In a picturesque property 45 minutes south of the Boston Common, Edwina Martin House offers chemically dependent women a chance to change their lives through sobriety. A Brockton, Massachusetts resident, Edwina Martin was a long-time volunteer and activist for local drug and alcohol programs. Her committed advocacy resulted in this recovery house, established in 1982. It aims to enable all residents to return to society addiction-free, with renewed self-esteem, so that they can reconnect with their families and be economically self-sustaining.
Accommodations and Food
The residential home is a 21-bed, family-residence style facility with a wide porch and a tiny outdoor gazebo. Women in treatment share bedrooms and bathrooms with each other and up to four infants, depending on need. Edwina Martin House works to support postpartum clients and women attempting to make a sober transition from pregnancy to motherhood. Because there are often babies in the house, the no-tolerance relapse policy is especially strident. Lab tests are conducted four times a week.
Upon approval for admission, women secure food stamps from the MA Department of Public Health. Food purchases for are made using these food stamp cards. Meals are served family style in the residence’s dining room. Menus are planned by a certified nutritionist and then prepared by the clients, based off of a rotating chore list. Clients are responsible for all cooking, cleaning and laundry in the house.
The women here live like an extended family. There is no workout facility but one of the staff members leads a wellness group once a week and passes are available for the Brockton YMCA.
Edwina Martin House offers a six-month treatment program that is a step down from primary care and accepts Massachusetts residents from detox units, incarceration or short-term rehab centers. Clients are not accepted directly—caseworkers and local health services must make the primary recommendation. This is an extended care, working program, based in 12-step ideology. There are no doctors on staff and any prescription meds must be approved at the time of the intake interview. It is a specialty service of Edwina Martin House, however, to assist women and their infants by coordinating perinatal and pediatric care.
Once admitted, clients are allowed no outside contact for the first two weeks. While acclimating, they are also getting acquainted with the treatment protocol. As mentioned, Edwina Martin House builds its program on the 12-step model as well as on Motivational Interviewing (MI) and self-esteem building. After the initial black out period, Monday through Friday evenings are spent at local 12-step meetings. The women are encouraged to find sponsors and work the steps and to participate in the fellowship. Residents are expected to commit to the program for 30 days before weekend passes are available. After six weeks, all residents must begin the job search. Resume building and work force re-entry education are included in the schedule. Once employed, each woman is expected to contribute a nominal amount to her treatment.
The women of Edwina Martin House are in one-hour group sessions three times a day between 9 am and 3 pm with lunch between. These sessions include general process groups, addiction education, relapse prevention, music therapy, nutritional education, family systems education and violence against women training. Individual counseling is planned as appropriate; one-on-one time is scheduled through a Master’s-level therapist, an addiction counselor and several peer counselors.
At the Edwina Martin House, women can potentially learn who they are without the addictions that have defined their lives, distanced them from family and friends and hindered their education and employment. More than 4,000 women have begun to recover and find opportunities for personal growth here since 1982. By stressing personal responsibility, the House offers recovering women the opportunity to be the masters of their own lives. The support for pregnant women and new mothers could be invaluable at a time that is already overwhelming without the added pressures of addiction. Those who qualify would do well to continue their treatment at Edwina Martin House and improve their chances of staying sober in the long term.
Edwina Martin House Cost: Sliding scale. Reach Edwina Martin House by phone at (508) 583-0493. Find Edwina Martin House on Facebook
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