From the Director
Prospect House is to alcoholism/drug treatment
what WNOP used to be to local radio -- unique, fun, seriously committed to
its mission, effective and under-funded. The one BIG difference is that
we're still in operation. We have been providing long-term residential drug
and alcohol treatment for a third of a century, at the same compact campus
in Price Hill, with the same phone number we started with. We have grown to
a total of 60 beds (up from 35 at the start), and we have gradually evolved
a more structured and effective program, able to deal with the drug-du-jour
as well as the tried-and-true. We were "holistic" before that
became a buzzword, and we will be that way after it has gone to buzzword
We help men with the almost
stupefying array of problems they bring with them to treatment: legal
troubles, medical troubles, dental troubles, employment troubles---it goes
on and on, and yet these problems, so sharp-edged and painful upon
admission to the program usually are resolved by the time a resident is
ready for discharge, about six months later, or, in the case of the men in
our transitional housing component (part of the same campus), about 18
months on average.
treatment to low-bottom alcoholics and addicts compares in complexity to
reorganizing a beaver dam back into living, growing trees and bushes. It is
one of the most profoundly anti-entropic human activities available. Our
joy is to put our men back to work, or into college, and back into
functioning families, as effective and honest husbands and fathers, men who
can work, and men who can love and be loved. Men who can pay taxes, men who
can vote. This is as radical a transformation as any hospital's med-surge
floor could hope for-and maybe more so.
And the transformation
happens a little more than 2/3s of the time, according to an outcome study
we conducted on everyone who came through the program from 1990 to 2000, a
study which took 3 men 7 months to complete. So we know that what we do
works---the combination of group work, individual counseling, didactic classes,
a structured, safe day, maintained by a staff infused with a caring
attitude, a staff who are all in recovery.
We don't know anything that
other people don't also know. Our "secret ingredients" are three:
persistence-sticking with a model that works; time-maintaining a per-diem
cost low enough to allow us to continue to be in control of the
length-of-stay; and the one-room schoolhouse idea of the "older"
residents mentoring and nurturing the "younger" ones, until the
younger become the older and the circle completes itself yet again. This
way of harnessing innate spiritual generosity is essentially the
institutionalization of the 12th step of A.A.. As it has worked well in
A.A. for 73 years; so has it worked here for 39.
House is a 39-year-old residential treatment home for male substance
abusers. We are on Hawthorne Avenue in Price Hill (Cincinnati, OH).
our 38 years, more than 6,200 men have been served. Some would say
"saved" instead of "served."
a man is accepted by the Prospect House he must agree to at least a
90-day residential stay. Based on the House's experience, 90 days is
the minimum it takes to achieve some sort of sobriety and to start
making the changes which will lead to maintaining sobriety in the
average residents live at Prospect House for nearly six months.