For the last three months, Behavioral Education and Recover, Inc. (BEAR) has been operating out of their new sober living facility. Located in the space formerly owned by Destiny Recovery Center, Director Ronnie Robinson is extremely proud of both the building and the work they are doing.
“We’ve been in operation for almost 90 days, and the guys seem to be doing exceptionally well” Robinson said. “We love it. It was an exceptionally nice facility for women, and we’re taking good care of it which makes it an awesome place for men.”
There are currently seven men in residence. While there has been some turnover, Robinson, a recovering addict himself with experience in other recovery centers, said this issue can be quite common. He also noted that other area facilities are currently experiencing low numbers.
“I think right now the numbers in most of the recovery centers in Ardmore are pretty low,” Robinson said. He attributes this to the time of year.
“People that are needing to get in somewhere, they don’t want to leave their families right before Thanksgiving and Christmas. They want to try to tough it out and wait until after the new year,” Robinson said.
The residents either come through the court system or are self-admitted, and they must abide by the rules of the house. The rules include wanting to develop a path of recovery, maintaining sobriety, and staying out of legal trouble. They must also pay $18.50 per day which includes room and board. However, there is some leeway with the payment until the men can find employment.
“If they come in unemployed, we steer them in the right direction to go out and seek employment,” Robinson said. “I ask them what kind of work they want to do and what type of job they would enjoy. Then I try to network and point them where to look.”
One thing Robinson said he never does is find a job for them. This emphasis on self reliance is but one example of the ethos of BEAR — focusing on creating an entire lifestyle free from substance abuse.
“We have to quit the usage (of drugs and alcohol). But at the same time, I don’t want a person living a life of addiction without drugs and alcohol,” Robinson said. “I can’t let them become dependent on me or recovery itself for their recovery. I want them to develop a path to recovery that they are proud of.”
Part of the development comes from attending in-house meetings along with going to other 12 step meetings of their choice. Another part is family education.
“You get to know these guys and you come to find out they aren’t abusing their own prescription, but grandma is always giving them her prescription,” Robinson said. “So she needs some literature and education too.”
Finally Robinson described the overall goal of BEAR.
“We just try to steer men in the right direction and tell them to do the right thing. Just live life one day at a time and enjoy the ability to do it,” Robinson said.
The facility currently has space available for any man interested in doing the program. Robinson also said they are also seeking additional funding along with other contributions such as food donations and personal hygiene items. Anyone with any questions can contact Robinson at (580) 319-9983.