THE ROAD TO RECOVERY
Sun, 28 May 2006
Times, The (Munster IN)
Experts say drug and alcohol addictions are increasing in the south suburbs and Chicago area, but recovery houses remain scarce.
While places for treatment exist, some addicts need somewhere to go where they can live temporarily and begin the road to recovery, said those who work with recovering alcoholics and addicts. Chicago resident Garrett B. said people dependent on drugs and alcohol often reach a point where they are tired of living the life of an addict.
Garrett is a recovering drug addict and manager of the headquarters for Bill's Family Recovery Community, at 1257 Pulaski Road in Chicago. His last name is not used to protect his identity.
For Garrett, who has worked with Bill's Family for four years, recovery houses have made all the difference.
"Some people say they are tired of being sick and tired," Garrett said. "That's when they have the best chance."
Bill's Family has three Chicago locations and a Calumet City location where ex-offenders and addicts can receive treatment.
Bob Storman, spokesman for Thornton Township Supervisor Frank Zuccarelli, said drug use is increasing in the south suburbs. Storman said the escalating drug problem is due to social and economic changes that accompany the migration of Chicago residents to the south suburbs.
"( The drug problem ) is getting out of control," Storman said. "It's beginning to rise to the surface."
Storman said heroin is one drug that has established a dominant presence amongst south suburban addicts. He said in order to fight addiction, Thornton Township hopes to work with organizations looking to establish recovery houses.
Leonard Noble found it difficult to battle an alcohol addiction when there was a liquor store and bar in walking distance of his home.
Noble, now CEO of Keeping the Faith Organization, a not-for-profit organization that serves the south suburbs and Chicago area, said once he removed himself from his past life he was able to start over.
Noble, who has been sober for 12 years, has made it his life's mission to help others.
He said in order to open a recovery home, a municipality has to approve special zoning. This approval is not an easy feat because recovery homes are not usually welcomed, he said.
At The Corner Stone Recovering Community's two locations in Chicago, about 60 percent of people seeking help are turned away because they do not have room to house them, said manager Miles Cole.
Cole said while it is not impossible to open a recovery house, it takes a special kind of person to go through the process.
He said, "Unless you really have a passion for ( recovery ), it is intimidating."