Early use of the term “trap house” became interchangeable with the term “crack house”. A “trap house” is a general term for a “drug house” and is typically associated with being located in a bad neighborhood. There are a lot of stereotypes that come into play when a person is talking about a “trap house” as, in many instances, the assumption of being located in a low-income neighborhood that has a high percentage of minority populations.
Growing up in a “Trap”
Use of the word “trap” has been reclaimed by those who grew up in low-income housing and other disenfranchised circumstances as a means of explaining that they grew up in a “trap” that was difficult to escape. Those who grew up in a “trap” are likely to have been exposed to negative behaviors that result from an impoverished upbringing. A person who is familiar with growing up in a “trap” environment may have stories about exposure to drug dealing in their community and gang-related violence.
How “Trap Houses” Operate
In some circumstances, a “trap house” is simply a physical structure such as a house, abandoned structure, or other housing, that is used for drug-related purposes. Some individuals who have substance abuse disorders are known to use trap houses as a place to hide drugs so that if they have a stop and frisk encounter with law enforcement while under the influence they will not have drugs on their person. They can then later return to the trap house to use more of their drug stash covertly.
A trap house can be a place where drug dealers sell drugs. In this scenario, those who abuse drugs have a known location to go to acquire their preferred drug of choice.
In other instances, a trap house is more of a homemade drug lab where “cooks” make batches of illegal substances such as methamphetamine (“meth”). Not all trap houses are places where drugs are “cut” or “cooked”.
Why “Trap Houses” Exist
Sometimes trap houses are the only option for a place to sleep for people who are homeless or have lost everything as a result of their addiction.
A trap house can be a drug dealer’s home where a person who is a regular buyer pays to stay while they are using drugs and potentially to sleep for the night.
There are instances where a person who is a homeowner allows a drug dealer to stay at their house and, as a result of addiction, that homeowner becomes indebted to the drug dealer and ends up turning over the property to them in order to continue their addiction. In this scenario, the homeowner with an addition becomes “trapped” in their own home.
In a situation where a person is “cooking” meth, the kitchen is taken over. This is problematic for numerous reasons. Homemade meth releases extremely noxious chemicals and a property that has previously been used for the production of meth needs to be professionally cleaned and certified as safe because all the chemicals essentially poison the environment.
Individuals who turn to living in tent encampments may have previously stayed in a trap house. While it may be hard to imagine choosing to live outside and battle the elements as opposed to having a roof over your head, this goes to show just how frightening and unsafe the environment in a trap house can become.
Trap houses are places that are known for large numbers of addicts wandering around like zombies as a result of fentanyl abuse. Dealing with other drug addicts creates an environment that is full of lies, deceit, stealing, and the threat of physical violence or sexual assault.
Get Out of The Trap
Life in a trap house is about as bad as a person can get when it comes to addiction. Those who have had long-term addictions struggle to find ways to imagine getting their life back on track. One obstacle involves the conditions that are required by homeless shelters and transitional housing. Usually, the primary obstacle is that a person must be drug-free. This can create a Catch-22 situation. Getting out of the trap is difficult when you do not have a safety net to protect you from yourself.
Tent communities are sometimes a way for those who are still using drugs to find a place with a certain level of security. Tent community spaces often have rules that involve a form of contribution to the community in order to remain in this transitional space. Those in the community are often allowed to continue drug and alcohol abuse but not on the premises.
Sober Houses and Transitional Spaces
In a sober transitional house, it is usually required that you pay a form of rent. This may initially come as contributions to the household in the form of chores. Sober houses often impose extremely strict rules for the sake of the others living in the space. Those who enter a sober house are often required to attend daily meetings, engage in group therapy, or perform other tasks. Rules may include not being able to leave the house except for purposes that are permitted by the person who runs the sober house. Bedtimes are often enforced. Rules surrounding meal preparation and meal times may be strictly enforced.
In many instances, the overall goal of a sober house or related transitional living situation is intended to create a sense of routine. Unfortunately, for some individuals, these situations can feel extremely daunting. It’s worth keeping in mind that your housemates are likely dealing with their own recovery and mental health challenges. This results in a household that is filled with a great deal of tension and it can feel like a powder keg, at times.
Ask around, people will tell you that it’s possible to make it out of the trap. You have the power to choose to break free from the cycle of abuse and addiction.
It’s essential that you put your well-being and personal safety first. If you are ready to turn your life around, an addiction recovery treatment program could be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for to create a better life and future for yourself. Call the professionals at Oasis Recovery today!