A National Directory of Drug Treatment Centers and Alcohol Treatment Centers, Therapists and Specialists. A free, simple directory providing assistance and guidance for those seeking help regarding alcohol addiction, drug addiction, dependency and many other conditions that affect the mind, body and soul.
Call 800-580-9104 to speak with an alcohol or drug abuse counselor.

‘They saved my life’ from alcohol abuse

A few years ago, Susan Banoski didn’t care if she lived or died.

A homemaker married to her husband for 30 years, Mrs. Banoski’s life was forever changed when he died four years ago. Distraught by her husband’s death, she went into a downward spiral.

“I started using drugs and alcohol,” the 57-year-old said.

Reeling from her husband’s death and substance abuse, Mrs. Banoski eventually found herself in legal trouble when she was arrested for writing bad checks.

Luckily for Mrs. Banoski, a transitional house saved her from continuing her destructive lifestyle. After her incarceration, she voluntarily opted to live at Paula’s House, a recovery house for women in Monroe.

“They taught me about recovery,” she said about her stay in the house from Dec. 13, 2007, to spring, 2008. “They saved my life. Thank God for Paula’s House.”

On Friday, Paula’s House celebrated its fifth anniversary. It is a transition house for women recovering from alcohol and drug addiction who are coming out of incarceration or drug rehabilitation centers who have nowhere else to go.

The house, located at 902 N. Monroe St., houses up to five women. Women Empowering Women, a nonprofit group, received permission in 2004 to operate the transition home. It is run by executive director Paula Whitman, who also is a substance abuse counselor.

“We’ve had a lot of women come through our doors since we opened five years ago. We’ve had a lot of success stories with women finding jobs and their own place to live. It does make a difference,” she said.

The women voluntarily choose to live at Paula’s House. Referred through courts and Harbor Light, the women must be familiar with the 12-step program and attend substance abuse meetings. Other guidelines include household chores, meeting curfew and paying rent. A full-time house manager also lives with the women.

The women live in the house a minimum of one to two years but the exact amount of time is determined on individual assessments.

“Sobriety is overwhelming for these women since most of them started abusing when they were 12 to 15 years old,” Ms. Whitman explained. “So a minimum of a year is really not a long time to turn your life around. They not only have to deal with their addiction, but have to learn a whole new life without addiction. They have a whole new set of coping skills they must learn before they go out on their own.”

The transition to a sober life is a delicate process.

“They have to undergo a personality change. They have to face their demons and risk running into their old drinking or drug buddies and learn how to handle those situations,” Ms. Whitman explained. “They’re tested every time they leave the house. A lot of them fear using the (public) bus or going to AA meetings because they don’t want to run into those people. They’re not used to leading a sober life.”

In its five years, Paula’s House has helped many women. According to Ms. Whitman, 10 women have successfully completed the program and three of those women have remained sober. Approximately 34 women entered the program in the first two years of operation and an average of 11 women entered the program for the past three years.

The average resident is homeless, between the ages of 31-50, and has no income. They also abuse alcohol and drugs and is referred to treatment by their parole or probation officer.

“I am unable to get an accurate count, but there are women who did not complete the program who are sober today,” she added.

While the recovery house has successfully helped women, it faced challenges when it initially opened. It dealt with opposition from neighbors concerned that convicted felons would be living in their neighborhood.

Since opening, however, there have been few problems.

“The police only have been called once to the house,” she said. “We have rules they abide by so there aren’t problems. Their household chores include cleaning up the yard so it looks nice, too.”

The nonprofit organization also has had to deal with staying financially afloat. Grants from Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the City of Monroe, however, have helped the organization. It has received a Supportive Housing Grant from HUD to help pay for the house rent and a Community Development Block Grant from the city to help pay for much-needed house repairs.

Ms. Whitman, who will celebrate her 20 years of sobriety later this month, is pleased to see her vision of helping women with substance abuse become a reality.

“These are women who have hit rock-bottom and are willing to change their lifestyles,” said Ms. Whitman, who has a doctoral degree in psychology. “It makes me proud to see these women become better people.”

Still, she says much more work needs to be done.

“There are so many women that need help. My goal is to open a second house, and eventually, open a homeless shelter for women. There’s nothing like that in Monroe,” she said. “My ultimate goal, though, is to open five houses.”

Mrs. Banoski is an example of how a transition house helps local women. More than a year after being released from Paula’s House, she lives in a Monroe apartment and is attending Monroe County Community College. She is studying psychology in order to become a counselor to help other women like herself.

“The best thing that ever happened to me was living at Paula’s House. I didn’t know how to help myself when I first got there but they helped me become a better person. I went to AA meetings every day,” she said. “I needed a lot of help, and step by step, they helped me see my mistakes and take responsibility for my actions.”

She is studying psychology in order to become a counselor to help other women with substance abuse issues.

“I want to help the next person like they helped me,” she said. “Underneath it all, they are really good people. Drugs and alcohol are not the problem, it’s the solution to their problems. I want to help them get past that so they can start living their lives again.”

source: Monroe Evening News

More Treatment & Detox Articles

Why You Should Hire an Interventionist

interventionist

What is an Intervention? An intervention is typically seen when family and friends get together with a loved one who is struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction and is not getting help, or is in denial of their addiction. The basic goal of an intervention is to help the struggling addict understand the effects….

Continue reading

The symptoms of dual diagnosis

The symptoms of dual diagnosis

Dual diagnosis, as the name suggests, can be defined as the diagnosis of a major mental health disorder along with alcohol or substance addiction at the same time. In a survey, it was found that around 50 percent of the Americans suffered from this problem. Dual diagnosis can affect an individual physically, psychologically and also….

Continue reading

How Free Treatment Centers Help Patients

Free Treatment Centers

Not all treatment is created equally. Free treatment centers, though they may not offer luxuries such as spa treatments or exquisite settings, can help patients overcome addiction. Free treatment centers provide counseling, support and even medications in some cases. Drug or alcohol addiction can cause devastating consequences for the user, the loved ones and everyone….

Continue reading

High-Tech ‘Answer’ to Alcohol Addiction

Instead of locking offenders up for alcohol offenses, Putnam County is going high tech to try and help them get sober. Putnam County Circuit Court Judge Phillip Stowers pushed for a program called SCRAM. It’s a bracelet, which looks similar to a home-confinement bracelet, that detects alcohol 24 hours a day, seven days a week…..

Continue reading

Psychologial Effects of Alcohol Abuse, Dependence

Alcohol Abuse Treatment

April is alcohol awareness month and one important issue to consider is that alcohol dependence, or alcoholism, and alcohol abuse can be linked to depression and other mental disorders. There are many studies that demonstrate this link, but one study reported by ScienceDaily suggested that “problems with alcohol abuse may lead to an increased risk….

Continue reading

I NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE NOWFree and Confidential. Call http://treatmentcenters.com/cms800-580-9104Response time about 1 min | Response rate 100%
Who Answers?