Basically, I want to open my own residential program for substance abusers. Right now, I am working full time as a substance abuse counselor in a public detox, but I barely get paid a living wage, so saving or paying off debt has become extremely difficult, if not impossible. I need to find a way to pay for school so I can get my Bachelors degree in Social Work so I can make a little more money to fulfill my dreams.
I've come a LONG way from the broken person I was for 30+ years. I'm about to celebrate 10 years of living clean and sober. However, before I can go ahead with any plans for a rehab, there I things I need to accomplish. I want to go into this new venture with a clean slate-no debt, better credit, a college degree, etc.
I'm also trying to fix my credit, which requires paying off an old medical bill and finding ways to bring up my credit score. Another thing I need is to clear up the issues surrounding my license so I can buy a car (my ID/social security number was stolen in 1998 and used to register someone's vehicle and I now owe about $1500 in excise taxes).
I see firsthand the epic need for more options in post-detox programs. There are outpatient options available, but that isn't always appropriate for clients who are struggling. The ones that are ready to take that huge step towards residential treatment often go through detox, only to find that there are few options for aftercare and an extremely limited amount of available beds at the programs that are available to them. Most leave detox or CSS and go right back to their original environment believing that they can "handle it" now, and most fail.
Basically, their choices for inpatient treatment are a CSS (Clinical Stabilization Services: a 10 to 14 day program) or a Halfway House (6 to 9 month program, although one or two HWHs allow clients to complete in 3 months, now). Most clients need further treatment but a CSS is too short to prepare them for a life in recovery and many aren't ready to commit to a long-term program.
Even a Halfway House sometimes offers too much freedom for those who are still struggling with early recovery. There are many opportunities for a client to be out on their own with nobody and the potential to be dishonest is dangerous. This is a critical time for clients in early recovery. They still don't feel well physically or emotionally, cravings are strong and coping skills are non-existent. Most have so many issues that need to be addressed (health, legal, housing...) that it becomes so overwhelming that they don't know where to start. Then there is the feelings of isolation and loneliness.
I truly believe that what many clients need when they leave detox is a person or "buddy" (somewhere between a sponsor and a recovery coach) with strong recovery who can walk them through each day and support them on the outside on a daily basis for the first few months.Someone who can show them how to not get drunk or high for the next 24 hours, even if the opportunity to do so is right in front of them. Having someone near on a daily basis could make all the difference in the world. Maybe the client won't be so hesitant to go to that first AA or NA meeting, or join the peer recovery center or start connecting with the community resources that can help them so much in resolving some of the issues created by years of addiction.
I know that I need to put a lot of thought into how to arrange a program with one-on-one support and maybe I'll discover that I need to find another way to help them.