Sacramento is the capital of California. At one point, it was the second largest city in the state, serving as the most significant distribution center during the Gold Rush. Today, it is still the nineteenth most populous metropolitan area in the United States, with a population of almost 2.5 million people. Located in California’s Central Valley, the Sacramento metropolitan area includes suburbs like Lincoln, Roseville, and Elk Grove. Known as a major financial center, an educational hub, and the California government’s most important municipality, Sacramento is the fastest-growing city in the state.
Perhaps in part because of the city’s rapid growth, Sacramento also suffers from significant substance abuse and mental health problems. Traditional drugs of abuse like alcohol, crystal meth, and heroin are widely abused by the wealthy and the disenfranchised alike. In recent years, however, “legal” prescription drugs are becoming increasingly problematic. The opioid epidemic has hit Sacramento hard, due to the wide availability of prescription opioids like fentanyl and oxycodone. As overdoses continue to rise, it is important for individuals with addictions to have resources for recovery.
Fortunately, for individuals living in Sacramento, the city is home to a wide variety of quality sober living homes. Even in adjacent cities, sober living homes and other recovery resources are widely available. California has more sober living homes than any other state in the United States. Moreover, it is well known for a particular type of sober living home — structured sober livings — which offers more support, structure, and scheduling than traditional sober living facilities. Sober living homes in Sacramento offer individuals with drug and alcohol addictions an opportunity to pursue recovery, but enrolling in a sober living home outside Sacramento can be even more helpful, as a change of environment can help one make a fresh start.
What Is A Sober Living House?
Sober living houses are homes where individuals who suffer from drug or alcohol addictions work to stay sober together. Unlike traditional homes, sober living homes are structured around a common purpose: recovery. When people move in, they agree to stay clean and sober. Many sober living homes engage in regular drug screening and drug testing to ensure that no resident is compromising the house’s clean and sober environment. As a result, all housemates have a guarantee that their living situation will be safe, sober, and free of potentially dangerous triggers.
Sober living homes are more than just houses where people sleep and eat while abstaining from substance abuse. Residents work daily to address underlying issues that may have driven them to substance addiction in the first place. While sober living homes do not provide clinical addiction treatment, sober living staff make it their mission to refer residents to any resources or services they might need, including therapists, psychiatrists, and support groups. During their residency, young people in sober livings work on their mental health issues, heal damaged relationships, and address any long standing issues that may have developed as a result of their addictions, including legal and financial problems.
The support that sober living homes offer extends beyond merely helping people pick up the pieces of their damaged lives. Quality sober living homes in and around Sacramento work with residents to help them take positive steps toward new and more fulfilling lives. Residents develop new values, life skills, and coping techniques. Many end up enrolling in school or taking jobs while living in their California sober living. By the time they graduate, they are well prepared to face life in the outside world.
Perhaps the most important kind of support that sober living homes offer is peer support. Residents of a sober home develop strong communities and friendships. One study on sober living homes demonstrated that the relationships people build in these facilities significantly decrease their chances of relapsing even years after graduation. Residents not only build friendships with their housemates, but they also strengthen connections with their local recovery community. Many sober living homes are strongly rooted in the philosophy of 12-step programs, and attending AA meetings is often encouraged or required. This ensures that all residents of sober living homes have a strong support system in place by the time they graduate. These lasting relationships not only make it easier to stay sober, however – they provide fulfillment and joy in the years that follow.
Sober Activities in Sacramento
If you’re new to recovery, the idea of having “fun in sobriety” may sound absurd. You may struggle to imagine the possibility of having fun without the aid of intoxicants like alcohol. However, sober living homes help people develop coping skills and, most importantly, sober friendships. These relationships make it a cinch to enjoy just about any activity without needing to resort to drugs or alcohol. If you are living in Sacramento or stopping by, this enormous and diverse city has something for just about everyone. You don’t need psychoactive substances to enjoy the city’s attractions and events, which include:
The State Capitol building is, first and foremost, a beautiful building. Built in the Neoclassical style in the 1860s, its colorful gardens and tall palms make it by far one of the most astounding state Capitol buildings in the country.
Covering approximately 28 acres, Old Sacramento is known as a National Historic Landmark. These historic buildings which line the city’s waterfront were built during the Gold Rush and represent the city’s original commercial district. Today, these buildings are occupied by restaurants, shops, museums, and hotels. While visiting this historic site, there are plenty of activities, including riverboat excursions and railroad rides on vintage locomotives.
Crocker Museum of Art
The Crocker Art Museum specializes in California art dating back to the Gold Rush era, though it is also home to an impressive collection of American photography and European paintings. During the summer, the museum also frequently arranges music concerts and outdoor film screenings. California’s cultural offerings are wide and diverse, and the Crocker Museum is a great place to spend if you’re an art lover or history aficionado.
California State Railroad Museum
This enormous museum covers over 200,000 square feet. It is located in Old Sacramento, making it easy to stop by for tourists and locals alike. The museum itself features steam locomotives and railway coaches that have been restored. Many were built between 1862 and 1944. You can even enter many of the wagons and sleeper cars, which are furnished with dining place settings and other creature comforts.
The Sacramento Zoo is one of the most biodiverse zoos in California. If you visit, you will have the chance to see over 500 different exotic animals, including African lions, aardvarks, jaguars, and giraffes. Of particular note are the 14 distinct aviaries, which are home to over 35 species of rare birds. While the Sacramento Zoo is an incredible place for a day trip, it also provides opportunities for people in recovery to get involved in community service. The Sacramento Zoo works with both local and international conservation projects to preserve biodiversity.
American River Bike Trail
The American River Bike Trail, also known as the Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail, is a well-maintained path that is part of Sacramento County’s Regional Parks system. Winding through a picturesque habit surrounded by shady oak trees, this 32 mile path is excellent for both cycling and leisurely hiking. Other outdoorsy activities here include fishing, horseback riding, and picnicking. Even in this enormous city, there are always opportunities for physical activities and connecting with nature.
Benefits of Sacramento Sober Living Homes
It takes time to recover from years of active addiction. There is no medically recognized “fix” for an addiction, and no one recovers overnight. Sober living homes offer people the greatest gift of recovery: time. Residents often stay for periods of time ranging from a few months to over a year. This allows them the opportunity to build strong peer groups, new coping skills, and better lives. Some of the many benefits of a Sacramento sober living home include:
Sober living home staff and sober living house managers often live inside the home alongside residents. Staff members are available every day of the week, day and night, to help residents with any concerns or questions they have. In general, sober livings employ staff that have gone through the recovery process themselves, so they can often offer their own firsthand experiences, strength, and hope.
One of the most important factors in avoiding relapse is having a strong social support system. Residents of a sober living home develop strong bonds and form a community that often lasts long after they have graduated. Addiction is widely recognized as a “disease of isolation.” Isolation not only often drives people to substance abuse, but it is often a consequence of such substance abuse. Developing relationships with other people in recovery is inherently healing, and it also offers countless opportunities for mentorship, advice, and support.
New Life Skills
Sober living homes are more than just places where people stay away from drugs and alcohol. It is generally expected that residents will work toward bettering themselves in every respect. Sober living homes provide support for this process, helping residents develop new life skills that range from better grooming habits to how to land a new job. By the time they leave their sober living, residents are well-prepared for life in the outside world.
Transitions in Recovery
Sober living homes are often recommended as part of an aftercare plan to individuals who are graduating from acute treatment programs, including inpatient rehabs. Abruptly returning to life in the outside world can be jarring, and it is for individuals to secure support as they work to rebuild their lives in recovery. Sober living homes bridge the gap between clinical addiction treatment programs and independent life. In fact, research shows that people who make use of recovery resources and facilities for longer periods of time are more likely to stay sober in the long term.
Getting Sober Outside of Sacramento
In many cases, it is helpful to change one’s environment entirely during the recovery process. While Sacramento has many excellent sober living homes and a thriving recovery community, for people who actively abused drugs and alcohol in this city, recovery might be more difficult. For most people with addictions, drugs and alcohol abuse are tightly bound to habits, people, and places. These associations are known as triggers.
During early sobriety, it can be useful to distance oneself from friends who one habitually drank with, neighborhoods where one used to purchase drugs, and other reminders of past substance addiction. Even though it is possible to recover anywhere, choosing a sober living home outside of Sacramento can be a good idea. Doing so allows one to have an entirely fresh start, develop new sober relationships, and pick up new habits.
Environment is a crucial aspect of recovery, especially in early recovery when individuals are particularly vulnerable to triggers. By pursuing one’s recovery journey in a new and supportive environment, one can develop a solid foundation of sober skills. With sufficient time, it becomes possible to face difficult emotions and potentially triggering people and places. For people who recover outside of Sacramento, returning home armed with a new set of coping techniques is an incredible feeling.
Recovery is Possible at Design for Recovery
Design for Recovery is a sober living home for men located in Southern California. For Sacramento residents who are interested in making a fresh start, our centrally located sober living house offers all the resources young men need to rebuild their lives. Our sober home is firmly rooted in strong principles, including honesty, integrity, and accountability. Residents develop a new set of core values, new recovery skills, and learn how to handle the challenges of everyday life. While working together and building strong relationships, young men at Design for Recovery take positive steps every day to develop new careers, heal past damage, and find new sources of meaning. At Design for Recovery, we believe that recovery involves more than just physical abstinence — it is about creating a roadmap to the future.
If you are ready to let go of past habits and begin thriving, contact us today for a free and confidential consultation.
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 Sacramento for a few months, while others may need to stay for a year or more.
Sober living homes in Sacramento 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 Sacramento 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 Sacramento 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.