Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers (TROSA) is a unique, nonprofit residential substance abuse facility located in Durham, North Carolina. With the support of local community leaders, recovering addict Kevin R. McDonald opened TROSA in 1994. McDonald had worked with the Delancey Street Foundation, the San Francisco therapeutic community, for 12 years and opened a branch in North Carolina before launching his own endeavor. Today, TROSA is a comprehensive, two-year recovery program that boasts high success rates.
Accommodations and Food
TROSA houses as many as 500 residents at any given time, but not all at the same location. There are three main campuses in Durham. Residents live in shared dormitories for the first 18 months of their program, gradually earning their way to an apartment-like setting on campus. Three meals a day are prepared by residents of the program and are served in a cafeteria setting. They do not accommodate special requests, but a variety of healthy options are always offered.
Treatment and Staff
TROSA offers group therapy, individual therapy and education to clients, with a focus on evidence-based therapeutic methods such as CBT, DBT, behavioral modification and Motivational Interviewing (MI). Anger management classes, relapse prevention education and trauma-informed care, offering methods like EMDR, are also available. Group sessions are referred to as peer-led group sessions and typically held three times a week. Individual sessions are available if the client requests, or if counselors decide it’s necessary. Peer support is very important at TROSA and plays a vital role in how the community is organized.
In addition to therapy, developing a strong work ethic is a huge part of treatment at TROSA. During their first 30 days in the program, each resident is considered an “intern.” Intern activities include participating in daily classroom recovery courses, teamwork projects with other interns, earning the rules and structure of the program, and touring various TROSA properties. Once in the freshman phase, clients are assigned to a particular vocational training department. Assigned jobs can include office work, running the switchboard, being in charge of transportation, training as an auto mechanic or working in one of TROSA’s successful businesses. Those include a thrift store, a moving company and a lawn care operation. Generally, clients work in their assigned jobs for about eight hours per day, six days a week. By six months, clients are considered “residents” of TROSA and certain classes that are outside the treatment program become available, like parenting or GED prep.
In general, men and women live in different housing and do no socialize together for the first year in the program, but they do receive vocational training and participate in recovery courses together.
Many of the staff have experienced personal addiction struggles and are graduates of the TROSA program. Staff members include licensed clinical addictions specialists (LCAS), licensed professional counselor associates (LPCA), certified substance abuse counselors (CSAC) and internationally certified alcohol and drug counselors (CADC).
Residents at TROSA enjoy outings and monthly activities, like dances or trips to the local lake. Trips to a museum or Duke University basketball games or attending a play are also common and clients can take part in the program’s graduation ceremonies, which occur every three months and are considered an inspirational experience for those who are currently in the program.
After 21 months, clients are allowed to take a job off site and save 100% of their earnings until graduation. After graduation, the transitional housing program is available for those who wish to stay for another year and still receive the benefits of the residential community, while experiencing more freedom and exercising skills they have acquired at TROSA. All graduates are encouraged to continue to attend free aftercare support groups on campus.
TROSA offers a highly structured and organized treatment program. Those who complete the program emerge with strong skills to maintain sobriety and return to their communities with a new outlook on life. This program is an amazing opportunity for those who have run out of options and sincerely want to change their lives. The best part is that it is completely free—all participants have to do is work hard and follow the rules.
1820 James St
Durham, NC 27707
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