Sober Living Resources for Florida
Florida, located in the Southeastern region of the United States, is the third-most populous state in the country. Florida occupies a peninsula between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, and it has the longest coastline in the United States. The state is bordered by the Gulf of Mexico, Alabama, Georgia, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Straits of Florida. The state has a long and storied history, with indigenous populations calling it home for at least the last 14,000 years. Today, however, it is known for its thriving economy (if Florida was its own country, it would be the 16-largest economy in the world), its cultural diversity, and its unique attractions.
Florida’s economy is based on agriculture, tourism, and transportation. It is a state that is highly popular among retirees. However, it can’t be denied that young people also flock to Florida throughout the year to experience Miami’s vibrant party scene. Florida’s proximity to Cuba has resulted in the state having the largest Cuban community in the U.S. Other cultural influences come from immigrants of African, European, Asian, Latino, and indigenous heritage. Famous artists and writers, including Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams, at one point called Florida home. It is also a state notable for the uniqueness of its wildlife; flamingos, panthers, manatees, and alligators can be found roaming the state. It is also home to the last remaining coral reef in the United States.
Unfortunately, residents of Florida are currently suffering from dangerously high rates of drug and alcohol problems. Addictions affect people from all walks of life in Florida. They are surprisingly common in Florida’s many retirement communities, but substance use disorders are even more visible in Florida’s main metropolitan areas, most notably Miami, where young people regularly attend “Spring Break” events. Popular drugs of abuse in Florida include cocaine, crystal meth, alcohol, marijuana, and heroin.
Today, however, the most dangerous class of drug in Florida consists of prescription opioids. These painkiller medications, which are composed of synthetic opioids many times stronger than heroin, are being prescribed in Florida at record highs. Research conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse shows that physicians write an average of 53.7 opioid painkiller prescriptions for every 100 citizens in Florida, far higher than the national average. As a result, addiction rates continue to rise—with fatal consequences. Among the 4,698 reported drug overdose deaths that occurred in Florida in 2018, 68% were due to opioid overdoses.
For Florida residents with drug and alcohol problems, help is available. Florida is home to many quality sober living homes that provide opportunities for recovering from addiction. In a sober living house, residents not only work to develop the skills and behaviors they need to maintain their sobriety, but they also rebuild their lives from the ground up. While it may not be possible to handle an addiction alone, making use of the support of a sober living home makes full recovery possible.
What Are Sober Living Homes?
A sober living home is a facility that allows people who are recovering from drug and alcohol addictions to focus entirely on their recovery. They provide safe, clean, supportive, and trigger-free environments to residents. When people move in, they agree from the beginning to stay away from drugs and alcohol. Sober living homes operate in many ways like a normal home, with the crucial difference being that all residents work daily to further their recovery. Moreover, sober livings provide a great deal of structure and support to aid residents in this goal.
Sober livings are sometimes used as a first line approach to addiction recovery. They are also often recommended as a bridge between an inpatient treatment facility and the “real world.” Sober living homes do not provide clinical addiction treatment, but they support residents as they rebuild their lives and meet the challenges of early sobriety. As such, sober living homes can be utilized by people at any stage of the recovery journey.
Environmental factors have a critical impact on addiction recovery, especially for individuals in early sobriety who are especially vulnerable to triggers. Triggers can come in the form of chance encounters with former drug dealers, living with family members who drink excessively, or even just walking through a neighborhood that reminds one of one’s past life. Sober livings not only provide a drug and alcohol-free environment, they provide hands-on support. Residents work daily to cultivate the healthy coping skills and habits they need for long term sobriety.
More importantly, residents support each other. Sober living houses are communities where people in recovery come together to offer each other their experiences, strength, and hope. The relationships people develop in sober livings are a crucial component of recovery, making each day easier — but also making life in sobriety more joyful. Studies on sober livings show that the peer support people find in sober living homes helps keep them sober for years after graduating. Most find that these friendships are a gift that keeps on giving long after moving on to the outside world.
Quality sober living homes focus on more than just physical abstinence from drugs and alcohol. They recognize that recovery involves developing a new life. Residents work hard to address underlying issues that may have driven them to substance abuse in the first place, and they make use of essential resources to heal any damage their addiction has done. They look to the future and take steps toward goals. Residents are often required to get a job while living at their sober living, and many even take further steps by enrolling in college or beginning training programs. By the time a person is ready to leave sober living, they will be well on their way to an independent, joyful, and fulfilling life.
Sober Fun in Florida
While Florida is world-famous for its party culture, the club and bar scene in Miami is not all there is to this unique state. There are plenty of activities and events that sober people in Florida can enjoy. They key to sober fun in Florida is having a solid foundation of coping skills, which residents of sober livings work daily to develop. These coping skills make it possible to find joy in everyday occasions without having to rely on the crutch of drugs or alcohol. But perhaps the most critical ingredient to sober fun in Florida is having a group of sober friends to go out with. Even if the very concept of “sober fun” sounds insane to you, chances are you’ll end up finding it if you’re not the only sober person there.
Ideas for sober fun in Florida include:
Florida is world-famous for its theme parks. There are a number of major theme parks in Florida, including Disney World. In fact, Disney World consists of a collection of theme parks, among them Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and a Star Wars-themed area of the park. Other notable theme parks in Florida worth visiting include Universal Studios and Sea World. No matter your age or your situation, you’re sure to find excitement, awe, and laughter in these environments that are specifically designed to be as fun as possible.
Hit the Beach
Florida contains the world’s longest coastline in the contiguous United States, so its beach offerings are seemingly infinite. Miami Beach is perhaps the most famous. This glorious wide stretch of sand lines the Atlantic, and it also contains the Art Deco Historic District, which features beautiful restored buildings from the 1930s and 1940s.
Visit Everglades National Park
Florida’s ecosystem is truly unique. Everglades National Park, which projects over 1.5 million acres of swamp and marsh, makes it possible for respectful visitors to experience it. The animals that live in the park include Florida panthers, turtles, deer, American crocodiles, alligators, manatees, egrets, and many more. Most people experience the Everglades by taking an airboat ride, though you can also trek along a walking trail for a more up close and personal experience. Visiting the Everglades is an exciting adventure, but it also offers a humbling way of connecting to nature.
Daytona 500 International Speedway
Located in Daytona Beach, the Daytona International Speedway hosts the Daytona 500 race, which is part of the NASCAR Cup Series. If you are a NASCAR fan or appreciate the thrills of speed, this speedway is a must-see.
Key West, located at the end of a chain of islands, is a popular destination in Florida. It has a uniquely Caribbean vibe. Duval Street in Key West offers leisurely paths for walking, lined with shops, restaurants, outdoor patios, and beautiful restored architecture. When cruise ships come to port, people from all over the world can be witnessed frolicking in the streets.
Benefits of Florida Sober Livings
After a person has become addicted to drugs or alcohol, they cannot simply “cure” their substance use disorder. Drug and alcohol addictions are chronic conditions, and there is no way of simply getting rid of them. However, as with other chronic conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes, it is possible to learn to live with them. It is even possible to live free of the obsessions and compulsions that make addiction so painful. Sober living homes aim to provide residents with the coping skills, tools, and social support systems they need to thrive in long-term sobriety.
Sober livings homes are not the same as rehabs. They do not provide clinical addiction treatment. However, sober living homes provide a form of support that is far more long-term than most treatment centers. Many rehabs require people to leave after a few weeks or months. Sober living homes, on the other hand, encourage residents to stay for as long as they need to build a solid and independent life for themselves. During their time at a sober living home, residents enjoy many benefits, including:
24/7 Staff Support
Staff members and sober living house managers generally live on-site with the residents. This means that people living in sober livings have access to staff members at all times, including at night. Staff members are highly passionate about the recovery process, and in fact many of them have been through that process themselves. They are available to answer questions, offer feedback and support, and enforce house rules when necessary.
Sober Peer Support
Addiction is often referred to as a “disease of isolation.” Loneliness, conflict, and a sense of being misunderstood are often consequences of substance abuse. For many people, living with and talking with other people who have been through similar experiences is deeply healing in and of itself. Housemates at sober living offer each other their experience, strength, and hope. They not only keep each other accountable, but they also offer a type of companionship that makes life in sobriety enjoyable and meaningful.
Skill-Building in Sober Livings
Sober living houses recognize that recovering from addiction means developing new life skills. After years of active addiction, many people lack basic skills and abilities that other people their age have developed naturally. Sober livings work to fill in these skill gaps, which can include personal grooming skills to applying to jobs. The goal is to help residents develop independence, autonomy, and the ability to thrive in their newfound sobriety.
Sober living houses are one of the most recommended types of aftercare programs. When people graduate from rehabs, like inpatient treatment programs, it is often dangerous to simply jump back into the outside world. Not only can such a transition be jarring, it’s often pointless — since few people simply want a sober version of their old lives. Sober living homes help rehab graduates make a smoother transition back into the outside world, providing them with extensive support as they develop increased autonomy and independence. Moreover, sober livings help rehab graduates continue to practice and develop the coping tools and skills they need for long-term sobriety. Research shows that taking part in long-term aftercare programs like sober livings significantly decreases the likelihood of relapse.
Sober Living Outside of Florida
Leaving Florida is often a good idea for people who spent the bulk of their active addictions in Florida. Florida contains many excellent sober living houses, but these may not be ideal for all Florida residents. Pursuing recovery in Florida can be difficult, especially because the drug trade has such a powerful presence in the state. It can also be difficult for more personal reasons: after years of abusing drugs and alcohol in Florida, the state itself may be triggering. A chance encounter with a former drinking buddy or drug dealer can easily send a person back into old habits of thought or behavior. Enrolling in a sober living home out of state is often the best way of ensuring a clean slate.
California is a popular state for addiction recovery. First of all, the state is appealing: plenty of sunshine, countless cultural offerings, and beaches and mountains aplenty. Secondly, Southern California is home to a rich and diverse recovery community. This community can be found in 12-step meetings, such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, throughout the city. The city is open-minded and health conscious, and you may be surprised to find that in Southern California being sober is actually cool. Best of all, the area is home to a unique type of sober living home: structured sober livings. These residences offer increased structure, support, and recovery resources, helping people from all around the country get sober and rebuild their lives.
Recovery is Possible at Design for Recovery
Design for Recovery is one such structured sober living home. It is widely recognized as Southern California’s top sober living facility for men. The property offers safe and comfortable accommodations. Staff members work with residents to help them address underlying issues, develop new coping tools, and build lasting relationships. At Design for Recovery, no matter what a person’s background is, sobriety is possible.
At Design for Recovery, residents not only pursue long-term sobriety, but they also work to build better lives for themselves. Design for Recovery was founded on the belief that addiction recovery involves more than abstinence. Residents develop a strong foundation of principles to live by, which include values like honesty, integrity, accountability, and responsibility. They also develop important life skills, strong relationships, and begin to take steps toward more prosperous futures. By the time our residents graduate, they can stride with confidence toward their goals.
If you or a loved one is suffering from drug or alcohol addiction in Florida, our California sober living home can help you make a fresh start. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation. Recovery is possible.