Julie Funkhouser relies on a 12-step, abstinence-based program to maintain her sobriety, but when she and Meredith Speir opened a seven-bed halfway house for women on Sept. 1, they made a point of allowing residents receiving medication-assisted treatment (MAT).

“We want to help save lives,” said Funkhouser, CEO of The Recovery Connection, who has been clean and sober since 2008. “It would be naive of me to think that my way is the only way. I want to help people and society and research has shown that there are different pathways: some are 12-step-based, some are faith-based, and now we have MAT.”

Forty to 60 percent of alcoholics and addicts relapse within a year of leaving recovery, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. Drug treatment advocates say an unstable housing situation increases the chances of a relapse, but the local recovery community is divided about allowing recovering addicts on MAT, which can include methadone or Suboxone.

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