September is National Recovery Month - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

September is National Recovery Month

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KENNEWICK, Wash. - September is National Recovery Month for people with drug and alcohol addictions.

There are 11 Oxford Houses in the Tri-Cities.  An Oxford House is a place for people who are recovering from drug and alcohol addictions.  They pay their own rent and run the houses themselves in a democratic process.  House members compare it to a fraternity.

Bill Barrett is a recovering meth addict and has been living in a Kennewick Oxford House.  He said, "Ten months ago I was riding a bike around as high as a kite.  Today I am sober riding around in what I call a new rig."

Barrett has been off meth for ten months.  He struggled with his addiction for six years.  He got a pipe-laying job and now lives in a Kennewick Oxford House with six other men.

He said, "I never knew what friends were until I got into Oxford."

The inside of the Oxford homes look like any other house but the people that live here said it is so much more to them. 

Alisha Smith-Page is also a recovering meth addict.  She said this house has given her accountability.  "It has given me a second chance.  It's shown me how to live life."

Smith-Page has been living in an all women's Oxford House for five months.  She is pregnant with her fourth child.  She battled with meth for 11 years and said this is the longest time she has been sober since she spent time behind bars.

Smith-Page said, "I was using on the streets and didn't have anywhere to go.  I couldn't hold a job in and out of jail."

David Lawson is also a recovering addict.  He had 13 DUI's and after many attempts at getting clean he found a local Oxford House and eventually worked his way up the ranks of the state Oxford House organization.  

Lawson said,  "I was at the street corners holding up card board signs.  Panhandling for money. I couldn't work I couldn't keep a job."

House members said there is an 85 percent recovery rate with people who go through the Oxford House program.  The typical person spends about 15 months at one of the house.