The huge problem with alcohol abuse in New Hampshire.

Alcoholism is still the largest problem in the State of New Hampshire, it actually contributes to more people addicted than all substances combined.

Many people focus much of their conversation towards the opioid epidemic but at Live Free Structured Sober Living in NH, we still see steady numbers of garden variety alcoholics that prefer to drink alcohol rather than use illicit drugs.

Detox from alcohol is still one of the only substances that could be fatal if folks are not careful. Individuals should seek medical care for their withdrawals from alcohol. Detox from benzodiazepines can also be fatal. Individuals seeking detox from them should also seek medical care just like those withdrawing from alcohol. Alcohol and benzodiazepine withdrawals can lead to seizures and other life-threatening symptoms including delirium tremens.

According to a national study on drug use and health from 2014 to 2015. New Hampshire had some of the highest rates of substance abuse by youth and young adults in the country. Back in 2014-15, another study conducted in New Hampshire found that we had some of the highest rates of addiction amongst young people in the country. Abuse and misuse of alcohol was also found to kill more than other substances as well.

New Hampshire also typically ranks top 5 amongst the highest in the country for binge drinking states.

We do have our fair share of colleges that are known for partying as well as academics. New Hampshire also makes tremendous revenue from the sale of alcohol. New Hampshire is one of the few states that surround us that sells alcohol on Sunday. We also make it easy to buy alcohol from out of state by providing liquor stores right on the highway. Getting your weekend alcohol is as easy as jumping on the highway and it is even tax-free.

Live Free Structured Sober Living has found is that a structured environment is even more important to individuals recovering from alcoholism than ever.

Alcohol is prevalent in almost all environments, so to offer an environment that is alcohol and substance-free is crucial to those in early recovery. Live Free Structured Sober Living in NH allows for guests to get a solid foundation in their recoveries enabling to more easily handle these natural environments that have alcohol in them. The promise is that if the individual does the work in recovery and continues to that he can go anywhere as free man alcohol or substance free. They will no longer need to shield themselves from alcohol, this is the REAL GIFT of Recovery.

Open House at Our Keene NH Location

Live Free Structured Sober Living in Keene, NH will be hosting their first open house at the new location.

On March 23, 2019, there will be an opportunity for those in the addiction treatment field, the addiction recovery community, and the public to all come together. Utilizing the group room area on the Live Free Structured Sober Living facility, there will be tables set up for providers and also free food for everyone. This is a great opportunity for everyone to mingle and learn more about what is being done to help those that are struggiling with SUD (Substance Use Disorder).

Group Room In Sober Living Home In NH | Live Free Structured Sober LivingLive Free Structured Sober Living LLC opened the facility at 881 Marlboro Rd near the Chesire County Jail in March. The goal is to help men in their recovery from addiction in a structured environment. The 20-bed program offers activities that help men in recovery “get engaged in life as quickly as possible” — find employment and volunteer opportunities, participate in “recovery friendly activities,” such as yoga and fishing, and be a part of the community — all for less money than the average sober house, founder and Executive Director Ryan Gagne said in January.

Live Free Structured Sober Living in Keene, NH hopes for you to join us to gain a larger understanding of what we have to offer. We look forward to you joining us and having a great time as well as learning more of what can be done to help this epidemic.

 

Having a Community in Sober Living

When it comes to recovery for drug addiction and alcoholism

little can be accomplished without helping people get connected to a strong community. At Live Free Structured Sober Living homes in NH, one of our main goals is to create a strong community focused on recovery from addiction. We aim to provide a feeling of unity for people that normally feel disconnected from most of the world.

Creating that environment is not always easy but it is definitely worth it. A community requires a psychological connection – an understanding that they, coming together, are a part of something bigger than themselves. More than technology and surface level interactions, we can create a sense of community.

It’s the most rewarding, positive, and powerful thing we can do. To watch the positive impact that a strong community has on a new man just entering the Live Free Structured Sober Living program. Words just won’t do it justice. The new man fresh in recovery feels little hope is scared and does not know what to do. The sober living community knows this. They remember this was them at one point and then set out to help them.

We take groups of people and then build a strong sense of community amongst them. Giving one another accountability. This allows them to point out where they see you slipping up in your life and allow you to do the same to them. Having this in place helps a man or women grow. Steel sharpens Steel.

All the benefits that are derived from a community atmosphere, are derived from the created sense of being a part of something bigger than just yourself. If you can get the people you’re focusing on helping to feel a sense of community. Gaining that bond with one another, then you’re rewarded with a healthy group of people. that are otherwise usually unmatched because of the amount of growth they experience with each other. They go through tough times as well as learn to have fun with one another for the first time. Many sober living programs in NH will not focus on the cultivation of a strong community, but rather let the client just pay rent and take drug tests.

Better still, a strong sense of community makes everything else easier.

It’s easier to attract members, convert newcomers to regulars, sustain high levels of retention and participation. It’s easier for people to succeed in their recoveries from addiction because they feel so connected and supported.

We are all human beings, we are all connected, with addiction there is no possible connection.
-Tony D

Another strong aspect of creating community is doing fun activities together. Creating times to play and have fun are some things that people remember most because for many It is the first time they are having fun in their recovery.


Our guys went our bowling together. Looks like they made up some fun names for each other.

When you create a strong sense of community, amazing things will happen.

When we’re talking about a community, we’re talking about the sense of community felt amongst individuals. This is what a community is. It’s that psychological feeling of being a part of something unique (and special). We need to talk more about it and engage with activities designed to increase this sense of community.

Purdue Pharma Caught in Plan to Get People Addicted and Then Keep Them Hooked for Profit.

If you ever think to yourself

“the landscape for substance abuse and drug and alcohol treatment couldn’t get any more difficult to navigate”,

I would suggest you wait a day or two and read the paper or watch the news. CNN reported on a story titled “Purdue Pharma sought secret plan to become ‘end-to-end pain provider,’ lawsuit alleges”.

The suit that was brought against the company says the company and its owners, the Sackler family, whose name adorns some of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the country, engaged in over decade of deception to push their pharmaceuticals, namely the painkiller OxyContin, on doctors and patients, publicly denying what internal documents show they privately knew to be true. The documents show an actual sales funnel. Starting with the wide top to capture pain patients, turning them into addicts, and funneling them down selling them the drugs to treat the addicted group. Drugs like Narcan, which is meant to reverse an Opioid-related overdose and even sell their version of the popular Opioid treatment, Buprenorphine.

It’s sad to say that nothing shocks me anymore, but things still do sting.

This article stung on a whole new level. We’re all aware now about the fact that Purdue Pharmaceuticals knew exactly how addictive their pain killer drugs were. Now the details of the new suit in the article suggest that it was purposely pushed in order to capitalize financially on them abusing the medications until an addiction was formed. Then Purdue would also be providing the drugs to help treat the addiction they helped create. It was a deliberate marketing campaign to target a vulnerable population and purposely put their welfare and well being out of the equation.

I find the saddest part of this new suit is the number of lives lost to those who struggled with drug addiction as a result of the actions this huge institution has taken.

Not to mention the amount of immense suffering that people have experienced from the addiction to their products. A life of active drug addiction is one that is full of extreme pain. Not only do the people directly afflicted with addiction suffer but all people around them do as well. The parents, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters have all been swept up in the unbelievable wake of suffering. How could a massive company be allowed to do this? We try and convict people for far less. Maybe a better question is why, why would a company do this? Well, the obvious and short answer is money. Purdue paid the 4 billion dollars to the Sackler family in profits.

We hope that after the dust settles that the individuals, families, and communities that have been gravely damaged by the actions are finally held accountable for their unjustifiable actions. Money is never a good excuse to put peoples lives in jeopardy.

Ways to Live a Life Free of Resentment

We’ve all heard the quote

“Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”

That is because wishing harm on others does nothing to them, it only hurts you. You walk around with the negativity and an underlying ill feeling produced by the resentment. Usually, the other person isn’t even thinking of you at all…and that stings.

Resentment is a huge topic for people early in recovery from addiction,

and also folks that have been in recovery for a long period of time. It’s important I believe for all people to live a life free from resentment, although this is a difficult task to achieve. A great thing for the folks here at Live Free Structured Sober Living, is that they are encouraged to look at their resentment in a way so they may be free. A way to end the piling up of negative feelings. Think how just one resentment makes you feel in a physical sense, then do the math of all the unresolved resentments that you still hold onto. No wonder there are reasons why people drink and use drugs, they need to blot out the constant negative feeling they experience and give their heads a rest. If the person is newly sober and does not have tools to handle the resentment machine located between the ears then they are at risk of relapse.

How the 12 steps help with resentment

One tool is to utilize the 12 steps, more specifically the 4th step. We would not suggest you skip 1-3 and only do 4 but to locate someone who has worked all 12 and continues to show you how. This is an activity where you take all your resentment that you have built up inside and put it on paper. You then locate what the root of the resentment is and look to see where you can take ownership. This may seem like a self-defeating exercise that allows people to dump on you, but it’s not. It’s actually very freeing to be able to take ownership since you have no power to change others, but do have the power to change yourself. You also look at unreal expectations, dishonest thinking, and fear-based assumptions. The act of writing, admiring, and reading out loud is extremely freeing. This is an excellent tool for someone in or out drug and alcohol treatment, or in sober living.

Meditation as a tool for resentment

Another tool is to meditate regularly. There is one meditation in particular that focuses on increasing a persons love and kindness. This is where you focus on building love for people in a way that it’s easy to. Like the love for a puppy, parents, best friends, friends, neutral people then ending with people you have difficulty with. This allows you to build a calm fire of love to surround and melt resentment. Like fire, you start with stuff that catches fire easily, then start adding bigger and bigger fuel till you have a blazing fire. Once the fire is raging you can even put wet, difficult logs on the fire and they burn easily too. The meditation is similar. You walk through the 5 stages starting with an easy person to love and ending in stage 5 with someone you find difficult. You can feel the resentment you have possibly harbored for so long, leave over time. Adding this to your daily routine while here in sober living or at home will greatly enhance one’s recovery from addiction.

Prayer as a tool for resentment

Prayer is an excellent tool to be free of resentment as well. If one is open and willing to pray for someone they are at odds with, that person can experience a great deal of relief from the resentment. If they pray for that person to happy, healthy, and free from negativity then they themselves may feel that way. This is wonderful for folks in early addiction recovery since they can do it anywhere and at any time. Being in drug and alcohol treatment or sober living can be difficult and you may find yourself doing this regularly, that’s ok it’s a great habit to exercise and grow. There is plenty of research that shows doing this and meditation activates the frontal lobe of the brain like no other activity. The frontal lobe is the part of the brain that controls important cognitive skills in humans, such as emotional expression, problem-solving, memory, language, judgment, and sexual behaviors. It is, in essence, the “control panel” of our personality and our ability to communicate. Just more reasons to perform these activities daily for your early recovery.

What can I do now?

Little things can go a long way. Start your day by making your bed and then saying a small prayer. Ask whatever you believe in, even if that is yourself, to guide you and protect you today. Pray for others wellbeing and how to be of service to them. Next, spend a few small minutes sitting quietly and meditating. Put on a guided meditation if you would like or just concentrate on your breath. Below are a few links to different types of meditations. These seemingly small acts have huge impacts on your emotional and physical wellbeing. Practice daily and you will begin to notice your outlook and mindset beginning to change for the better. Others may notice it before even you.

Guided Meditation

 

Keene Sober Living Home Opens its Doors to the Opioid Crisis.

After many months of working diligently with community partners Southwestern Community Services and Live Free Structured Sober Living

have worked out a mutual agreement. Live Free Structured Sober Living will lease the building that is previously known as the 2nd Chance building at 881 Marlboro Rd Keene, NH to provide high quality, lower cost sober living for the Keene, NH community and the state of New Hampshire.

Ryan Gagne, founder of Live Free Structured Sober Living said,

“We’re happy to have connected with such a great organization and continue a part of their vision to help out this population of people Substance Misuse Disorder. Southwestern Community Services have bent over backward to help us bring our sober living program to this community”.

The 2 organizations have been discussing this project since August of 2018 and have worked closely on overcoming many issues to arrive at the doors opening.

The program will provide 1 paid live-in staff, 2 live in house managers, drug screenings, in house peer support groups, one on one recovery mentoring, beautifully furnished accommodations, on-site laundry, a computer lounge, high level of structure and accountability, and job placement assistance. All while remaining abstinent from all illicit and non prescribed medications. Live Free Structured Sober Living provides much more than a sober living house, we provide a sober living program that embraces the resident back into their community.

Live Free Structured Sober Living is also a MAT (Medicated Assisted Treatment) accessible program. 95% of the sober living homes in the state don’t allow most medications and present barriers to entry in their housing. The majority of folks exiting a drug and alcohol treatment program are leaving on medication that won’t allow them to access sober living houses. At Live Free Structured Sober Living we are looking to fix that. We will be working in the weeks to come on having an outside provider work with our guests around these medications to gradually step them down over a long period of time. Once off those medications, determined by a medical professional, we will have fully engaged our guests with peer supports, recovery concepts, accountability, life skills, and esteem building activities while they navigate their lives free from medication. The individual must choose this path himself.

Live Free Structured Sober Living has always held an extremely high standard of the community, internally within the program and externally with the surrounding community.

“It takes a village to help people and we’ve always looked at what we can contribute as well as take for ourselves. In Manchester, NH we were able to get out regularly and hand out blessing bags to the homeless population as well as serve food. We look to have the same impact on the community here and welcome partnerships for such activities”.

Recently Live Free Structured Sober Living was featured in an article with The Keene Sentinel. Read about us in the local paper and be sure to come to visit our beautiful facility in Keene, NH.

New recovery support program to open in Keene

What is Sober Living?