DAWSON, WV (WVNS) — The belief that addiction is chemical is no longer the case. We have learned addiction is a biopsychosocial disease where recovery is unique to each person. But do Long-Term Recovery Residences work?

Sabrina Greaser-Poling celebrated being 21 months sober in May 2022.

“There was a lot of childhood trauma and loss,” Sabrina said. “So, I tried alcohol and I really liked it and that led to other drugs, and I kind of dabbled in that my whole life.” 

In 2009, Sabrina began going to church and joined Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step programs. She got married and had two kids. Sabrina said she was happy.

“On June 7 of 2018, my 12-year-old son was killed in a car accident,” Sabrina said.

Sabrina stopped going to meetings. She stopped going to church. Within one month, Sabrina relapsed. 

“I just couldn’t get back up. it was really hard. I isolated. I started having problems in my marriage. I just couldn’t get out of bed,” Sabrina said. “On July 4, 2020, I just begged god. I can’t do this no more. I can’t be an addict. just let me die.” 

But God did not let Sabrina die, instead, she experienced a spiritual awaking for the first time in her life. 

“I looked up at the clouds, I appreciate clouds to this day over it. It was just like a big cloud with what looked like God and within this cloud was all the people in my life I had lost,” Sabrina said. “They were holding my son up but there were strings like a puppet master. as soon as I gave in to god, those strings went away and he got his wings. I’ve been sober since July 4, 2020.”

But things did not necessarily turn around for Sabrina. 

“My cousin Jimmy was murdered on October 14, 2021,” Sabrina said. “We both have just been addicts our whole lives and grew up brother and sister. He was taken out of my Grandma’s house and brutally murdered in Elkins West Virginia. I got really depressed and felt myself slipping and knew I needed more support.”

Sabrina spent 60 days at St. Joseph’s Recovery Center. Then they introduced her to Seed Sower, an 8 to 12-month residential recovery program with community-style living. 

“One of the chief components of our program is after they have a period of time where they gt acclimated to the process here, they begin vocational training, certification, and employment with fruits of labor in Rainelle,” Jay Phillips, executive director of Seed Sower, said.

The training program is sponsored by Workforce West Virginia’s empowered employment program. Prior to contrary belief, Phillips said addiction used to be treated as a chemical addiction that needed rehab. He said that is not the case anymore. 

“It’s a biopsychosocial disease. you have to address all of those components in a very holistic wraparound way that incorporates a lot of different functions working together such as behavioral health, medical and dental health, the criminal justice system, faith-based communities, vocational training, and employment opportunities,” Phillips said. “And then, that all is seeded in safe supervised recovery centric housing.” 

Does the program Seed Sower offers work?

“It’s not just my opinion, yes. There’s reams of research and evidence to the fact that residential recovery programs over the long term is more often successful than not,” Phillips said.

“This is about getting us prepared to go into the real world. It’s just amazing to know the things that you think is impossible, they take that weight off here. it gives us a chance and hope to know it’s okay,” Sabrina said. “Take it one day at a time, take one minute at a time, take one second at a time if you need to.”