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A Letter to Residents

If you are reading this, you are exploring ways to support yourself in newfound sobriety.

Choosing a recovery community environment is a choice, and it demonstrates a willingness and commitment to yourself, your community and your loved ones.
We have great respect for you for making this choice.
If the North Shore is home.

Your family lives here. You grew up here. You want and deserve to live a supported life in recovery in the community you call home. And guess what? We, and the research for best practices in addiction recovery, agree. And if you want to come home, this is the place to build recovery support: friends, a place to live with sober roommates, AA home groups, a job, school… a LIFE.

We know that addiction is a disease.

No one grows up dreaming to be an alcoholic or drug-addict. You probably desperately wish you could drink a beer while you watch a game. Maybe you wonder if you can smoke pot, but just none of the other stuff that got you where you are today. The bottom line is, we all want to be in control of our relationship with drugs and alcohol, and it SUCKS when you’re 18-30 and, despite your best attempts, you aren’t.

And it’s beyond frustrating when you find yourself at 18 years old and not sure going away to college is a safe idea. Or when you’re 21 and finding that you aren’t on track to finish college like many of your friends. It feels isolating when, at 26, a life in recovery looks like old men in a church basement drinking coffee out of Styrofoam cups, while your friends are at the bars.

Some truths? Your journey through addiction has deepened you and your family. School couldn’t bring you to who you are today. Though it may not be where you thought you wanted to be, we believe you will come to see the value of your path. You are meant to lead the way for others. You are fighting a disease you have been blamed for having. And, as you may have heard countless times, “…Addiction is the only disease that makes you think you don’t have it.”  You didn’t cause your brain to be susceptible to addiction, but you can choose how to react to this reality.

And hey, if we’re gonna live a life in recovery, let’s LIVE.

Our goal at Providence is to change the way recovery looks and feels. 25 million Americans are living in long-term sustained recovery; you aren’t alone. Many of your peers are some of the most hilarious, adventurous, intelligent, open-hearted human beings on the planet. We’ve been working with them for years. Life in recovery can mean the deepest friendships you have ever had. It can mean a healthier relationship with your family. It creates a fellowship and a connection like none other. Since when is LIFE no fun without drugs and alcohol?

Hang in there with us, new Providence residents. We’re not saying this is easy. It isn’t. You will have bad days, and maybe even some days when it feels like we are getting in your way. Recovery is a process, and in the beginning some of the house rules and expectations might feel annoying. Take it slow. If we believed there was a short-cut, we’d let you take it!

We hope you will hold in your heart the fundamental truth that we are on your side. Your opinion matters. Your individuality matters. Your experience matters. And so if sometimes we lovingly guide you to do something different than you want, please put your faith in that truth.

Few can understand the experience of a young person in recovery, or the journey you have taken to get here.

We are happy you are here.

We welcome you HOME.

Substance treatment norms have long normalized sending our recovering residents away. This may temporarily succeed in removing immediate triggers, but is never sustainable. We know, and the Surgeon General’s Report confirms, that our alienation of people with addiction issues reinforces their disease. We know that families and communities who willfully partner with people with substance use disorders greatly impact their ability to sustain long-term recovery.

In a world that is often judging, critical and shaming towards people with substance use disorders, Providence welcomes you to our community. We, and the village who supports us, has chosen radical, compassionate acceptance.