Why We Exist
We have walked the walk, talked the talk and experienced first hand the chaos addiction and trauma based mental health issues spread. As individuals who have been on this journey both as addicts, persons in recovery and families of those in addiction and recovery, we sought to create change in the current recovery models offered.
An environmental scan of the resources available to those humans on an addiction healing journey
indicated this need for community and connection, at any stage in recovery, is not available. There is a gap in
support for those who have completed treatment but seek support to integrate into the community, build self
worth and control into their lives. A person might comply with sobriety in the short-term, but find that it
doesn’t stick. In fact, we know that most traditional programs, particularly ones that advertise a “guarantee of
success” toward a singular outcome of sobriety, see high rates of sobriety at the program’s completion, but
questionable rates of long-term success. And in reviewing over four decades of research, Bill Miller and Bill
White found that not a single study supported the confrontational approach as better than kinder and less
harmful treatments. By contrast, when people have a say in the course of their recovery, it is more effective.
Recovery where clients drive the outcomes, where services incorporate formal, real time feedback from
clients, has better retention and outcomes. In this approach, people have a stake in their healing and are often
clearer about what they want and value. The result is deeper and more sustainable change. Renegotiating
relationships to substances takes time and, more often than not, involves making mistakes. Yet, many
recovery programs view relapses as a sign of failure or even as grounds to kick someone out of their
programs, rather than as a part of the natural course of recovery. Renegotiating substance use on a person’s
own terms allows them to go deeper and open up possibilities.
Solely encouraging someone to shift their behavior just scratches the surface. Addressing the symptom
without treating the pain that informs it does not address the cycle of addiction. When the conversation
becomes less about taking away a person’s escape from pain and more about addressing the pain that drives
these behaviors, the possibilities for effective recovery multiply. What are a person’s fears, dreams, and
desires? What gives them meaning in life and how can they reconnect with their sense of inner purpose?