better i feel with every time i relapsed you know this is not a perfect program i mean they say the program perfect but people aren’t and i definitely am not perfect but i definitely have learned more about myself and how i react to situations emotions and feelings to through relapse and trying again and trying again and trying again yeah i don’t i don’t there’s no shame in relapse and i’m not i’m not saying that i just if we knew if we were less content with settling for this is the answer and we went back retroactively and there was some other thing we could have introduced to your life right maybe it didn’t keep you clean this whole time but maybe it made your life better and you got this sooner because of this other thing whatever that may be right wouldn’t you retrospectively say man i wish that would have been what i was introduced to instead of like wouldn’t you wanted your life to be you know yeah i don’t know i just and i think that’s what’s happening though to me it might be i i don’t feel like it’s i don’t feel like the word is spread enough if it is happening i was on methadone for three years and it was the worst withdrawal the worst experience i ever had having to wake up at five o’clock in the morning every day to go to the clinic to take a shot every day and then i still got high off a crack so i was smoking crack i mean i didn’t do the methadone program in any way the way it was supposed to be done you know but i had the worst withdrawals in my life and in jail you know in prison and it just sucked and i would never go back on a maintenance program because of the experience i had on the methadone my own personal experience you know and so i i mean and only i so i tried that way that didn’t work for me and i did not like the outcome of trying to get off of it you know i did not like the way i felt in any way because i was like sick for like two months it felt like and so then there was i mean what else was there you know i think that’s his point yeah i mean options it would not shock me if in 20 years we have evidence and we found that something about the 12-step program i don’t know what maybe it’s just the way the fellowship acts maybe it’s just humanity the way we treat each other i don’t know what it is but it wouldn’t shock me if we found that something about the program probably contributed to these people that that don’t last here right like if there’s some other way we could be i feel like it’s more with them with themselves you know what i mean because okay so if you’re getting high for 15 years and you stop getting high and then something happens in your life like emotion a feeling and you hit that feeling and in your mind you have these deer paths from getting high for so long you go right back to automatically getting rid of those feelings and what do you what are you so used to doing for so many years getting high and you just follow those deer paths to get high again you know until you can change your brain in the way you think that’s the what you will continue to do and and maybe one day we find complete evidence that that’s the fact but until then i will not be stuck on the idea that all these people that die it’s just they’re lacking i can’t believe that it doesn’t make sense to me people’s choice well and it’s just sad to say and i’m gonna circle this back to the recovery housing in a minute but it’s sad to say and i don’t know this and i hope i’m being awful bleak but it might not be a problem that we can fix you know what i mean it might just be the state of our society is well i mean it falls in line with a lot of other if you look at addiction in general to porn phones food sex drugs you know it’s at astronomical levels across the board for every substance leads me to believe that it’s more than just a drug problem that we have a social ill we have a very much something wrong in our society that i agree more than just a any sort of 12-step program is going to fix it’s a culture or a way of life that needs i agree but and that’s where i’m like well where what are we missing that we can’t transform these micro communities into these these recovery communities what are we missing that we can’t transform them in ways that we need in all society but at least we could transform them in ways where we stop having people die so i’ll tell you about something when we’re done yeah come back because i gotta wrap up i’m talking to you no no do you have any what’s the craziest worst dumbest things you’ve seen people get kicked out for or you’ve been kicked out for or you’ve seen happen i got kicked out of the house once for dumping a girl that got high and they didn’t like the way that i handled it and a dog [ _ ] on my bed [ _ ] on my [ _ ] a dog [ _ ] on my bed and it was in the same week like i broke up with this girl that wasn’t a dog and it might not have been and i got kicked out or not not an animal got kicked out of a house because of dog [ _ ] on my bed and i broke up with this girl and because she was getting high and one of the guys in the house brought her over and like i guess was [ _ ] her and and uh so i was mad at him so he and the dog [ _ ] on my bed so outreach found out that there was a dog in the house wasn’t supposed to have a dog there was a dog oxford house found out and they said that and the the guy that was sleeping with my girl said that uh that he must have told because that dog [ _ ] on his bed so i came home and now there’s two guys one guys i’m mad at and other guys mad at me because he thinks that i told on him and i didn’t do that so like two of them teamed up on me and like i already had problems because like just the way i acted but i i was go i was the only one in the house going to meetings and networking a program so like that’s another thing like there’s a whole house none of them go doing the program none of them are working you know working on themselves i was only one so they called me captain recovery in the house so that already they’re like you know like we do we really want this guy here and all that so i came home and uh they they picked the fight with me and the one guy was like seven foot tall not a joke like seven one big tall guy and i told him that would climb him like a tree and like beat his ass and we almost fought because i just got out of jail i had a whole different like attitude and about myself and uh i ended up getting voted out and kicked out because a dog [ _ ] on my bed and someone slept with my girlfriend who got high that was the craziest thing yeah i slept with a co-worker’s wife one time and he [ _ ] in my tupperware uh my lunch tupperware so i don’t think that was a dog that’s a real thing apparently [ _ ] on people’s stuff is a get back i guess a revenge yeah it was new to me i’d never had my stuff [ _ ] in before oh yeah did you keep the tupperware no no that would

so i mean it sounds like at least this time you’re successful things are going well is there anything specific you attribute to that or the recovery house how is that helped in this case i did what i was told what i was i did what it was suggested of me and i uh i just put myself around people that were one better for themselves and better for me and i i just kept on doing that and i just i finally got tired of starting over you know what i mean because i never really had anything so i would get to a point in my recovery where i would start to get everything back and i i didn’t have anything any like thing to get i would get the car back get everything and i would get to a point where i was like okay well i got everything back like what is the next step and i had no idea and i would end up getting high and now i’m like past that and i’m out of the recovery house finally i’ve been out of recovery house for three months now and um life’s good life’s good you know i i it’s different because like i just spent a whole week alone because my girlfriend went to florida for a week and so i got to just lay in bed and watch tv with no one else around and no one holding me accountable and that’s been like the first time in many years many many years and i was and i didn’t get high so i made it i passed the test because i was actually worried about it so people just called me up and checked on me my network so she had an ex-boyfriend’s bed to [ __ ] on while she was down there

so and we’ll say this and wrap up so what would be your advice to someone new to recovery that’s trying to get into a recovery house or looking for a recovery house what advice would you give them give it a shot stay stay as long as you can and make friends with people that are trying to do the right thing you know to get close to those people if you can you know make friends with them if it like from the stay with the people that are trying to better themselves and you will better yourself you know honestly the people that are you know that aren’t that people that are enter and i can’t it’s hard to say the people that are in or out because i’m one of them you know but like it’s the truth like you gotta and i hate the saying stick with the winners i don’t like that because all of us are winners if we’re trying to get clean and stay clean then like we’re doing something but like just stick with the people that are trying to change their lives that have a positive outlook on life and it will it will fit you know fake it to make it kind of thing because i had no idea what i wanted in life or any goals and never had any of that when i came here you know i just i was like i’m just not gonna get high today like that’s my goal not to get high to get today now i want to go to florida next month you know like so it’s just it’s just what it is you know make your make sure your friends have goals honestly that’s that’s what it is because if they have goals and you can start to see them change into better people and start to like do real life adult things like you start to want to do real adult life things too instead of just going to go get high and lock yourself in a hotel with a hooker you know you’re going to do you on the ex-boyfriend’s bed too

all right so yeah recovery houses there may be some value to them find one where the people are doing what looks like uh you know the life you want to live and and stick with them and stay safe out there

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One response to “117: Is There Recovery in Recovery Houses? (Sort Of)”

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