The price tag of alcohol and drugs: it's a family affair

Who knew?? Gallup pollsters routinely analyze lots of different kinds of attitudes and behaviors. Now, they’re delivering some bad news about alcohol, drugs and families. Here’s a snapshot of their recent findings:
Thirty-seven percent of Americans say drinking has caused family troubles. This reading matches Gallup's historical high from July 2004 for this question, which has been asked consistently since 1974.
Thirty percent of Americans say that drug abuse has caused trouble in their families. This is a significant increase from 22% in 2005, the last time Gallup asked the question. What’s behind this surge? Find out if the nation's opioid epidemic is taking an increasing toll on American families.

Learn more about the poll and the price tag of drug and alcohol abuse.

Sober living can keep you from sinking, even if you aren't fully on board

By Jeanie Gschweng, General Manager, Clean & Sober Transitional Living

One of our residents wrote, “CSTL has afforded me the ability to immerse myself in recovery even when I don’t want to,” and I can totally relate to that experience. Years ago, I lived in “Mad House” (CSTL, located on Madison Avenue) for a month, and then left for three months of residential treatment. When I returned to Mad House, I wasn’t in fear because this was where I wanted to be. I had been immersed in residential treatment and had a good foundation of recovery. I had willingness and I had desperation. Still, I was apprehensive. I had all the incentives to change – homelessness and the loss of my kids, among others – but sober living looked too hard, and I didn’t trust people. So, while I was willing and unafraid, at the same time, I was apprehensive.

For example, I wasn’t somebody who was on fire for recovery. I’d seen a lot of recovery, knew all about sponsors, and saw people right and left who were immersed in working the steps and making amends by Week Three. They seemed to be happy, or at least it looked that way. And I was happy to be here and grateful that my boyfriend had paid my first month’s rent. But I was struggling with issues that made it hard for me to be “all in,” like untreated depression and years of trauma. The bandage had been peeled back during treatment, but healing doesn’t happen overnight for someone who has used for over 20 years.

The structure of Mad House supported and guided me, even when I wasn’t totally compliant. It put some “guard rails” into my program. Attending 12-step meetings – a condition of tenancy – got me out of the house and into a large meeting room where I could listen and learn from others in recovery. I barely made it to those meetings during the first year, even thought they were mandatory and right outside my door.

Some people need very little structure. Others, like me, need all of it because it doesn’t come naturally. I needed rules and requirements. I needed people to call me out on my behavior. Looking back with grace, I know that years of addiction, trauma and blame made it hard for me to comply with the structure. I wanted to live here badly enough that I stretched to make it happen, even when I didn’t want to. As they say, recovery is about growing, or going.

The structure worked for me. I loved our communal dinners where we could learn from each other. I loved preparing other meals with my roommates in the woman’s house as I learned about camaraderie and trust. I loved our big gatherings in the small meeting room where emotions ran so high. We cheered on our housemates as we acknowledged their various accomplishments. And we had a wall where we honored everyone who had come through our doors and then passed away, from one illness or another. We were family.

And that wasn’t an accident: Mad House was intentionally designed to support, reign in and inspire us all in our recovery, even when we didn’t want to or like it. It gave me the boundaries I lacked, the boosts I needed, the reasons to get up and show up, and the structure that continues to support my recovery, day in and day out, one day at a time.

We're your best neighbors, and here's why

By Jeanie Gschweng, General Manager, Clean & Sober Transitional Living

I’d like to take a minute to talk what NIMBYism means to Clean & Sober Transitional Living. Here’s my spin: “It’s fine for you to be somewhere as long as you’re not in my neighborhood.” Aaaah…Not in my back yard… gotta love it. And NIMBYism applies in spades to Clean & Sober Transitional Living. When people hear the term “sober living,” they immediately jump to the conclusion that we are a drinking, drugging enclave of discardable people. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our residents are all solidifying lives free of drugs or alcohol, which is why they choose to live here among like-minded people in a community based on mutual support, recovery and integrity.

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Want to know what recovery REALLY means? Peek behind this curtain

By Don Troutman, Founder, Clean & Sober Transitional Living

People who drive on Madison Avenue near Hazel Avenue in Fair Oaks have been
passing by the Clean & Sober Transitional Living “main block” for over 20
years now; still, many of them probably haven’t even noticed us. Even if
they did spot the “One Day at a Time” inscribed on the face of our
meeting house, they probably didn’t give much thought to what goes on
here. So,here’s a “primer” that reveals what goes on within our walls:

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