Is There Hope for Addicts?

Isn't sleep the last thing an addict needs? Yes -- and that's the first lesson in recovery at Prospect House. Learning when to go to bed and when to rise is among the simple, but necessary, first

Isn't sleep the last thing an addict needs? Yes — and that's the first lesson in recovery at Prospect House.

Learning when to go to bed and when to rise is among the simple, but necessary, first steps to recovery from addiction, according to David F. Logan, executive director of Prospect House.

"They don't think the night is made for sleeping," Logan says.

Providing the structure for personal change, so recovery can start, is at the heart of Prospect House, a residential treatment facility in Price Hill.

The treatment entails participation in Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step programs for alcoholism or drug addiction. The groups are a way to develop relationships with other people in recovery. These relationships, Logan says, help an individual see recovery is possible, because others are doing it.

Prospect House seeks to fill the void left when alcohol or drugs are removed from a person's life.

"If you pluck the drugs and alcohol out of the middle of somebody, it is like removing the armature from a sculpture; it would implode," Logan says."

Thirty years have passed since Rev. John Lovatte and others opened Prospect House. Hundreds of people recently gathered to celebrate the agency's anniversary — including a distinguished visitor who learned just how much change is involved in recovery from addiction and the crime that often goes with it.

"A retired city councilwoman had locked her keys in her car," Logan says. "I said, 'Don't worry. We have someone here who can get you in.' "

Working to help people overcome addiction to drugs, alcohol and gambling, Prospect House aims not just for sobriety, but to help clients finds jobs and education. Josh Noble, for example, who has been in the program for four months, is now planning to attend Cincinnati State College.

The facility has an impressive success rate, according to Roger Zellers, associate director of Prospect House. Beginning in 1990, Zellers started tracking the number of clients who stayed sober after completing the program. He came up with a success rate of 60 to 70 percent.

With heavy emphasis on 12-step programs, the center also features an element missing from most residential facilities: time. Prospect House has a 90-day treatment program that includes individual counseling, therapy, films and 12-step meetings. But the center also offers a long-term recovery program in which clients stay for up to a year or more.

"Somebody who has been out drinking for 10 to 12 years — their life is shot when they get here," says Greg Walz, who has been sober for seven years. "They work for you to get back into school, and work with you to try to get a job."

A non-profit organization predominantly staffed by people who are also in recovery, Prospect House has counselors whose own life experiences give them credibility and access to clients.

"I've seen more successes come out of this place than any other treatment program in the city," Walz says. "I have never seen another program that totally works around the whole entire life of the individual."

In addition to alcohol and drug abuse, Prospect House has groups for Vietnam War veterans, people acclimating to life after prison and African Americans in recovery.

BURNING QUESTIONS is our weekly attempt to afflict the comfortable.

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