By Mark Powell
One Man, a Little Dog and a Space for Recovery
An old adage says “Those who can, do.”
Eric Spofford became a doer the hard way. By the time he was 21 years-old, addiction had taken his health (leaving him 50 pounds underweight), made him homeless, and robbed him of hope. He realized he was rushing into a future likely filled with jail time, mental institutions, and early death.
Fortunately, Eric was able to get into treatment. That led to both recovery and an intense desire to help others recover what addiction had stolen from them. As he puts it, he soon found himself spending almost all his free time in church basements and volunteering with various treatment programs.
But that wasn’t enough. Eric recognized a place for sober living was desperately needed in his community. People were returning to the same house, same neighborhood, and same dynamic as when they were misusing drugs. So he thought, “I’m going to get a house and help some guys.”
In 2008, that finally happened. Eric bought a three-family home in Derry, turned it into a recovery house, and named it Granite House. Eric describes it as, “Me, a little dog, and 11 guys living in a house providing accountability and structure.”
Yet that still wasn’t enough. In 2013, Eric expanded and launched Granite Recovery Centers. It was created with long-term treatment and support in mind, believing that the longer someone is engaged in treatment, the more opportunity they have to build a continuum of care and thus better their outcome. From medical detoxification and residential treatment to extended care and sober living, Granite Recovery Centers accepts people at all stages of their substance use disorder. Its goal is to provide treatment and recovery options to as many people as possible.
They do that by offering individualized treatment. The staff builds rapport with patients from the moment they pick up the phone for an assessment. “We have so many different types of people at different stages. Our treatment team has to be agile to meet the needs of patients,” Eric notes.
Granite Recovery Centers offers a 12 step recovery program, medical and clinical care, wrap-around services, and treatment for co-occurring mental health disorders. As patients transition out of residential living, Granite Recovery offers sober living options. Recognizing that creating connections is an essential aspect of long-term recovery, Granite Recovery maintains an alumni network through a social media page and monthly alumni events. “The recovery alumni community has so much of its own power so being plugged into that is huge,” says Eric. Granite Recovery also keeps in touch with alumni by following up with them during important recovery milestones.
Eric tells the people he helps, “Where you’re going, I’ve been.” And that approach is working. After all, those who can, do.
Granite Recovery was a featured award winner in the 2019 Innovation Now project of the Addiction Policy Forum.
J. Mark Powell is an author, former network journalist, and veteran communications expert.