Crossroads: More Transitional Living Space for Men Suffering from Alcohol and Drug Addiction - East Valley Tribune: Chandler

Crossroads: More Transitional Living Space for Men Suffering from Alcohol and Drug Addiction

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Posted: Tuesday, June 7, 2011 4:24 pm | Updated: 5:31 pm, Tue Jun 7, 2011.

Crossroads: More Transitional Living Space for Men Suffering from Alcohol and Drug Addiction

By Donovan Wilson

(Phoenix, Arizona) -- Crossroads, Inc., the non-profit substance abuse residential treatment organization today launched a new facility in the Arcadia section of Phoenix -- further providing recovery and transitional living opportunities for men engaged in deep-rooted addiction.

Called Crossroads Arcadia, the 58-bed facility provides something unique … when compared with existing Crossroad facilities.  In addition to the standard 126-day treatment program, Crossroads Arcadia includes a special recovery curriculum designed to deliver an intense 21-day program for chronic alcoholics and drug addicts – the Right Track program.

Right Track serves as a forerunner for addicts and alcoholics who are intensely involved in their substance abuse – but who are looking for a way to recover.  Among Crossroads’ seven facilities throughout the Valley, Crossroads Arcadia is the only division that offers this program.

“The men who enter Right Track receive close peer support and individual attention to mentally and physically prepare for successful transition into our standard Crossroads service plan,” explained Randy Dannheim, Right Track Coordinator. “Through Crossroads Arcadia we are able to expand the Right Track program which can now accommodate 25 men.”

Dannheim explained that prior to Crossroads Arcadia the Right Track program existed on a minimal scale at the Crossroads Midtown location where only 5 men could be accommodated. “We just didn’t have the space to help the many men who came knocking on our doors,” Dannheim said. “It was painful to turn away people who were beaten up from their substance abuse and desperate to get help.”

In 2007 Right Track commenced as a pilot for men who were addicted to Crystal Methamphetamine. Funded by St. Luke’s Hospital, the two-year trial yielded stunning results.   From April 2007 to March 2009, 154 crystal meth addicts between 18 and 57 years old entered Right Track. Of that total, 108 (72.5%) completed the 21-day program. What’s interesting about the completion rate is the fact that 71 of those graduates were homeless before entering the program; and 100 percent received housing after 21 days. Dannheim said the housing placement score was based on all the graduates moving on to a Crossroads facility for a 126-day, or more, stay in a structured transitional living environment. “They were definitely prepared to move on to one of our residential facilities because they had passed the test to right themselves and get back on track,” Dannheim said.

The grueling 21-day Right Track program requires clients to attend 48 hours of substance abuse classes within the first 16 days… and then execute, focused, daily job searches from Day 16 to Day 21. In order to graduate, clients must also write an autobiography and read it out loud to their peers – in a group setting.

 

Joe Peterson, Crossroads’ Assistant Coordinator of Programs is a Right Track graduate, and he recalls the force that drove him to seek help. “I was a pretty successful manager at a supermarket here in the Valley, and I lived in a nice home in North Scottsdale,” he said. “I started abusing substances six years ago and before I knew it I was out of a job and on the streets.”

The 38-year-old Peterson sought solace through Right Track, because he did not enjoy being homeless. He said he spent nights in a gully behind his former place of employment –before checking into the Central Arizona Shelter Services (CASS), the homeless shelter in downtown Phoenix. And this, he said, was his breaking point.  “I couldn’t cope with living on the streets or in a shelter,” he recalled. “I fled to my parole officer and asked him to send me to prison… and that was when he suggested the Right Track program, and I haven’t looked back since.”

Today Peterson enjoys what he does for a living because it allows him to give back to Crossroads while helping addicts who are still sick and suffering. “I am grateful for this second chance at life and the opportunity to work in an environment where I can help men who want to rid themselves of alcohol and drug addiction.”

Perhaps the Crossroads’ Chairman of the Board Robert Novak said best when he addressed media and others at a news conference today:  “When we help these men we are truly fulfilling the mission of Crossroads. The service this organization provides to the community; to families; and to the individuals suffering from addiction is invaluable. It’s an accomplishment to see our clients regain their lives and their families, as they become productive members of our society.”

For more information on Crossroads please go to: http://www.thecrossroadsinc.org/

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