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Sober Living Network publications and research
Items below have appeared recently in news or research publications
Alternative Families in Recovery: Fictive Kin Relationships Among Residents of Sober Living Homes
Kevin C. Heslin, Alison B. Hamilton, Trudy K. Singzon, James L. Smith and Nancy Lois Ruth Anderson
Sober living homes are group residences for people attempting to maintain abstinence from alcohol and drugs in a mutually supportive setting. Residents typically develop strong psychological and economic ties and have been referred to as “alternative families,” thus evoking the anthropological concept of fictive kinship. We analyzed data from seven focus groups with sober living home residents to assess the prevalence and functions of fictive kinship in these settings. Results suggest that residents created kinship by exchanging various types of support, and by incorporating other residents into existing family relationships, particularly in homes where there were children. Residents perceived fictive kin as more supportive than actual kin, encouraging them toward greater individuation, in contrast with family backgrounds that were sometimes described as stifling. These accounts of the therapeutic qualities of fictive kin in sober living homes could inform the work of fair housing advocates and other community stakeholders.
Heslin KC, Hamilton AB, Singzon T, Smith J, Anderson NLR. Alternative families in recovery: Fictive kin relations among residents of sober living homes, Qualitative Health Research, October 2010. Abstract and article can be found here.
The California Budget Crisis: A Challenge to the Recovery Community
Kevin Heslin and Dave Sheridan
California's budget crisis has led to dramatic cutbacks in already-scarce funding for recovery services. Many of this "savings" will lead to higher government and social costs in other areas. Abundant evidence shows that results will include more crime, homelessness, domestic violence, unemployment and increased incarceration costs.
Transforming Recovery Services in California
California, like many other states, focuses too many of its scarce recovery resources on expensive short-term treatment. Research shows that time in contact with positive recovery environments is more highly associated with successful recovery outcomes than are brief, resource-intensive intervals of treatment. Transitioning to a new approach will be difficult, but also provides opportunities for the State to improve the cost-effectiveness of its use of public funds to support recovery.
Sober Living Network Back Where We Started—Sort of
Deborah Smith Parker
Systematic and successful programs for recovery from alcoholism and addiction really began with the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1935. Federal funding for addiction recovery began in the 1970s, thanks to Sen. Harold Hughes, and treatment options exploded across the country providing public funding for treatment for those who couldn’t afford it, followed by insurance coverage for those who could.
Now economic problems have caused the life line of public funding for these programs to be drastically cut. Make no mistake. These cuts are having a devastating effect on the availability of treatment, so fewer and fewer people have access to care.
Today we still have AA and all the other 12 step programs it has spawned. And we have sober housing which continues to grow. We are, in a sense, back to where we began. The major difference is that, unlike in the early days of recovery programs, clean and sober people number in the millions.