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Housing for Addicts

Letter to the Editor 
Peter Provet, Ph.D.

To the Editor:

Your investigative report on “three-quarter” homes (front page, Aug. 3) exposes flaws in a system that places vulnerable people with substance abuse and/or mental disorders in living situations with providers who at best do nothing to support their recovery, and at worst propel them toward drug use and chaos through crowded, substandard living conditions.

It is troubling to all of us who provide treatment services that people who leave our programs with the tools to live sober and independent lives are just one bad placement away from falling back into addiction. But the fact is that housing and recovery are joined at the hip.

Within long-term recovery, however, stable housing is necessary but not sufficient. Quality outpatient and recovery services are essential to maintaining successes achieved in what can otherwise devolve into a chronic relapsing disorder. That some corrupt providers may exist should not obscure the fact that hundreds of others offer critical community-based services that allow thousands in recovery to flourish.

President and Chief Executive
Odyssey House
New York

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