After you complete rehab, one of the worst things you can do is return to the toxic living environment you were in before getting clean. The temptation to use is very real and triggers seem to appear at every corner. And although it might not seem like a big deal, who you choose to live with can be one of the biggest triggers out there. Living with someone who doesn’t share a similar mindset can put you on the fast-track to relapse.
When Opportunity Knocks
No one knows the roommate quandary better than Jesse Sandler, an addiction therapist who’d seen his patients struggle to find recovery-affirming housing options in the community. There was seemingly nowhere to turn to quickly and privately locate sober roommates, while protecting their personal information. Sandler decided to fill this void by creating the website, www.MySoberRoommate.com.
The site’s members create profiles with information, such as age, gender and duration of sobriety to search for a roommate. And because of the importance of privacy and anonymity, the site puts members in control of what personal information they share and when they share it: members use screen names and all communication goes through the website’s messaging system. And the best part is, it’s all free.
To battle any security concerns, the site includes a feature that flags any inappropriate photos and allows users to report other improprieties. According to Sandler, problems have cropped up only a couple of times in the first two months.
Sandler says the majority of the site’s users are in either the 18-25 or 40-plus age groups. The most activity has been in some of the expected locations where many people end up for addiction treatment or aftercare: Southern California, South Florida and large metropolitan areas of Texas.
Filling a Need
The response to the new website has been overwhelming. In its first two months, the community grew to nearly 1,000 members and already boasts multiple success stories. Leading experts in the addiction realm praise the site’s innovativeness and significance for people in recovery.
As the site’s membership continues to grow, Sandler and the rest of his team are busy brainstorming future product development activities. An app’s in the works (since most users access the site through their smartphones) and the team’s working on creating upgraded profiles that will allow members to receive background or credit checks.
For more information on this new sober roommate matching service, visit www.MySoberRoommate.com.
Additional Reading: Not Under My Roof – Don’t Let a Roomie Derail Your Recovery
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