Women who leave drug treatment centers may need to rebuild life skills and rise up after overcoming the pain and loss of addiction.
Risen Recovery opens next week as a sober house in a rambler-style home in Farmington. It will offer residential stays for women who need a transition from treatment to living independently. The house will offer three bedrooms upstairs and two downstairs for women and children, along with two levels of adult living space, a playroom and a fenced-in backyard. Women who move into Risen Recovery must attend addiction meetings and become part of a community within a faith-based church.
Community of faith
Risen Recovery founder Kari Rutman said she is a survivor of alcohol abuse and a former drug user who survived an opioid overdose. She has been sober from alcohol for six years and explained how this treatment worked well for her. But the journey through recovery from addiction to painkillers has been harder to shake and has been more difficult to rise above, Rutman said.
"I struggled with addiction for many years and my biggest struggle was when I started taking prescription painkillers or opioids and it ended with heroin, and I got to the point where I lost my house and my kids and everything," Rutman said. "Honestly, I just got to the point where I was so low I couldn't take anymore, so I caved and thought 'what can I do?' And I decided I wanted to go to church and when I went to church, that is truly when my whole life changed."
Risen Recovery will have a team of women volunteering to uplift and lead the women.
"I am most looking forward to giving other women hope because when you are in your darkest time, it is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel," board member Jessica Blaschko said.
"I want to be of service to women who are in need like I have been, and I want to be in a community with women, just showing them the power of God's love," board member Kay Beckman added.
Each woman said she is driven by faith and the desire to serve as mentors for mothers who wish to regain custody of their children after seeing how drug or alcohol addiction can tear families apart and destroy lives.
"I would love to be able to show them that there is life after addiction and we are all here for them and we are a community of faith and with Jesus everything is possible," Blaschko said.
All three women attend Southland City Church, an Assembly of God Church in Rosemount located one mile from Risen Recovery. The church gifted each single mother $1,000. Rutman knew her mission would be to pay it forward in regards to helping bless other women.
A sober home can be compared to a halfway house for individuals seeking a transition in housing after going through residential treatment. Risen Recovery will be registered with the Minnesota Sober Home Association and is awaiting IRS approval to become a 501c nonprofit.
"My goal is to open other sober homes and eventually open a treatment center. We want to grow and help more people," Rutman said.
Risen Recovery aims to re-teach women skills they may have lost when they began using and abusing drugs and alcohol.
"We want to be like the stepping stones between treatment and the community because if they go from treatment to the community, it is pretty overwhelming, and the potential of relapse is pretty high especially if they don't know sobriety without their kids," Rutman said. "I am a very good example of how addiction does not discriminate and addiction for many can start with a simple prescription from a doctor for pain."
Her mother and brother both died from opiates, she said. The loss followed by deep grief led her on a downward emotional spiral.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, drugs change the brain chemistry in ways that make quitting hard and recovery for a long period of time even more challenging.
Each day, 130 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids and this overwhelming addiction has become a national crisis.
Rutman pointed out how in Minnesota during 2017, nearly 3.8 million opioid prescriptions were written.
"I want the world to know that recovery is possible because I was as low as low could get, and I overdosed and you can't get any lower than that," she said.
Risen Recovery is looking for donations and will host a garage sale. The proceeds from the sale will be used for the sober house.
Free from judgment
Women who reside at Risen Recovery will build life skills and work with a team of doctors and psychologists who will help each woman implement a recovery plan.
Rutman said she is blessed and fortunate since she has risen from potential personal destruction. She feels healthy and is filled with gratitude that she can experience happiness through God's grace, she said.
"But one thing I want the community to know is that I feel addiction is judged so harshly," Rutman said. "I have put my whole heart and soul into this, I have put my full-time job on hold and have dedicated a 100% of my time to this."
When asked if she feels proud she has been successful with recovery, she said "I feel like this is what I am supposed to be doing and I feel really proud that I am able to stay sober and fight any cravings and triggers, and I am finally able to give my children what they need and today they are very well taken care of."