Phila offers recovery center for addicts
Thursday, October 9th, 2008
Philadelphia now offers recovering addicts a place to help them stay well, once they become clean and sober. From WHYY's Health and Science Desk, Taunya English reports on the city's new Recovery Center in the 1700 block of West Lehigh Avenue.
It can take four or five years before an addict is on solid ground and at low risk for a relapse. The head of the city's behavioral health department says the drop-in center offers support during that rocky time.
Evans: You'll see a bank of computers here and people sitting at the computers, learning how to use the computer, learning how to do a resume, learning how to do things like balance a check book, some of those basic life skills that individuals who are addicted most of their adults life just don't have those skills.
Doctor Arthur Evans says being unemployed is one of those risk factors that make it hard for addicts to avoid drugs and alcohol.
The Recovery Center is one way Philadelphia has re-organized its addiction treatment services. Evans says research shows that addicts can return to a functioning life, but that transition usually takes much more than a brief episode of treatment.
Evans: People go into residential care for maybe two or three months at the most and then we discharged people, and often they are being discharged without on-going support.
The program is largely run by volunteers, many who've struggled with addiction in the past.