Author Archives: Jenny Stradling

About Jenny Stradling

Owner and CEO at Eminent SEO in Mesa, Arizona. My agency offers an array of website and marketing services to brands across the US. After years of doing addiction treatment marketing, I was asked to become a member of the ECHO Foundation Board in order to use my skills to help spread this very important mission and message. I have researched, studied and written content on mental health, substance use disorders, treatment and recovery tools since 2005. As an artist myself, I enjoy sharing ideas and information on how art can heal. I now advocate to help end the stigma around substance use disorder and look for more ways to share how art can help those who are in recovery, or simply looking for ways art can help with your mental health.

Pennsylvania Faces a Lack of Addiction Treatment and Sober Living Options for Addicts in Recovery

Pennsylvania Faces a Lack of Addiction Treatment and Sober Living Options for Addicts in Recovery

How the Lack of Addiction Treatment Care is Affecting Pennsylvania
With over 20.1 million Americans over the age of 12 suffering from substance use disorders (SUD), and only roughly 14% of those seeking treatment, you would think that there would be a sufficient availability of addiction treatment options in the United States. This is not the case; in fact, lack of access to treatment is the number 1 reason that addicted individuals don’t receive any type of mental health or substance abuse treatment.

With provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requiring insurers to cover substance abuse treatment in policies, it would seem like more people would have access to treatment. However, while the ACA rules did initially cover some forms of addiction treatment, and did give some easier access to substance abuse treatment, shortfalls in availability of treatment again resurfaced.

Fraudulent practices among certain addiction treatment providers – looking to take advantage of insurance provisions for substance abuse treatment set-forth by the ACA – actually worsened things in the long run. Today, many insurance companies are delaying payments to addiction treatment providers, or are scrutinizing the types of treatments that they cover.

The Need for Affordable Addiction Treatment and Transitional Housing in United States

The mistakes that were made in the wake of the ACA requiring addiction treatment to be covered by insurance have led to lessons-learned. The initial abuses taught us that insurance covering lengthy stays at 5-star luxury residential addiction treatment centers was not a sustainable option – and dried up funding available for treatment. In order to effectively treat the addiction epidemic in America, we need affordable addiction treatment options that are sustainable and easily accessible.

Pennsylvania Transitional living and housing for those that are in treatment and recovery from addiction is one of the most sustainable forms of residential treatment that has been considered recently. By making housing available for those that are receiving outpatient treatment for addiction, the housing costs can be separated from the treatment costs.

Residential addiction treatment centers often bundle the services they offer into a sort of rehab package. The package might offer treatment at a set price and for a set amount of time. Residential treatment is often not covered by insurance because the housing is bundled into the price of treatment. With outpatient addiction treatment, however, there are no housing costs – only the cost of treatment. This makes outpatient treatment the most attractive option of treatment to insurers, and can make treatment available to more people, more quickly.

Do Transitional Housing Addiction Treatment Facilities Have a Bad Reputation?

Transitional housing facilities, sober living homes, and halfway houses got a bad reputation in the early days of the opioid epidemic and the Affordable Care Act. Those abuses and fraudulent behaviors in the addiction treatment industry that we mentioned? Many of those cases occurred under the guide of “sober living homes.”

Just because “Sober living homes” are what the fraudsters marketed themselves as, does not mean that all sober living homes are involved in negative behaviors. In fact, cases of abuses in the system were found in many types of addiction treatment programs including residential treatment centers, luxury rehabs, and even in urinalysis and drug testing clinics.

So Why Did Transitional Housing and Sober Homes Get a Bad Name?

In the backlash against the programs that were at the center of fraud claims after 2008 and the Affordable Care Act offering treatment coverage, a marketing campaign was born to paint sober living homes in a bad light. The general public was made to believe that they could avoid fraudulent behavior and dangerous scams with addiction treatment if they only sent their loved ones to a “residential treatment center.”

While many residential treatment centers were able to use these unfortunate past events as a sales point to get concerned families to pay more for a program that was not labeled as sober living; in essence, the residential treatment centers were offering the same type of treatment as sober living programs: an addiction treatment program offering substance abuse counseling and treatment with housing (room and board).

The Need for Affordable Addiction Treatment and Transitional Housing in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania specifically, a lack of available housing options is making access to affordable addiction treatment even scarcer. Many Pennsylvania residents are from poorer communities, and even some of those families from the “middle class” communities can’t afford the $20,000+ price tags of residential addiction treatment programs in PA.

Those living in towns like Braddock in Allegheny County, or Edgewood in Northumberland County need access to more affordable forms of substance abuse treatment and care – and transitional housing and sober living homes are a great option for these communities.

Why Transitional Housing and Housing for Substance Abuse Treatment Needs Funding in Pennsylvania

Transitional housing options are more affordable, but that means that they don’t make as much money as luxury and private for-profit treatment centers do. This means that they cannot expand, or cannot keep up with the demand they have for families seeking treatment. This is also why so many transitional housing facilities and sober living homes rely on the public for assistance, donations, and volunteering.

In order to bring more transitional living options to Pennsylvania, Maryland, and the areas of the East Coast that have been hit hardest by the addiction epidemic, it takes donations. ECHO Recovery (East Coast Housing Opportunities), is currently accepting donations to bring our dream of having more available housing in Pennsylvania available to families that are struggling with drug and alcohol addiction.

We humbly ask for donations of time, money, or supplies to help us expand our availability of housing options to Pennsylvania and the East Coast.

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The Concerning Reason an International Alcohol Study at Johns Hopkins University Was Called Off

The Concerning Reason an International Alcohol Study at Johns Hopkins University Was Called Off

A high-profile international alcohol study with a local connection has been grounded.

Recently, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) cut off funding of a multimillion-dollar study of the effects of one drink of alcohol a day.

The primary research had been taking place in the Johns Hopkins ProHealth Clinical Research Center in Baltimore. Researchers from Johns Hopkins Medicine were involved, as were 15 other institutions from around the world, such as Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and the University of Copenhagen.

Why Was the International Study Halted?

How Does Alcohol Affect Your Health InfographicNIH stopped funding the study, formally known as The Moderate Alcohol and Cardiovascular Health Trial (aka MACH15), because the lead researcher and a few agency employees appeared to be “too cozy with the industry.” And by “industry,” we mean alcohol industry.

Concerns were initially raised back in March when The New York Times investigated the alcohol industry’s influence over this Johns Hopkins-based study.

The Times’ article suggested that some NIH employees actively courted the alcohol industry’s involvement in the study, and that these employees were already insinuating that the results of the trial would endorse moderate drinking as healthy.

The trial’s lead researcher, Dr. Kenneth Mukamal of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, retorted that the framing of the study had “no input or direction whatsoever from private sponsors, who have had no contact regarding MACH15 with any study staff member since the trial began.”

Other Reasons the Study Lost Its Funding

There were a couple of other reasons cited by NIH in its decision to halt the funding of MACH15:

  • NIH found that employees of its National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism were in such constant communication with Dr. Mukamal that it undermined the scientific integrity of the trial.
  • An NIH investigation also found that its employees and MACH15 researchers appeared to frame the study in a way that its findings would support moderate alcohol consumption, which was what The New York Times’ report suggested, as well.

How Was the Trial Being Funded?

Yes, funding for the trial was coming from the National Institutes of Health, but it’s more complicated than that. More specifically it was coming from a private foundation that raises money for NIH. And, this private foundation was taking donations from Anheuser-Busch InBev, Heineken and other alcohol corporations.

NIH investigated this foundation recently and found no signs of foul play in how it raised money for the MACH15 trial.

What Exactly Were They Studying?

The researchers of MACH15 were testing to see if one alcoholic beverage per day decreases the risk of heart diseases and diabetes. It was supposed to be a 10-year trial, and the study had garnered 105 participants, many of whom were approached in Baltimore by Johns Hopkins researchers.

The trial began in mid-2017, and had eaten up $4 million of its $100 million budget prior to NIH’s decision to call it off. The Baltimore Sun reported that it will still take several months for the researchers to wind down and close out the trial.

NIH has said it will take action against the employees who violated procedures, but the agency did not specify the extent of such discipline.

So What Conclusion Can We Draw?

Although it’s not entirely conclusive that NIH and MACH15 researchers colluded with the alcohol industry in this study – and the results will never come out, anyway – it still calls into question the purity of similar studies – in years past and yet to be conducted.

The Dangers and Risks of Drinking Alcohol

Every year or so, it seems like a new study comes out that has a conclusion such as, “One drink a day is good for you,” or, “One drink per day will shorten your life span.” For example, many U.S. and U.K. news outlets reported on a Finnish study in 2016  and proclaimed that a glass or two of wine with dinner boosts mental and physical health.

However, those publishers overlooked that these results had much to do with lifestyle factors: Wine drinkers tend to make better nutritional choices, and many come from well-off backgrounds, meaning they have access to healthier foods.

What happened with the MACH15 trial does make you wonder if there are outside forces influencing the outcome of alcohol and drug studies.

The Independent reported on a Mediterranean Neurological Institute, Pozzilli review in 2016 and concluded, “A Pint of Beer a Day Could Protect You from Heart Attacks.” However, The Independent and other news outlets overlooked that an Italian beer trade association funded the study.

Latest Parallel to the MACH15 Trial

While we will never know the results of the MACH15 trial, there was a study that wrapped up earlier this year that has several similarities. An international team of researchers analyzed data on nearly 600,000 people in 19 countries, with self-reported data reaching as far back as 1964.

The Lancet medical journal published the study, and new agencies had slightly different takes and degrees of alarm based on the findings. Here are a few of the headlines:

From NBC News: “More than 5 Drinks a Week Could Shorten Lives by Years”
From CNN: “Even One Drink a Day Could Be Shortening Your Life Expectancy”
From CBS News: “For Longevity, Have No More than One Drink a Day”

Our Take

No matter what studies have come out or will come out, we don’t need to wait for them to tell us that alcohol is risky and can harm one’s health if abused. We’ve seen it, and we’ve helped many people find their way in beating this addiction.

And while a drink here or there isn’t the end of the world for most people, we do know that if you go out of your way to get in at least one or two drinks each day, then that can develop into an addiction before long.

So if you’ve found yourself struggling to go a day without drinking or you have a family member who’s battling alcoholism, learn what the full process of recovery requires and how we can help you find appropriate treatment.

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Statistics on Homeless Families, Individuals, and Youth in Maryland

Statistics on Homeless Families, Individuals, and Youth in Maryland

Homelessness in Maryland is has been too high for over a decade, and state, local, public and private interests are looking to reducing homelessness numbers, and make housing available for those in need. The 2016 Annual Report on Homelessness gives the latest statistics on homelessness in the State of Maryland, and points toward a number of opportunities to both remedy and prevent some cases of homelessness in MD.

Homelessness is also a prime factor in substance abuse, with many of those that are addicted to drug s and alcohol at risk for becoming homeless, and those that are homeless are at greater risk of developing substance abuse issues.

ECHO Foundation advocates for more available housing in the State of Maryland; housing for those that are struggling to put a roof over their head, and for those that need housing while undergoing treatment for addiction and substance abuse.

Maryland Homeless Care Statistics

Maryland Homelessness Statistics

Maryland Homelessness Statistics
Maryland’s Interagency Council on Homelessness (ICH) was established in 2014, in response to rising numbers in homelessness. The goal of the council is to examine initiatives statewide, and to recommend policy solutions to fight against homelessness in the state. ICH found the following statistics on homelessness in its recent (2016) report.

How Many Homeless Individuals are in Maryland

Finding the exact number of homeless in Maryland is difficult, as many who are experiencing homelessness are not counted in censuses. ICH has recently worked with statewide providers to get a better and more accurate count, however. The ICH 2016 Point In Time (PIT) count for homeless individuals totals 7,352 persons experiencing homelessness in Maryland.

Homeless service providers in Maryland offer a different number, however, and this number is called the “Annualized Number” of persons experiencing homelessness in MD. The annualized number represents anyone that received a number of services, including:

  • Emergency Shelter Services
  • Prevention Services
  • Outreach Support
  • Permanent Housing Placement

The annualized number of homeless utilizing the above services in the 2016 fiscal year was 29,670, more than 3 times the number of the PIT count.

Facts and Statistics about Homelessness and the Need for Housing in Maryland

  • The population of homeless in Maryland is (Sheltered = 6,594, Unsheltered = 1,798).
  • The number of unsheltered homeless in Maryland increased 6% from 2015 (27,764) to 2016 (29,670).
  • There are 4,749 shelter beds available for homeless people in Maryland
  • There are 2,953 beds for homeless individuals available in transitional housing units in Maryland.
  • There are 7,689 permanent shelter beds total in the state of Maryland for homeless individuals.
  • There are an estimated 217 homeless encampments in the state of Maryland.
  • Homeless numbers are estimated at 4,389 individuals and 2,556 families.
  • 61% of homeless peoples in Maryland are male.
  • 39% of homeless peoples in Maryland are female.
  • 05% of homeless peoples in Maryland self-identify as transgender.
  • 1,720 children under the age of 18 are homeless in Maryland.
  • 440 youth (between the ages of 18 and 24) are homeless in Maryland.
  • 5,210 adults (over the age of 24) are homeless in Maryland.
  • 58% of homeless individuals in Maryland are African American, while 34% are Caucasian. 8% state that their ethnicity is Latino or “other.”
  • Of the 422,282 military veterans in Maryland, 520 are homeless.
  • On average, 8.75% of veterans in Maryland are homeless.
  • 89% of homeless veterans in Maryland are sheltered, while 16% are unsheltered.
  • 474 individuals were identified as “Unaccompanied Youth” in 2016, between the ages of 18 and 24.
  • Estimates state that 10% of those that are homeless became homeless by fleeing domestic violence.
  • Estimates state that 1,029 homeless individuals have died from 2006 to 2016. With no real way to gauge these numbers, the true amount could be much higher.
  • Deaths in the homeless population have increased 54% from 2007 to 2016.
  • Deaths of homeless individuals in the month of January (when temperatures are at their coldest) have increased 26% since 2007.
  • Western Maryland (Garret, Allegany, Washington, Frederick, and Carroll Counties) had a homeless population of 3,462 in 2016.
  • Central Maryland (Montgomery, Howard, Anne Arundel, Prince George’s Counties and Baltimore) had a homeless population of 22,040 in 2016, the highest density of homeless population in the state.
  • Southern Maryland (Charles, Calvert, and St. Mary’s counties) had a homeless population of 1,329 in 2016.
  • Northern Maryland (Hartford and Cecil Counties) had a homeless population of 1,051 in 2016.
  • The Eastern Shore region of Maryland (Kent, Queen Anne’s, Talbot, Caroline, Dorchester, Wicomico, Somerset, and Worcester counties) had a homeless population of 1,788 in 2016.

Shortfalls in Providing Housing Assistance for Homeless Individuals in Maryland

  • The United States Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) estimates that there is a shortfall of about 190,743 affordable rental-housing units in the state. 92,446 for families earning less than 50% of area median income (AMI), and 98,297 for those earning less than 30% of AMI.
  • Average cost of one-bedroom housing in Maryland (fair market value) is $1,141 per month.
  • Maryland has only 34 affordable housing units per 100 households earning 30% AMI or less.

Advocacy for Available Housing in Maryland

Bradley Cooper Quote About SobrietyIn order to supplement available housing in Maryland for those affected by homelessness and substance abuse, the state needs to begin looking into new options. Maryland’s Interagency Council on Homelessness (ICH) is already beginning to look into options for addressing the housing crisis in Maryland, including looking to mimic what has been done with “Housing First,” a cost effective national best practice for reducing homelessness, in other states. The Housing First program has offered results in many other cities and states, including Salt Lake City and New Orleans.

While steps are being taken to ensure that there are adequate housing options available in Maryland for those that are homeless, at risk for homelessness, addicted to drugs and alcohol, or are at risk for addiction, there is still much more that needs to be done.

ECHO Recovery aims to help to provide housing to those that are in recovery from substance abuse and addiction, are at risk for substance abuse and addiction, and those that need transitional housing.

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Addiction Government Report

Opioid Epidemic 2018: Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health

The United States Department of Health & Human Services recently released a report titled “Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health.” Echo Recovery applauds the Surgeon General’s office for providing this frank, commonsense report on the state of alcohol and drug abuse in the United States. The ongoing opioid crisis in America continues to impact the lives of Americans in every community, in every state, in every part of the country. This report supplies hard data and facts to hopefully drive awareness about issues like alcoholism, drug abuse, and opioid addiction in the country.

The Report And Statistics on the Opioid Crisis

This report is a breath of fresh air in a conversation about addiction that has seen many missteps in recent years. The current administration understands addiction, its effects on American communities, and what proper treatment should entail. As we begin 2018, the Surgeon General’s report is a fantastic resource for starting conversations about how to address the opioid epidemic in 2018 and beyond. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states that this report should help individuals, organizations, and their communities recognize the threat of addiction and lessen its impact on their lives. The report is divided into five parts, and each portion addresses different facets of the addiction problem in the United States.

The Neurobiology Of Addiction

One of the major misconceptions surrounding addiction is that drug use is always a choice. This thinking contributes to the social stigma surrounding drug abuse and addiction and is more harmful than helpful. It’s easy to say that people simply shouldn’t use drugs, but this doesn’t account for one of the major contributing factors to the ongoing opioid crisis: prescription medications taken for legitimate medical issues. The Surgeon General’s report states that addiction to drugs or alcohol is a chronic brain disease – not a choice – and it is a disease with potential for recovery or later relapse and recurrence.

Peer-reviewed scientific evidence supports the claim that addiction is a brain disease. Addiction disrupts brain function in three major areas, the basal ganglia, extended amygdala, and the prefrontal cortex. Damage to these areas of the brain due to drug use interferes with the individual’s decision-making processes, responses to environmental stimuli, feelings of pleasure and reward, and stress sensations. It’s important to remember that these issues do not simply go away after stopping drug use. Brain damage of this type can last for several years after achieving sobriety or even be permanent.

This portion of the report indicates that addiction inflicts measurable physical harm to an individual’s brain and should serve as an indication that once addiction sets in, it is certainly no longer a choice for the affected individual. Understanding the neurobiological implications of addiction is an important step in devising new, more effective methods for treating addiction.

Addiction Prevention Programs And Policies

The addiction government report also includes findings on the effectiveness of various addiction prevention programs and public policies. While some policies such as the prescription drug buyback programs and prescription monitoring systems have reported substantial success, other programs and policies haven’t had as much of an impact. As of 2018, there are still very few solid findings concerning inappropriate opioid medication prescribing practices.

Several federal, state, and local-level policies aim to reduce the availability of alcohol in some areas and increase public awareness of the dangers of alcoholism and drunk driving. Many states have cracked down on drunk driving, and increased penalties for violators, to deter other drivers from taking dangerous risks. Since the 1980s, alcohol-related vehicle deaths have dropped almost by half since the implementation of these policies.

Many community programs aim to address their most high-risk areas and community members to build sustainable prevention measures. These programs often serve citizens across all populations and age groups and address their specific problems that could otherwise lead to addiction.

Addiction Recovery Programs and Treatment Paths

Treating the Opioid Epidemic in 2018The Surgeon General’s report also contains inspiring data showing the effectiveness of many recovery options. Supported scientific evidence reports that about 25 million Americans (about 50% of American adults), who once met the criteria for a substance abuse disorder diagnosis, are currently in stable remission for one year or longer. This data shows that the available recovery options in the United States are working, and increasing advocacy, awareness, and the availability of these recovery options should be a top priority in many American communities.

Americans have a wide variety of recovery options at their disposal, from inpatient rehab programs covered by employer-provided insurance to luxury-level recovery resorts. The different recovery options available in the United States have form a robust network of support for people struggling with addiction. People from all walks of life can receive addiction treatment and leave with access to a vast support system.

Healthcare Systems And Addiction

One of the most salient points of the Surgeon General’s report is the fact that divisions between mental healthcare and substance abuse treatment in the past have hindered recovery for many Americans. Widely-supported scientific evidence shows that mental health and addiction are closely related, and many new addiction cases qualify as “dual diagnoses.” A dual diagnosis is a case involving one patient with a mental health issue and a substance abuse disorder occurring simultaneously.

The report indicates that integration of mental health services in substance abuse recovery, and making substance abuse recovery resources more readily available through healthcare providers, are fantastic developments that have had very positive results for many people struggling with mental health issues and substance abuse.

Suggestions For Future Addiction Prevention and Treatment

The Surgeon General’s report ends with several recommendations for fighting addiction in 2018 and beyond. One of the most important points made is that changing the cultural perception of addiction is absolutely crucial to improving recovery rates and slowing the rate of new addiction cases. By making addiction more of a socially acceptable topic, people who need substance abuse treatment will be more receptive to entering rehab or exploring their recovery options.

The report also suggests that community stakeholders need to address addiction in their communities however possible, from investing in new community programs and advocacy initiatives to donating to substance abuse treatment facilities. Ultimately, starting more conversations about drug abuse and addiction will help reshape public perceptions about these issues and hopefully encourage the people who need help to seek it.

A Hopeful Sign For The Future

This report is a good indication that the current administration is committed to fighting the opioid crisis and addiction rates in the United States. The policies and suggestions for 2018 addiction treatment practices contained in the report show that this administration truly understands addiction and its effects on Americans. American citizens should feel hopeful that the next three years of the current administration will contain more progress toward stopping the opioid crisis and making substance abuse recovery a more accessible option for the people who need it.

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Meet ECHO Recovery

Meet ECHO Recovery: Supporting Addiction Recovery in New England

ECHO Recovery has been launched to help offset the limited housing designed to serve individuals in the midst of addiction recovery. Here at ECHO Recovery, we are eager to start our mission to right this wrong. Our goal is to share information with the community, equipping recovering addicts and their loved ones with the tools necessary to get back to a sober lifestyle.

Knowing that the East Coast is one of the hotbeds of the nation’s alarming opioid epidemic, our goal is to create a safe and welcoming environment that is easily accessible not only to Maryland residents, but also to those across the entire New England region.

Jim Haggerty, one of our founders, has years of experience as a facilities administrator and as a recovery professional. His vision is to ease the burden placed on addicts and their families during treatment by finding a safe and reliable place for them to stay during recovery.

Opioid Deaths Reflect Need for Solutions

ECHO Recovery

While many types of drug addiction threaten Americans in 2017, opioids are by far the most deadly and dangerous. The threat posed by opioids doesn’t only stem from the black market.

Prescriptions for powerful painkillers in the past few decades have created an entire generation that seems to be hooked on opioids. It’s no surprise that the use of illegal opioids, like heroin and fentanyl, has worsened as opioid painkillers have become more widely prescribed.

Taking a look at the hard numbers reveals just how bad the problem is. According to the Centers for Disease Control:

  • 91 Americans are killed daily by prescription opioids and heroin (out of 142 overall drug overdose deaths each day).
  • The number of opioid-related deaths in the U.S. has quadrupled since 1999.
  • Heroin use between 18 to 25 year olds saw a large increase between 2002 and 2013.
  • Overdose deaths related to synthetic opioids rose significantly from 2014 to 2015.

The ECHO Recovery Solution

The concerning increase in opioid use and overdoses in the past two decades is a large part of what motivated a concerned group of professionals to found ECHO Recovery in the first place. Our goal is to not only help people in Maryland, but to provide resources to all of New England. After all, the region has been hit harder than most by the rash of opioid overdoses.

Americans struggling with opioid addiction on the East Coast face a major shortage of resources for treatment. ECHO Recovery represents an opportunity for anyone dealing with heroin or painkiller addiction to get help and start fresh.

Don’t feel like you need to deal with this struggle alone. You can find support among peers and recovery experts in a safe, established treatment community. If you feel that you may need assistance finding housing for addiction treatment or have any questions about recovery, please  contact us online.

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ECHO Foundation

Welcome to the ECHO Recovery Blog

In 2014 veteran addiction treatment executive Jim Haggerty spearheaded the effort to form the nonprofit ECHO Recovery, and after much time and effort, we are thrilled to present this brand new website to the public.

With the advent of this blog as part of the new site, our goal is to cover such topics as:

  • Rehab Industry Advancements
  • Best Treatment Practices
  • Breakdown of the Different Levels of Care for Addiction
  • Recovery and Relapse-Prevention Tips and Strategies
  • Sober Living News and Advocacy
  • Drug Use Stats and News (especially regarding the opioid epidemic)

What Does ECHO Mean?

The “ECHO” in ECHO Foundation stands for East Coast Housing Opportunities. In short, our goal is to help people going through rehab find safe and reliable sober homes while actively enrolled in a treatment program – especially outpatient and aftercare. Online donations play a major role in allowing us to help these individuals locate and finance their sober living accommodations.

ECHO Recovery is getting our start by offering our services in The Old Line State of Maryland. We have plans to quickly expand our sober living offerings throughout the East Coast (hence our name), especially to New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New York – states hard hit by the opioid epidemic.

According to Haggerty, there are not enough long-term sober living options available on the East Coast for individuals who have graduated residential addiction rehab programs. So, ECHO Recovery is prepared to help solve that problem.

Ultimately, we aim to expand services nationwide to help as many people as possible become and stay sober.

Why the Focus on Outpatient Addiction Treatment?

Outpatient addiction treatment is the critical step between graduating a residential program and returning to so-called “normal life.” Studies show that the longer someone is in treatment for addiction, the better his or her chance for long-term recovery. Since many residential programs are only 30 days, most aren’t getting the breadth of care they truly need to be able to go forward in life substance-free.

Partial hospitalization and outpatient programs help fill the void, but many clients are in need of a stable place to stay as they continue receiving outpatient services. Sober homes encourage accountability in each client’s sobriety and remove the temptation of substance use. They also provide a solid base for the client to return to after attending outpatient sessions. Clients are even encouraged to work part-time or continue their formal education.

If you need a refresher on the services commonly offered in outpatient rehab services, they include (but are not limited to):

  • Individual Therapy
  • Group Therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Faith-Based Support Groups (such as 12-Step Meetings)
  • Nutrition Counseling
  • Relapse Prevention Education
  • Life Skills Counseling
  • Alumni Events
  • Holistic Therapies (such as Yoga, Massage, etc.)

Offering Much More than Sober Housing

Providing sober living opportunities is just a portion of what we do at ECHO Recovery. Our overall mission is three-pronged:

  • Advocacy – We want to advocate on local and national levels for expanded and easier access to addiction treatment services for those who need the help.
  • Education – We want to educate individuals and the public on what addiction is and how treatment can make the difference. This will have the ancillary benefit of helping end the stigma surrounding addiction.
  • Support – We pledge our unwavering support to individuals and families who need to cease the destructive cycle of drug and alcohol abuse. This is where sober housing comes into play.

Stay Tuned for Much More

The best is yet to come from ECHO Recovery. We invite you to follow us on our journey as our site continues to grow as we expand our reach throughout the East Coast and on to the rest of the country. There’s an opioid epidemic that needs to come to an end, as does the stigma surround drug and alcohol addiction. There’s much work to be done.

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