House & Chapter Literature & Guidelines » Oxford Houses of Virginia
Our group has recently received a federal grant to explore this new type of culturally modified recovery home. We also believe that Oxford Houses and other community-based support system provide social scientists with rich opportunities to explore a vast array of psychological and sociological constructs. Clearly, psychologists with interests in community based support networks for substance abusers have ample research topics worthy of exploration, and this research may have public policy implications.
We were also interested in exploring whether rates of crime increased in locations where there were Oxford Houses. We investigated crime rates in areas surrounding 42 Oxford Houses and 42 control houses in a large city (Deaner, Jason, Aase, & Mueller, 2009). A city-run Global Information Systems (GIS) website was used to gather crime data including assault, arson, burglary, larceny, robbery, sexual assault, homicide, and vehicle theft over a calendar year. Findings indicated that there were no significant differences between the crime rates around Oxford Houses and the control houses.
The first Oxford House was started in 1975 in Silver Springs MD by a group of recovering alcoholics/addicts who were living in a halfway house that was closing down. Worried that they would have to leave and not have a safe place to go, they decided to rent a house together and hold each other oxford house rules accountable to staying sober. Within six months they had enough money saved to open a second house, to meet the need for more beds. With the help of Federal and State programs this growth has continued and today there are Oxford Houses in almost every state, and in several countries.
- No significant differences were found in relation to residents’ number of days in outpatient and residential psychiatric treatment, abstinence rates, and Oxford House residence status.
- Clearly, psychologists with interests in community based support networks for substance abusers have ample research topics worthy of exploration, and this research may have public policy implications.
- The Oxford House organization recommends 8–12 individuals residing in each House (Oxford House, 2006).
- These data were used in 5 court cases, which were successful in arguing against closing down Oxford Houses that had more than 5 or 6 non-related residents.
Oxford Houses indicated that larger House size predicted less criminal and aggressive behavior. These data were used in 5 court cases, which were successful in arguing against closing down Oxford Houses that had more than 5 or 6 non-related residents. Because the Oxford House organization was frequently confronted with a variety of community reactions to the presence of an Oxford Houses, our team decided to explore attitudes of neighborhood residents toward Oxford Houses (Jason, Roberts, & Olson, 2005). Oxford House residents are often considered good neighbors, and when neighbors get to know these residents, they often feel very positive about these homes.
Impacts Beyond Oxford House: Community Perceptions
Substantial reductions in recidivism rates have been found when in-prison Therapeutic Communities (TCs) are combined with community transition programs (Hiller, Knight, & Simpson, 1999; Wexler et al., 1996). Unfortunately, these TC programs often create a financial burden on society, and are not available to all that need them. Also, therapeutic community residents may stay only for a limited time before many return to former high-risk environments or stressful family situations (Goldsmith, 1992). Our research examined the nature and outcomes of the Oxford House model of substance abuse recovery. We worked with the needs of diverse groups, including ex-offenders, minority groups including Native Americans, and women and women with children.
Additionally, mutual help, social support, a sober living environment, and accountability emerged as strongly-endorsed therapeutic elements of the Oxford House model. Finally, consistent with a broad conceptualization of recovery, residents reported that living in Oxford House helped them remain https://ecosoberhouse.com/ sober but also facilitated the development of life skills and a new sense of purpose along with increased self-esteem. Alcoholism and substance abuse affects over 20 million Americans, and thus is the most prevalent mental disorder facing our nation (Jason, Ferrari, Davis, & Olson, 2006).
Oxford House of Virginia Mission
These results suggest that well-managed and governed recovery homes pose minimal risks to neighbors in terms of criminal behavior. Finally, Mortensen, Jason, Aase, Mueller, and Ferrari (2009) studied this national sample of Oxford Houses for six years following the completion of our study in order to investigate factors related to whether the Oxford Houses remained open or closed. Results indicated a high sustainability rate (86.9%) during a six year period of time. Houses that remained open had significantly higher incomes of residents than houses that eventually closed. No other significant differences were found between the two groups of houses, including sense of community among residents, neighborhood or policy characteristics, and house age.
We currently have received NIH support to begin researching individuals leaving jail and prison with substance abuse problems. This line of research could be expanded to other levels or target groups, such as men and women with substance abuse returning from foreign wars in Iraqi and Afghanistan. Reports of post-traumatic illnesses and substance abuse among returning veterans suggests that cost effective programs like Oxford House need closer federal attention. Our work with African Americans suggests that the Oxford House model meets cultural needs of this group; but culturally-modified houses might need to develop to meet the needs of Spanish-speaking Latinos due to their lack of representation within Oxford Houses.
We believe that selecting multi-level, multi-methods approaches allowed us to better clarify complex phenomena that we were studying. Q. What is the “ideal” number of individuals to make a self-run, self-supported recovery house work? A house with fewer than six individuals is difficult to maintain because of the small size of the group and the fact that any vacancy causes a greater disruption of the financial welfare of the house.