Sober Homes Part 1: Anything but sober

BRENTWOOD - Sober homes are supposed to be a safe environment for recovering addicts to transition from rehabilitation facilities to everyday life. However, a special Newsday/News 12 investigation has found that some Long Island sober homes are anything but sober. At a so-called sober home in Gordon Heights, former boarder Mike Josell says there were no counselors present during his stay, just a group of men with histories of drug and alcohol abuse. The illicit substances the addicts were supposed to steer clear of were actually in abundance in the home, he says. Josell says he wound up relapsing and using alcohol and heroin again. He blames it on the environment in the sober home. Research shows it's a common story among Long Island's more than 200 sober homes. The homes have no legal requirement to provide residents with counseling and support. Critics say many of the homes are run by absentee landlords who are in it strictly for profit. Many of the recovering drug and alcohol abusers who are living in homes such as Josell?s are receiving rent subsidies from the county.Sober Homes: A News 12/Newsday Investigative Series

Interview: Long Island sober homesSuffolk County study on sober homes - May 2010Suffolk County creates sober home network - August 2011

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