Next Step Recovery Celebrates 15 Years of Sober Living Support
May 2021 marks Next Step Recovery’s 15th year of providing substance use disorder treatment services for young men in Asheville, North Carolina, with hundreds of alumni living successfully in long-term recovery.
Next Step Recovery’s staying power can be attributed to the quality of its addiction treatment services and its highly trained clinical team, that includes psychologists, licensed clinical addiction specialists, professional counselors, masters-level social workers, and certified substance use counselors. This expertise and individualized support make Next Step Recovery much more than a place to land after discharge from treatment. The highly structured program provides a place where men in early recovery can learn critical recovery skills that will last a lifetime. By contrast, many of the sober living programs that have proliferated during the opioid epidemic provide little or no oversight and, consequently, little protection from relapse during the very vulnerable early recovery period.
“Addiction is a challenging disease to treat, and relapse is common without the right support,” explained Next Step Recovery’s founder and executive director Susan Stader, MS, LPC, LCAS, CCS. “We’ve been doing this work for a long time. We know that structure and accountability work. Many of us are in sustained recovery ourselves. That’s what keeps us going and growing over the past 15 years.”
Sober living communities are substance-free residential communities geared toward individuals in early recovery. Next Step Recovery goes beyond this minimum definition by combining sober housing with a robust array of individualized treatment services. At any given time, the program supports up to 23 young men from across the United States. Recovery support services include an intensive outpatient program with concentrated relapse prevention education five times per week, individual case management to support whole person wellness and goal setting, 24/7 onsite peer support, weekly individual and group counseling, 12-step program support, life skills training, wilderness adventure therapy, and job search and transportation assistance.
“What makes our program unique is our small size and our hands-on engaged approach,” shared John Ferris, Next Step Recovery’s admissions coordinator. “We focus on building trust and connections so that program participants know how to access extra support when they need it. No one gets left behind here.” That support includes onsite house managers, many in sustained recovery themselves, whose doors are open any time of day or night.
Next Step Recovery’s support doesn’t end when participants graduate from the program. Weekly alumni and parent support groups provide a touchstone and reminder that recovery is a lifelong journey. These weekly meetings are led by addictions professionals and provide opportunities for encouragement, resources, and ongoing fellowship. The fact that alumni stay in touch is a testament to the program’s impact. It is not uncommon for alumni to call years later to share they have gotten married, welcomed their first child, or landed their dream job.
Parents and family members stay in touch too. “Next Step Recovery has been a blessing for our son and our entire family. The living arrangements, the way the program is run, the requirements and accountability, the great staff, the attention given to the men – it all works,” one parent shared.
About Next Step Recovery, Inc. and NSR of Asheville:
Next Step Recovery is located in Asheville, North Carolina, and offers a fee-based intensive outpatient program (IOP) for young men in early recovery. Supported sober living housing is available through its affiliated nonprofit. Next Step Recovery’s IOP is built on a 12-step recovery framework and provides relapse prevention education, trauma resiliency training, mindfulness and self-regulation tools, stress management techniques, and dialectical behavioral therapy. The sober living program includes three updated and fully furnished homes located in Asheville. Residents are supported by onsite house managers, 12-step meetings, case managers, individual and group counseling, wilderness therapy, and transportation assistance for work, school, and shopping. Next Step Recovery is led by a team of addictions professionals who are certified by the NC Addictions Specialist Professional Practice Board, National Board for Certified Counselors, and LegitScript.