Q: What is an Oxford House?
A: Oxford House is a self-run, self-supported recovery house concept and system of operation for individuals recovering from alcoholism and drug addiction. Oxford Houses assure an alcohol and drug-free living environment. The first Oxford House was started in Silver Spring, Maryland in 1975.
Q: Who manages an Oxford House?
A: Oxford Houses are democratically self-run by the residents who elect officers to serve for terms of six months. In this respect, they are similar to a college fraternity or sorority. However, that person is immediately expelled. There are no resident counselors in an Oxford House.
Q: How long can anyone live in an Oxford House?
A: A recovering individual can live in an Oxford House for as long as he or she does not drink alcohol, does not use drugs, and pays an equal share of the house expenses. The average stay is about a year, but many residents stay three, four, or more years. There is no pressure on anyone in good standing to leave.
Q: Why is Oxford House self-run?
A: Oxford Houses are self-run because1. this permits individuals in recovery to learn responsibility, and 2. the lower cost associated with self-run housing makes it possible to keep the cost safe place to live affordable. Each house is fully responsible for its own expenses.
Q: How can one get into an Oxford House?
A: Any recovering alcoholic or drug addict can apply to get into any Oxford House by filling out an application and being interviewed by the existing members of the House. The application is then considered by the membership of the House and if there is a vacancy and if 80% of the members approve, the applicant is accepted and moves in.
Q: Can both men and women live in the same Oxford House?
A: No. Experience has shown that Oxford Houses work for both men and women, but not in the same house.
Q: What is the "ideal" number of individuals to make a self-run, self-supported recovery house work well?
A: Experience of Oxford House has shown that form 8 to 15 members works very well. Oxford House will not charter a house with fewer than six individuals because experience has shown that it takes at least six individuals to form an effective group.
Q: How much sobriety or clean time is needed before an individual can be accepted into an Oxford House?
A: There is no time limit. Generally an individual comes into and Oxford House following a 28 day rehabilitation program or at least 10-day detoxification program.
Q: What is Oxford House Inc.?
A: Oxford House Inc., is a not-profit, tax exempt, publicly supported corporation which acts as a umbrella organization for the national network of Oxford Houses. It provides quality control by organizing regional Houses into Chapters and by relying heavily upon the national network of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous groups. While Oxford House is not affiliated with AA or NA, its members realize that recovery from alcoholism and drug addiction can only be assured by the changing of their lifestyle through full participation in AA and NA.