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Sober Dorms Expanding in IL as Heroin Crisis Continues

As heroin use continues to rise in Illinois, a private substance abuse network is opening one of the first so-called sober dorms in the Midwest. (iStockphoto)
As heroin use continues to rise in Illinois, a private substance abuse network is opening one of the first so-called sober dorms in the Midwest. (iStockphoto)
April 27, 2016

CHICAGO - A sober-living residence program for college-age adults is expanding in Illinois. The so-called sober dorm is slated to open in early July on Chicago's north side.

The privately-funded recovery home will be run by the Rosecrance Health Network. This comes on the heels of a Roosevelt University report that shows the Chicago area has more heroin-related emergency room visits than any other major city.

The area is also home to the third-largest number of college students in the U.S. Rosecrance Chief Operating Officer David Gomel says the clean-living dorm is intended to help students who are already trying to manage substance abuse problems.

"The program will have academic coaching and counseling, recovery coaching and counseling, and then more traditional therapy or counseling to help the young men and women get through this kind of challenging time, most [are] pretty early in their recovery process," he says.

Support for sober dorms is growing. According to a Chicago Tribune analysis, nationally at least two-dozen universities now have comprehensive addiction-recovery programs, including drug-free residences.

Illinois has been cutting local funding for substance abuse treatment programs at a time when addiction experts argue the state is becoming a national epicenter for heroin abuse. Gomel says for some students a drug addiction can derail their life goals, and the sober dorm could help them avoid that.

"They have a safe place to come back to that they know is drug and alcohol free, that they know has paid professionals there to help them, and a team of colleagues, of peers, who are all in the same boat pushing for the same goal."

The Rosecrance facility will house 30 young adults up to a year and a half for $2,500 a month.

Brandon Campbell, Public News Service - IL