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Jan 28, 2016 4:53 PM

Seacoast Matters: Sober living house for women addicted to heroin planned in Somersworth

SOMERSWORTH -The number of women using heroin has doubled in the past decade, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Though no one is certain why, health experts say women find it more difficult to quit taking heroin, and they are more susceptible to relapsing, than men.

Yet, there are far more drug treatment and rehab services available for men, than there are available for women.

Marybeth Schofield and her friend Mone Cassier want to change that.

They’re opening the Sober Sisters Recovery Transitional Home for women in Somersworth. It will be designed for women who are addicted to heroin or opioids and need a safe place to stay after treatment or incarceration.

Using their own money, along with private donations, the two women are renovating the former Malley Farm Boys Home in Somersworth.

When they’re done, it will be able to house up to eight women who can stay for six to eighteen months.

“Just seeing so many people die in the area. It’s just staggering," said Schofield. "Or being put in jail when they had everything going for them. I felt we needed to do something."

Schofield says she lost one of her best friends to a heroin overdose. The woman, whose identity she didn’t want to reveal, left behind two young children.

“If she had this option, it may have turned out differently,” said Schofield.

In order to stay in the home, the women must remain sober, pay rent, and attend therapy sessions.

Schofield points out there is a transitional home for men in neighboring Dover, but there is not one for women.

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