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A Recipe for Success

Written by: Josh Stout, 8/21/2020

Secret Recipe

America's opioid crisis has ravaged communities nationwide. An unfortunate reality of this epidemic is that Delaware currently holds the second-highest overdose death rate in the U.S., bringing many in our communities to respond by offering a plethora of resources. With so many care options nationally and locally, a valuable question must be asked – are these programs effective? Will my loved one indeed be receiving the help they need? Are the policy, procedures, and structuring of this program supported by empirical research? Limen House began the reflexive process of answering these questions a few years ago with our research team's development.

Over the last three years, we have embarked upon a fact-finding and fact facing process about our practices and their efficacy, identifying ways to better provide services for those afflicted with substance use disorder. Our findings have identified many critical components that make Limen House unique and practical, allowing us to address these questions. Most frequently, we are asked, "what makes Limen House so unique?" While there are many aspects, one continues to be cited as uniquely beneficial: our alumni network.

Through conducting in-depth interviews and surveys with former alumni, our research team observed the importance of the alumni community's engagement emerging time and time again. Specifically, many noted that while at Limen House, they were continually surrounded by and in contact with, people who had "sat in the same seat I am sitting," filling many residents with the hope that they too could be successful. Many who had strained family relationships or no familial ties through their recovery process voiced that these interactions allowed them to feel like they were part of a family. Further, they noted that the alumni network created an extensive support system for them during their time as residents of Limen, throughout aftercare, while integrating into a 12-step fellowship, and in their acclimation back into the 'real world.' Alumni discussed how this is a two-way street, for coming and helping current residents provided them with a sense of giving back to the program that they felt had given them so much, which in turn was a tool they could utilize to help maintain their recovery. Notably, the majority of staff at Limen House were former residents themselves at one point. A handful of interviews highlighted that this made all the difference in their treatment, for they knew the advice they were being given was from lived experience.

Many stated that, "Limen House becomes your family" and that the alumni's involvement around and throughout Limen House is something they have never seen anywhere else. Throughout the years of conducting this research project, I have been blessed with the opportunity to see the power of this alumni network in Limen House – rarely does a day go by where I do not observe an alumnus of Limen talking with a current resident in the chairs outside, stopping by on a lunch break or day off from work to joke with the staff and sit with others in the house, or coming to share a meal during 'family dinner' in the evening.
Our research has shown the importance of this alumni network for our program's current and former residents.

In answering the question of what makes Limen House uniquely effective, our research team has unveiled a host of elements. However, the alumni network continues to be something that sets Limen House apart from other treatment facilities, for residents begin to feel like they are part of a larger family. One resident described to us that he could always see the world's weight leave the shoulders of alumni as they walked through those doors, for they knew they were home.

Joshua Stout
Data Manager
Limen House Inc




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For more information call Limen House 302-652-7969 (Men’s House) 302-571-1216 (Women’s House), or visit https://www.helpisherede.com/ for a list of Delaware resources.

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