Living in a Sober House – Addiction and Recovery

If you found this article because you wish to learn more about Halfway Houses and Sober Living, then read on. My name is Matt Morris, and I have spent years living in and managing a sober living house in Texas. This series of articles will help inform addicts, alcoholics, and their loved ones of some of the pitfalls and benefits of living in structured, sober living.

You may be asking; how did I end up at a sober living house in October 2013? I am a heroin addict that has just gotten out of a 74-day rehab stay, and I knew that going back to my home city was a bad idea.

Keep in mind that not everybody has the same options, so if you are seeking help for yourself or a family member, you may not have the same experience. This is not intended to be medical advice, just advice based on what I have seen over the years.

In-patient rehab, although not a prerequisite for sober living, is usually where people go before sober living. I do know many addicts that moved in off the street, and in some cases sober living houses are more accessible than an expensive rehab.

My counselors and I felt that I needed to be in a structured environment after the highly regulated rehab center, and this is true for most addicts. She referred me to one she knew was good, as opposed to me picking a random one off the website which had about 15 choices.

I say this because it is the best advice I can give here, if you do decide to seek a sober living house for yourself or another, don’t just pick one at random. Be careful when looking for advice because some people are out there to get referrals, but before you make such a big decision make sure you do your research.

The sober house I ended up at was strict, but at the same time allowed freedom to live my day to day life as long as I followed the program. There is no end to the different variations of sober living houses out there.

One reason I say to be careful is because some of them are much worse, and even are filled with drug use and scams. This is the real reason I wish to bring awareness, because I have seen many recoveries derailed when they ended up at the wrong sober house.

In my experience if a drug addict wants to get sober they will try to do the right thing, but sometimes you end up somewhere bad but you can’t do anything about it.

The typical rules involve a curfew, job requirements, house chores, drug testing, and mandatory participation in a recovery program. 12 step meetings and programs are common themes, especially in the one I lived at, but there are also many other recovery programs.

If I am being truthful, I feel that as a manager for a sober house it was sometimes difficult to really treat the guys that came through. Many guys had amazing success stories after living in our houses, which I am no longer affiliated with.

On the other hand, I saw a great number struggle to follow the strict rules, or struggle to continue their recovery outside of rehab. I will say that I saw people do much better in sober living as opposed to going straight home after rehab, but not everybody has this option.

For me ending up at a good sober living house did change my life for the better, but there were plenty of issues as well. This is not meant to be a scare tactic, just telling the truth unlike most.

When I first moved in it was DIRTY, which I didn’t mind much but I know many others weren’t happy. At one point we had mentally unstable people living there, someone sold drugs under our noses, we had many relapses and cops were called to the sober house.

The truth is, when you deal with addiction, these things are going to be encountered no matter what.

Another issue is drug testing, and many sober houses are pulling some sort of drug testing scheme. I am not sure exactly how much my owner made, but we were drug tested weekly and encouraged to use our health insurance to pay for it.

I did for a while, until my mom received a statement that they were charging upwards of $1,000 per drug test, and my insurance was no longer covering it. I never made a big fuss about it, but trust me there were some that did.

This is just one example of how things aren’t what they seem. The recovery and treatment industry saves lives, and the people that do the work deserve to make a living. However, when lives are at stake, I feel that this type of shady business dealing is unacceptable!

The truth is this sober house I am describing is still going to give some addicts the best shot they have at long term recovery, because it is strict and structured and produces results. It has been remodeled since then, but the drug testing scandal is still present in this house and all over the country.

This is the main reason I have written this out, because I want my readers to be aware of the potential challenges they may face, so that they are prepared to overcome them.

SCAMS – Be Aware – And Report When Necessary

The Internet is a vast International Network of people and businesses – and a place where people can make a fairly decent living. However, it is also a place where certain unsavory characters can freely roam – to take your dollars and run. Scams – the human mind can be either pure or devious – and it is the devious mind that you have to look out for and be aware of at all time.

The easy marks to a scam are those that are new, inexperienced, or those that are desperately looking for a way to make some money, that the swindler will usually target. Emotional hype and false sincerity are their ticket to a scam. Some are obvious, but others are not. Now, I mean no insult if you have been scammed – Why – been there and done that. Don’t be embarrassed or ashamed – be aware– and vow to be ever vigilant in your choices. And remember to reassure yourself, that next time – if, heaven forbid, you should encounter another scam, you will definitely handle it differently.

Affiliate Scams

What constitutes an affiliate scam?

1. No contact information

2. Commissions to high — (I know what you are saying – but the commission looks so good? Are you sure?) Research – people do no remain silent when they have been scammed on the Internet.

3. Your emails go unanswered.

4. Worse of all – your affiliate checks bounce.

Work-At-Home Scams

Work-At-Home scammers will gear their sights to the Mom, who wants to work at home, or the individual who lost their job, or the individual who wants to supplement their income from an on-line venture. If you’re looking for a work-at-home position remember these warning signs:

1. If you have to pay to get access to the site or database to make money – could be a scam.

2. If you receive an email – before joining – that says something on the order of “No BS – this is a legitimate offer!” Stay clear – it is BS!

3. If you’re not been paid – strong indicator you have been scammed.

4. They change rules and pay days (to, of course, to string you along and avoid paying you).

Well, I can say I haven’t encountered an affiliate scam, however, I’ve been hit with a work-at-home scam. It was my first initial attempt at finding work on the Internet before going into affiliate marketing. Anyway, I remember sending an email asking a question regarding, of all things, being paid. I received no response. So, I sent another email, stating that I could not access the link to their website and I was getting a 404 Error, and I was wondering if they could fix it. Yes, devious – but wanted to know if they would reply. And yes, they did. I knew then, it was a scam.

Report Your Scams

The Internet may be a vast network of International players, but the word scam travels quickly and people listen. If you think the telephone was a good communication tool, well, the Internet is just as good – and sometimes faster if you know where to go.

If you have been scammed and wish to prevent the scammers from getting richer and any new victims from getting poorer – use the list below – and report it.

However, please do not take this responsibility lightly — if you are wronged, or treated badly — but not scammed, do not report it. And remember — a scam occurs when a program or a business misrepresents or makes promises that they do not keep.

Report A Scam (– You will report information here if you believe a program or business opportunity is misrepresenting itself or making promises that are not being kept. ( — This is a site where you can report different types of scams: Telemarketing scams, Elder scams, Internet Fraud, Scams Against Businesses.

Rip-Off Report ( — Rip-off Report is a consumer-to-consumer site, which is seen by over 2,892,077,866 people.

Better Business Bureau ( — Never forget the Better Business Bureau — when you file a complaint — they will contact the organization to try and resolve the issue for you.

Web Assured (– You can file a complaint, as well as, look at their watch list. Companies are placed on their watch list when they blatantly disregard Internet standards.

Federal Trade Commission – (

ScamWatch (– Scam Watch covers scams from financial to investments, pyramid schemes and miracle cure.

ScamBusters (
To conclude, when beginning work on the Internet, you will encounter obvious scams, and not so obvious scams. The key is research, and as always, Buyer Beware. If your gut gets an uneasy knot in it and, if you hear yourself saying, “This is just too good to be true?” — Take note, it probably is.

How To Spot An Affiliate Scam

Everyone’s seen them – the websites that promise they’ll make you money. All you have to do is give them your money first! Some of these sites are genuine, and really can help you earn money from the internet. But many – maybe even most – are scams.

Pretty much everyone hates scammers. You might have a reason yourself – have you ever lost money to one? Legitimate affiliate marketers hate them because of the suspicion and mistrust they cause, therefore making it more difficult for affiliate marketers to sell their products as no one believes what they say! The only way to stamp them out is to starve them of what they want: your money.

But how do you spot a scam? It can be very difficult. The best scammers have websites that look completely genuine, identical to legitimate sellers. But most aren’t that good. Most can’t be bothered. Scammers, after all, are lazy. They can’t be bothered to make a living honestly, so they do it by cheating instead.

And while it’s probably impossible to stay completely safe (there is always an element of risk when you buy something, after all, online or off), there are some things you should look for when visiting a website. It will take a little extra time, but it might well save you money.

The first thing to always, always check is contact information. Is there any? If not, run! A genuine seller will want you to be able to contact them – after all, you might want to offer them more money! Or you might have a question that you want answered before you buy. Genuine sellers will be happy to answer – scammers just want to hide.

If there is contact information, look at the e-mail address. Is it free? There’s nothing wrong with that by itself, but remember how easy Yahoo and Hotmail accounts are to set up. They’re also more likely to be blocked by spam filters. A paid-for e-mail address means a higher chance this person is legitimate.

Second, check the small print. Is there a disclaimer? Genuine sellers realise that their product will not be able to help everybody – no product can – and that there is a chance you’ll be disappointed. As such, they’ll add a disclaimer saying so. They’ll also have a money-back guarantee. Of course, the words ‘money-back guarantee’ are no guarantee of anything – typing something doesn’t make it true, and the words alone don’t mean you’ll get your money back. But they’re a step in the right direction.

Third, have a quick exploration of the site. What other websites does it link to? Reputable sites won’t be happy about scammers linking to them – and scammers probably won’t want to let reputable sites know they exist. After all, if the wrong person finds out the scammer could find themselves in court – much of what they do is against the law. Scam websites tend to be small – often just one page. Genuine websites have more content, and therefore more pages. A small website isn’t proof that you’re being scammed – but it should make you wary.

A final thing to check, and this is one of the main things that gives scam sites away, is the testimonials. They’re supposed to reassure you, convince you that the product is worth buying. You can use them you work out whether you’re being scammed or not. Read them carefully. Do they sound natural, like something you might write? Or do they sound like a continuation of the sales pitch? The second is a sign they’re probably trying to scam you. Also look at their photographs – and this goes for all the photographs on a site. Do they look professional, like they could belong in a catalogue? Or do they look like ordinary snapshots? The more professional they look, the more likely they are to be fake.

It is possible to avoid the vast majority of scammers. You have to be careful, take your time when reading a website, and not rush into anything. Don’t get carried away by a sales pitch! If they’re genuine, they’ll still be there tomorrow – and still at the same price, whatever they might say!

The only way to defeat scammers is by preventing them from making a profit. So, when you next visit a site that promises to make you money, be careful – don’t pay them unless you’re sure!

Wealthy Affiliate – Scam, Mediocre Or the Real Deal? I Tried it and Here is What I Think!

Some time ago I decided to join the Wealthy Affiliates. I don’t know actually why I joined, because I had made the decision not to spend anymore money on programs and ebooks until I actually was making some consistent money. I had purchased about ten of these things before and felt disappointed every time. None of these actually delivered what was promised!

I guess I joined the Wealthy Affiliates because they offered me knowledge and tools and didn’t make any outrageous claims of having the program that will make me rich working thirty minutes a day!

So, what did I think of the Wealthy Affiliate University? Wealthy affiliate: Scam or the real deal?

Well, the Wealthy Affiliate University basically consists of three parts: The learning, tools and the community!

The learning resources are enormous. It takes at least two weeks to read and study everything. Every single aspect of affiliate marketing is covered in detail and with videos! It doesn’t matter if you are an article marketeer, blogger or if you use PPC. The more advanced courses even tell you what to do as you go along, so that by the time you finish the course, you will be making money online! And for the absolute beginners, there is the 8 week action plan, which focuses both on learning and doing!

The Wealthy Affiliates not only learn you how to be an affiliate marketeer, they also provide you with all the tools necessary to be successful. There are to many to mention, but here are a few of them:

  • Keyword tools
  • Clickbank tool
  • PPC tool
  • free templates, feedersites
  • free hosting
  • free software for creating professional websites without any experience

My favorite part: The Wealthy Affiliate forum

The forum is probably even better than the learning resources. The amount of information that can be found here is worth tons of money: real life cases, strategies, tips, the latest news, product reviews, … You name and it’s in there!

But it is really the people who make this forum such a wonderful place! Whenever you have a problem or a question, just post it on the forum. There are many experienced marketers who will gladly help you out! I have seen them help beginner and make them go from making nothing to making more than $100 a day in less than a month! And all of this just from help on the forum!

Affiliate Scams – Essential Identification Tips

It is one thing to avoid falling head on for the fraudulent affiliate programs and another to be able to identify the affiliate scams. Unless you have the knack to identify an affiliate fraud, you cannot think of ways for avoiding it.

Identifying an affiliate scam is not a very difficult thing to do. It just requires some pre-deal authentication checks on your part. In simpler terms, you need to thoroughly measure out all the pros and cons associated with any affiliate program before you contract a deal. Some essential tips that can help you in this process include:

1) Browse through sites that can offer reviews on the particular affiliate program. Reviews work big way in confirming the credibility and authenticity of any program. There are numerous authority sites that can offer you with such useful reviews.

2) Any company trying to portray itself as a work from home job, should instantly flag a threat to you. You must not forget that salary is not what a traditional affiliate program will offer.

3) Never believe affiliate programs that offer to pay you handsome profits right in the beginning because a genuine affiliate would never do so. If an affiliate is doing so, be sure that it is just trying to lure you.

4) Another very common scam that affiliates often commit, is to ask for money when you offer to join their program. The aim is to cash-in on your deposited money and not on the profits that you bring in through the customers.