The Importance of Community Housing in My Recovery Journey – Isabella Paola

When I first left residential treatment, I knew I couldn’t go back home if I wanted to stay sober. I had decided to do outpatient treatment, but I was still worried that wouldn’t be enough to keep me sober.

Moving from residential to outpatient meant my time away from structure and therapy was about to greatly increase. In this stage of my recovery, my brain told me that being alone in my house, where I had been getting high and drunk for years, would only end in me using again. I knew that I didn’t want to use again. I knew that I needed to figure out a way to stay sober and live outside of residential treatment, but I wasn’t sure how.

I explained my worries to my treatment team, and they told me about community housing. I was shocked that there was a place I could live that would help keep me accountable with regular drug testing, transportation to meetings, and 24/7 housing aids.

My treatment team told me that making the choice to live sober in community housing would help ensure that I stay connected with my network of recovery focused friends. I knew that living sober and away from my past triggers and influences would change my life and help me grow in recovery.

I decided to stay in community housing while I was doing my outpatient treatment, and I believe it is part of the reason why I am still sober today. Besides the community housing being a beautiful place to live, that truly felt like home, with Netflix, a full-size bed, and updated kitchen, it was also an affordable price.

Anytime I had the urge to use, there was a caring and compassionate housing aid to talk to me about what I was going through. I made a lot of great friends, who truly became my support system in recovery.

As I moved from PHP to IOP and OP, the people in my community housing even helped me look for a job, make sure I got to meetings and helped me decide on returning to college.

Deciding on community housing was one of the most important decisions I made for my sobriety. It kept me accountable and showed me that long term recovery was possible, if I put in the work.

Isabella Paola

About Isabella Paola

My nameis Isabella P (Izzy for short) I am a graduate student at Fordham University School of Social Work, I am a writer, and mental health advocate.
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2 Comments

  1. I am so glad you had this option.
    I found Recovery via med assisted treatment(outpatient) and tried and tried to find residential treatment, then Recovery housing for all the reasons you stated. The sad reality is that in Georgia where I live there isnt any that accept people in Medication assisted treatment/Recovery despite being in the middle of an “opioid epidemic ” and MAT being the most successful way to treat opioid use disorder.
    I just celebrated 11 years sober in Recovery. I have been advocating and have made it my mission to help change this. It has, however, been a very slow process.

  2. I am so glad you had this option.
    I found Recovery via med assisted treatment(outpatient) and tried and tried to find residential treatment, then Recovery housing for all the reasons you stated. The sad reality is that in Georgia where I live there isnt any that accept people in Medication assisted treatment/Recovery despite being in the middle of an “opioid epidemic ” and MAT being the most successful way to treat opioid use disorder.
    I just celebrated 11 years sober in Recovery. I have been advocating and have made it my mission to help change this. It has, however, been a very slow process.

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