It's time for an update! It's been almost 8 months since we have published a blog on this site. We are all busy with our jobs, families and extra curricular activities. Elevated Sober Living has been open since October 1, 2017. In that time, we attempted a coed house and decided that an all men's house worked best for a couple of reasons. Although the house flowed well with both genders, it was difficult to maintain an equal balance of men and women. Once we decided to remain an all male house, the house filled up and we started to get more calls for women who needed housing.
As a therapist, I have worked with women in recovery for long enough to know that they face different challenges than men. Some of these challenges include the patterns of substance use including how women get addicted, the physiological effects of substance abuse on women and the barriers they face engaging in a treatment program. Women face different social and environmental stressors leading to substance use as well. According to this NIDA article, scientists spoke with women who described their reasons for using drugs as controlling weight, fighting exhaustion, coping with pain, and self-treating mental health problems. A female's biological makeup results in them experiencing different struggles than men with substance use. Addiction almost always has underlying trauma, however it is more common for women in treatment to suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of physical and sexual trauma. According to the National Institute of Health, women with PTSD originating from sexual violence experience increased difficulties recovering from addiction than women without a history of sexual abuse.
As Elevated Sober Living moves in the direction of opening a women's house, I wanted to talk to real women in Collin County about their needs. A good friend of mine works in the county jail and offered to gather some information about what their needs would consist of upon release from their program. The feedback consisted mostly of amenities, skills and tools related to being a mother. In the perfect sober living setting, these women wanted a childcare center, playroom, essential furniture, mommy/me music, 1:1 sessions, counseling for abused mom's and children, parenting class, daily skills class, cooking/nutrition, baby care, anger management, house library, religious classes, daily meditation, baby and me fitness and transportation. At Nexus Recovery, their trauma informed program for mothers and pregnant women provides much of what the women requested. At Elevated, we want to have a sober living environment where we can create a safe step down for women who have successfully completed a program such as Nexus. Connie and Jim have a passion to help everyone in recovery and I have always wanted to fill the need for women in this community. There are not enough resources available and the three of us hope to change that soon. We hope to open our women's house in the next month. Please stay tuned for updates!