Fresno is by far the most important city in the San Joaquin Valley. It is the area’s most important agricultural area, and it is in fact one of the top-performing agricultural areas in the entire world. Fresno is located near natural wonders, including Sequoia National Park and Yosemite National park. However, this enormous inland city — the largest non-coastal city in California — is not only known for its agricultural production. Many young people flock to the city to attend California State University, Fresno. The city is also known for its diversity, especially its thriving Armenian-American and Hmong communities.
Unfortunately, Fresno also suffers from significant problems due to the prevalence of drug and alcohol abuse in the city. Population-wide substance abuse problems have led to economic devastation, shattered communities and families, and soaring overdose death rates. While traditionally abused drugs like alcohol, crystal meth, and heroin continue to play significant roles, in recent years prescription painkillers have become a particular problem. Illicitly sold fentanyl, oxycodone, other prescription opioids have led to skyrocketing opioid overdose rates in Fresno.
Fortunately, for individuals suffering from substance use disorders in Fresno, help is available. Much of the time, help comes in the form of a sober living home — a type of residence that provides shelter and support for individuals who are struggling with addiction. While there are many high quality sober livings in Fresno itself, it is often helpful for people to leave behind the triggers of their home city and start fresh in a new environment. There are many high quality sober living houses to choose from.
What Are Sober Living Homes?
Sober living homes, at the most basic level, are houses where residents agree to stay drug and alcohol free. However, in practice, they are much more than that. By agreeing to be tested regularly for drug use and committing to a sober lifestyle, each resident guarantees that their housemates have the opportunity to live in a safe and clean environment. Environment is a crucial aspect of addiction recovery. In early recovery, it is easy for people to encounter triggers that may tempt them to relapse. At a sober living house, residents can feel secure that they won’t be exposed to substance abuse.
More importantly, however, sober living homes provide significant peer support. Residents live relatively normal lives there — sleeping, going to work, cooking dinner, etc — but they also work together to make progress in their recovery journeys. Sober living home roommates form a community. People who are further down the path of recovery can offer support and guidance to those who are just getting sober. Moreover, sober living homes encourage residents to get involved in their local recovery community, often through 12-step meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous. Most people come to sober livings after years of trying and failing to get sober using their individual willpower. At a sober living facility, they learn that recovery is possible by relying on others.
Studies on sober livings have repeatedly shown that peer support is crucial for long term recovery. Individuals who attend sober living homes and develop strong relationships with their peers have significantly lower chances of relapsing even several years after leaving. It can be surmised that these relationships last long after an individual’s residency. Having a strong sober support network provides one with a source of feedback, strength, hope, and even accountability. Moreover, having sober friends makes it far easier to enjoy life in sobriety!
It should be noted that sober living homes do not offer clinical addiction treatment. However, sober living home staff and house managers work diligently to ensure that each resident gets access to any resources or services they need for their recovery. Sober livings recognize that many people have underlying issues behind their addictions that need to be addressed, including mental health issues, financial issues, and legal issues. Sober livings serve as a kind of hub, where residents can receive support and get more easily connected to the resources they need to address long standing issues.
In any quality sober living home, whether in Fresno or outside Fresno, residents work not only to stay physically abstinent, but to truly recover. Recovery means not only quitting drugs and alcohol, but beginning to acquire the gifts of sobriety. To that end, sober living homes encourage residents to repair and develop relationships, get jobs and start new careers, learn new life skills, and even enroll in college degree programs. By the time residents graduate, they will be well on their way toward fulfilling, prosperous, and joyful lives in sobriety.
Sober Fun in Fresno
For individuals who choose to pursue recovery outside of Fresno, returning home can be somewhat confusing. The city might be littered with triggers — people, neighborhoods, and sources of emotional distress that remind one of past substance abuse. Their previous life in Fresno may have been characterized by bar hopping or solitary drug abuse. As such, they may wonder if there is anything fun to do in Fresno for sober people. The answer is yes!
Whether you are returning to Fresno after getting sober or choosing to recover here, the city offers countless events and attractions for people interested in sober fun. The expression “sober fun” might sound like a contradiction at first, but if you engage in activities with other friends in recovery and make use of your newfound skills and coping techniques, you’ll find that fun in sobriety is often more fulfilling than it ever was during your period of active addiction. Best of all, you’ll wake up in the morning with a clear memory of what happened the day prior!
If you’re ready to take the city of Fresno on without the crutch of drugs or alcohol, be sure to check out the following:
This historic performance space in downtown Fresno first opened in 1928. Originally specializing in vaudeville performances, it eventually became a silent movie house. Today, you can buy tickets to live music shows, comedy shows, and even Broadway-style plays. If you’re interested in entertainment in a truly unique and historic venue, be sure to check out a show at Warnors Theatre!
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
These two national parks are only one hour’s drive outside of the city of Fresno. They feature giant sequoia trees, pitch black night skies, and gorgeous rugged mountain peaks. The parks are a great place for individuals in recovery to reconnect with nature — and themselves. Moreover, visitors can take part in a wide variety of activities, including backpacking, rock climbing, day hiking, and camping.
Fresno Chaffee Zoo
Three miles northwest of downtown Fresno, you’ll find Fresno’s famous zoo. The Chaffee Zoo is known for its African Adventure and Wilderness Falls exhibits, which feature exotic animals like warthogs, orangutans, and tigers. The zoo is also surrounded by abundant green space, fountains, and benches, making it a great place for a picnic with friends.
In recent years, downtown Fresno has been subject to numerous revitalization efforts. As a result, it has become the city’s foremost attraction. Visitors will be stunned by its impressive and historic architecture, examples of which include the Old Fresno Water Tower and Fresno City Hall. There are countless activities in this pedestrian-friendly city, including delicious restaurants, the Mariposa Music Series, and the yearly Fulton Street Party.
Forestiere Underground Gardens
Located northwest of downtown, this underground attraction is a sublime example of what human engineering is capable of. These underground gardens took over 40 years to build, beginning in the early 1900s. Today, the underground gardens offer a one of a kind labyrinth of passageways, underground rooms, and planters featuring fruit-bearing trees. Visiting the Forestiere Underground gardens is an excellent way to stay cool during the summer — and it offers both a wonderful way to appreciate nature and a somewhat spooky experience as well.
Fresno Art Museum
Art lovers rejoice! The Fresno Art Museum has grown significantly since its humble start in the 1940s. Its diverse collection is nationally recognized, with over 3,600 works in the permanent collection and a constantly updated schedule of new exhibits. Come by and check out the museum’s excellent collection of paintings, prints, and sculptures. Or come and check out Trashique, its yearly art and fashion show fundraiser.
Benefits of Fresno Sober Living Houses
Sober living houses offer long term support. Residents can choose to stay there for as long as they wish, with many staying for over a year. This allows people to take the time necessary to develop the skills, relationships, and habits they need in order to achieve long term sobriety. No one recovers overnight. In fact, there is no medically recognized “cure” for addiction. Sober living homes recognize these facts, and they aim to provide a safe, supportive, and structured environment. Benefits of attending a Fresno sober living home include:
In many cases, sober living homes are recommended to people who are in the process of graduating from an acute addiction treatment program, such as an inpatient rehab. For recent rehab graduates, it can be jarring to re-enter the outside world too abruptly. Sure, you may have stopped drinking and abusing drugs, but does your life look any different? Sober living homes function as a sort of “bridge” between treatment programs and life in the outside world, allowing people in early sobriety to take the time necessary to obtain support and actually develop quality lives in sobriety. In fact, individuals who take more time in recovery have lower chances of relapse down the line.
Research shows that individuals who attend sober living homes have lower rates of relapse years down the line. The studies attribute this amazing benefit to the peer support that they get from living in recovery homes. Residents of sober living homes come together to form active communities with the shared goal of staying sober. Given that addiction is often a “disease of isolation,” simply having the opportunity to meet others who have had similar experiences can be healing in and of itself. Moreover, residents frequently attend support groups and 12-step meetings that help them develop their peer support network in the city’s local recovery community.
24/7 Support and Guidance
Sober living home staff and sober living house managers are available at all hours of the day for feedback, guidance, and assistance. Many of them have been through the recovery process themselves and have a clear understanding of the difficulties and challenges that people face in early sobriety. Not only are staff members always available to guide residents, but they are also always only a phone call away for concerned family members and loved ones who have questions or concerns about the recovery process.
Life Skills Training
Sober living homes not only help residents get sober, they help them learn to lead better lives. After years of active addiction, young people often struggle with basic tasks that they never had the opportunity to learn. Sober living homes help residents learn these life skills, which range from applying to jobs to learning how to eat nutritiously. Learning these skills is one of the gifts of recovery. It not only helps residents stay sober, but it makes it possible for them to lead joyful and independent lives after they have graduated.
Sober Living Homes Outside of Fresno
It is often helpful to completely change one’s environment while getting sober. Attending a sober living home ensures a safe and clean residence, but it is even more preferable to switch cities entirely. For those who actively abused drugs and alcohol in Fresno, the city itself can be triggering. During early recovery, people are far more vulnerable to everyday triggers. With time — and with the development of sober skills and a peer support system — it becomes easy to handle these triggers. However, in the initial months of recovery, it is generally best to make an entirely fresh start.
Southern California is home to a wide variety of high quality sober living homes, and it is particularly known for its structured sober livings, a type of sober living home that offers significantly more scheduling, resources, and support than most. California’s thriving recovery community, diversity, cultural attractions, and job opportunities make it the ideal place for anyone who is looking for a new beginning.
Recovery is Possible at Design for Recovery
Design for Recovery, a sober living home for men, is Southern California’s foremost structured sober living home. Our comfortable home features modern amenities and offers a safe and supportive space to young men as they pursue recovery. Moreover, at Design for Recovery, we believe that recovery goes well beyond physical abstinence. Our community works together to develop the life skills, values, and principles they need to become the best versions of themselves. Every day, the young men at Design for Recovery take steps to clean up their pasts and rebuild their lives. This often entails beginning new careers, healing relationships with loved ones, and even enrolling in college. At Design for Recovery, no matter how bad one’s addiction is, we believe that not only is it possible to recover, but it is possible to lead a life that is joyful and fulfilling.
If you are ready to make a fresh start, contact us today for a free consultation. Staff at Design for Recovery will be happy to discuss your unique circumstances and how we can best help you on your recovery journey.
Frequently Asked Questions
The cost of sober living varies depending on the location, how much structure the program offers, and what benefits and amenities are available. For example, some sobriety houses include weekly drug testing, transportation to 12-Step meetings, and employment support—and these extra services come at a higher price than places that don’t offer them. But often it’s cheaper to live in a sobriety house than to go solo because rent is split among several people.
It really depends on the individual and their progress in recovery. Some people may need to stay in a sober living home in Fresno for a few months, while others may need to stay for a year or more.
Sober living homes in Fresno can improve the chances of remaining abstinent following inpatient treatment. They provide social support for individuals with similar goals. They are safe and structured environments that nurture and prepare the individual for reentry into the real world. Some of the most important benefits that residents receive in sober living homes include:
- Constant guidance and support
- A strong sober social support system
- Improved life skills
- A smoother transition to independent living
- Lowered risk of relapse
- A safe, trigger-free space to pursue recovery
- Help to find employment
- Improved relationships with friends and family
Some homes have specific rules about pets, such as breed or size restrictions. Some studies show that pets can play a huge role in addiction recovery. Pets provide companionship, love, and support during this difficult time. While pets are not allowed in all sober living homes, many do allow pets.
Yes, sober living homes in Fresno provide the structure and support that residents need to get back on their feet and find a job.
Close family members are free to visit the sober living at any time, though it is recommended that they contact the house in advance to discuss their visit with the house manager.
Design For Recovery also organizes regular events during which family members are invited to congregate with house members.
Regulations around using cell phones vary considerably. At Design For Recovery, we limit cell phone access for residents in the early days of their recovery. This gives them the opportunity to focus on their present circumstances and the present moment, cultivate real relationships with fellow house members, and look inward.
A few things to expect at Fresno sober living:
- Sober livings help residents to develop healthy routines and habits that support their sobriety.
- Sober living homes promote independence. While residents are expected to follow rules and guidelines, they are also encouraged to take responsibility for their own sobriety and recovery.
- Sober living homes provide a safe and supportive environment. Residents can expect to feel safe and supported while they are in a sober living home.