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TROSA and Life After Addiction

Howard Kurtz - 11/21/2014

 TROSA Helps End Substance Addiction Struggles

The sad fact is that in the vast majority of cases, people need lawyers when something unpleasant is happening in their lives. Whether they have been charged with a criminal offense, are involved in a complicated divorce, or have been injured in an accident, we as attorneys don’t often get to see people in their best moments. As such, many of our blog posts here on the Kurtz & Blum website deal with emotionally-fraught issues, because law is often an emotionally-fraught subject. I don’t mention this to complain about my job (which I’m actually rather fond of), but to make the point that when I do have good things to write about, it is a very enjoyable experience indeed. And this week, I’d like to talk about the success of a terrific local non-profit that has been serving our area for two decades.

Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers, or TROSA, is an organization that is dedicated to helping addicts turn their lives around. TROSA does not offer the sort of drug education appropriate for someone caught with paraphernalia or a small amount of marijuana; people who enroll in the TROSA program are addicts who have hit rock bottom and may have even dug themselves a little deeper. TROSA is a long-term, comprehensive program – participants in TROSA agree to be part of the program for two years. The goal of TROSA is not just to lead participants to sobriety or remove them from the bad influences in their lives, but to also prepare them for life after addiction. To this end, TROSA offers educational and vocational training to its participants in addition to traditional clinical therapy services. People seeking help from the program can receive training in landscaping, auto mechanical technology, warehousing, landscaping, masonry, moving, sales, catering, or construction. TROSA provides G.E.D. classes and computer skills courses, and the program encourages residents to enroll in classes at local community colleges if they satisfy the requirements.

Triangle Residental Options for Substance Abusers

Long term substance abuse generally leads to poor life outcomes for those individuals caught in the grip of addition. Substance abuse can be especially insidious because severe addiction is often tied in with crimes beyond offenses like possession or selling drugs. Substance abusers may end up shoplifting or breaking into homes to steal items to fund their habit. Users of more volatile substances like crack or powder cocaine and methamphetamine may suffer from wild mood swings, which can contribute to violent crimes like child abuse or domestic violence. Alcoholics may find themselves routinely driving drunk, thus putting other drivers at risk. Health effects of long term addiction can range from neurological trauma and physical dependency, to cirrhosis of the liver, tooth decay, Hepatitis C, heart problems, or collapsed veins. Addiction hurts not only addict, but the society the addict lives in as well.

When an addict does decide that they would like to turn their life around and live sober, their treatment options can often be limited. Low-income addicts may not have the financial resources to seek out private treatment, and public programs either have waiting lists or can’t provide the types of comprehensive services to help make sobriety stick. Even for people who can afford private treatment, there is often no guarantee that an addict will be given the tools necessary to stop from falling back into old habits. One of the best things about TROSA is that a large chunk of its funding is generated by the program itself, rather than through donations or charging fees from residents. TROSA-run catering, construction, lawn care and moving operations serve citizens around the Triangle. Recently, TROSA has opened its second thrift store in Durham, NC. With the holidays fast approaching, if your family celebrates Christmas, TROSA operates tree lots in Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill selling North Carolina grown Christmas trees and festive holiday wreaths. These businesses are staffed with TROSA participants and all proceeds go right back into the program. Because TROSA is able to teach its residents valuable skills and then put those skills to good use through its businesses, program participants are able to partake of the services offered by TROSA without paying any money out-of-pocket. How often do you see an organization that does this much good which also doesn’t heavily rely on charitable contributions or endowments?

TROSA is celebrating 20 years of service to addicts and I sincerely hope that they will continue to be a part of the Triangle 20 years from now. We’d like to ask our readers to please consider buying their Christmas trees from TROSA tree lots, donating any of their no-longer-needed items to one of the TROSA thrift stores, or hiring TROSA moving services if they are moving homes or offices.  It’s a great opportunity to help out an incredible program while doing something you were going to do anyway.  Because it may seem like a small thing to all of us, but to the folks in TROSA, it means the world.



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