Random Thoughts …

We have an Oxford house …

If your family has not been affected by drug addiction …consider yourself lucky. It has been a very sad time in the past few months for many West End families as they have lost family members to drug addiction.

It can be seen weekly on the District Court II YouTube channel …people get to treatment and get clean and everyone in court is so happy for them and they are doing great …and then …then … they are out and back to their old habits and they are back in the grip and back in court again and it starts all over.

But what if there was a place those newly out of treatment could go to get back on their feet?

An Oxford House is a shared housing residence for people in recovery from substance use disorders. An Oxford House describes a democratically self-governed and self-supported drug-free house.

There is no length of stay and the house may have from six to 10 residents. There are houses for men, women, men with children, or women with children.

Who can live at an Oxford House? Adults who are actively participating in chemical dependency treatment or in recovery, including those in medication-assisted treatment.

Some of the neighbors were not too keen on having this in their neighborhood and shared their concerns at a West End Business meeting. Forks Police Chief Mike Rowley reported to the West End Business group recently that so far there had been no issues at the Oxford House and he hoped that would continue to be the case. He also shared that if a person brings drugs into the Oxford house they are out, there are rules and it is a stable environment.

About Oxford Houses District Court II Judge Hanify said, “That’s what I tell people. You have two choices: someone with a substance use problem going through your neighborhood with no place to go, and someone with a place where house rules are enforced. From my experience on drug court, people live in fear of losing their Oxford residence. If they want to get clean and have a warm bed, they work at it.”

The Oxford House organization cites about an 80 percent success rate, meaning that 20 percent relapse while in an Oxford House (21 percent in Washington state).

So hopefully the community will benefit from this new addition and neighbors will also not be impacted. Something needs to happen, hopefully, this is a step in the right direction.

Christi Baron, Editor