S.T.A.T. (Start Treating Addiction Today) Sobriety Services, a new not-for-profit organization, hopes to address "empty" referrals by providing free or low-cost resources to those who may not be able to afford treatment.
“When somebody calls and they don’t have insurance or they can’t afford rehab, what we’ve historically done over the years is give them a list of phone numbers for county-funded programs that are all full and have waiting lists upwards of a month,” says Bob Tyler, BA, LAADC, CADC II, president, S.T.A.T. Sobriety Services. “Somebody’s making the most important call of their life, and we’re discriminating against them by giving them empty referrals and sending them to recovery limbo.”
He adds that while addiction is a multi-billion dollar healthcare issue, free services like 12-Step and other self-help programs exist in just about every community.
“The whole idea behind S.T.A.T. started with the notion that we should show people how to use these free community resources,” Tyler says.
Additionally, S.T.A.T. will employ certified addiction counselors as recovery advocates, providing sobriety groups twice a week. One group will address the fundamentals of recovery: which meetings to go to; how to get a sponsor; and how to build a sober support system, for example. The second group will be centered around taking recovery tools from the first group and working them into daily living. For example, learning how to cope with uncomfortable emotions is a useful skill, he says.
Each group will last two to six months, Tyler adds.
S.T.A.T. will most likely start out as a pilot to see what program lengths make the most sense, he says. Services will be offered for $30 per week.
“We’re hoping we’ll have as many people who can afford it as those who can’t, so we’re budgeting right in the middle,” he says. “In some ways, the people who can afford it will be paying for the people who can’t.”
S.T.A.T. is currently gearing up for an end-of-the-year fundraiser.