Safety in Sobriety: A Community Approach

Safety: an intangible concept that is a challenge to define, yet we often know when we are experiencing it. We all have varying definitions depending on our background, experiences, and view of the world. For example, last weekend I was on the North Shore of Minnesota’s Lake Superior, on the edge of an overlook taking a picture feeling safe and secure, while others behind me gasped in horror that I would stand so close to the precipice. What feels safe for one person may not for another, yet as humans we all seem to have a common need for safety.

In Recovery, safety is a foundational component of sustained sobriety. It is important for those in Recovery to recognize that in the past they may have put themselves in dangerous situations, but now that they are living in sobriety, intentional effort is often made to find safety and security. Safety may be attributed to a physical space and/or the people in and around that space.   At Pride Institute, we operate within a community-based model that establishes, maintains, and fosters safety. Clients, nurses, technicians, and counselors all work together to promote the well-being of the community and the individuals within.

Honest communication is a key component of developing a sense of safety. Communicating expectations and following through with those stated expectations establishes a shared understanding of how the process works. Honesty with one’s self and others fosters an atmosphere of trust, which contributes to the communities’ sense of safety. It takes everyone collaborating on a continual basis in order to be successful. Often one does not consciously think about it until a circumstance occurs which leads us to question our safety. Safety, much like trust, can be difficult to establish and easy to lose; it often entails consistent effort by all parties involved while the benefits also extend to all.

Our goal is that all individuals who are a part of PRIDE Institute learn the communication skills necessary while doing the difficult, internal work on cultivating honesty, so that together we can create, sustain, and maintain a safe and sober environment that fosters sustained recovery and wellness.

Jay Callahan, MS, LADC

Addiction and Mental Health Counselor

PRIDE Institute