Letter to the Editor: Sober Home Should be Welcomed

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Dear Editor,

I just read your article about the opposition to the sober living home. I appreciate you giving it the exposure it deserves.

While I completely understand the need for transparency, it's clear from what I read between the lines, as well as the references to the proximity to the school, that the potential dwellers are looked at as dangerous people — much like sex offenders or pedophiles. Sadly, those who feel that way have it all wrong. If anything, these people are success stories... model citizens that are on a path to recovering their lives from the horrific and often fatal world of addiction!

I assume that most Hillsdale residents have no experience with addiction or addicted relatives and don't realize how many recovery efforts are ongoing all over town. Five years ago, I started an Al Anon meeting on Sunday evenings in Hillsdale with three people. Today, the meeting thrives with a regular attendance of 20-30 people. Out of this meeting was started an Alateen program for young teenagers that are grappling with addiction in their homes. Then came a weekly Step meeting, where each of the 12 Steps are discussed and practiced by members of Al Anon. Finally, another "casual" weekly Al Anon meeting was started on Tuesday evenings for those who want to discuss their issues with afflicted family members in a less formal structure.

There are several AA and NA meetings in the town during the week, which have long histories and great reputations.

A sober living home, I would think, would be a most welcomed addition to a small town that already supports recovery and sobriety. I think those that oppose are just plain ignorant to the ever growing scourge of addiction that plagues our society like no other disease. If they knew more, perhaps they would look at residents of sober living homes as heroes, not as enemies!


Steve Muskat


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