Although this forum was intended to showcase the personal stories of our residents, the last installment was used to inform of our plan to pursue a Medically Assisted Recovery House (MAR). This new residence will be exclusively dedicated to men that have chosen to pursue Medically Assisted Treatment programs (MAT). In the previous article, we addressed the scientific data behind our motivation to provide a residence for this vulnerable population. And although scientific data played a crucial part in forming our decision, the real determining factor was derived from the men we are committed to serve.

As we began to explore the possibility of adding a Medically Assisted Recovery House, we started asking questions. In our discussions with those who have opted to pursue this recovery path, we began to see common threads. These common threads helped to solidify our commitment to this desperately needed project.

First and foremost, we found that multiple failed attempts with abstinence programs was a commonality. Medically Assisted Treatment programs are specifically designed to meet the needs of these individuals. The medications prescribed reduce cravings, relapse rates, and by extension, dramatically decrease overdose deaths. Additionally, through medical intervention, the client is better able to focus on a 12 Step Recovery plan. This moves the client closer to the future goal of abstinence.

Secondly, we discovered that among those men whom were struggling with an abstinence program, there was an alarming number of overdoses and/or deaths reported. Without medical and pharmaceutical interventions, these men faced multiple relapses. These failed attempts increased discouragement and compounded related anxiety and depression. Not only were the relapses a setback to their recovery, but they were also life threatening. Most of the men interviewed accredit a MAT program with saving their lives.

After seeking medical intervention and committing to a MAT program, the men commonly reported encountering stigmas and prejudices, even within the recovery community. Despite evidence-based research, controversy persists. For this very reason, Emmaus has decided to offer this population an alternative: a transitional home dedicated exclusively for MAT participants. With each man on the same recovery path, Emmaus hopes to offer these men the same opportunities as their counterparts…a safe and supportive transitional home. Sharing common experiences and challenges, these men will be better equipped to offer support and encouragement to one another.

Emmaus House of Raleigh enjoys a tremendous amount of community support. Because of this, we thought it relevant to share our motivations and decision-making processes. In our experience, community is fundamental to long-term sobriety. Now that we have shared our bold plan for 2021, we look forward to sharing the stories of the men that will one day reside in Raleigh’s first recovery home dedicated exclusively for MAT participants. As always, thank you for your continued support of our organization, and most importantly, our men.