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The Ultimate Guide to Sober Living in San Diego

Situated right next to the Mexican border and the Pacific Ocean, San Diego is the second largest city in California. Its mild climate and beautiful beaches also make it a great place to get sober. San Diego has a population of 1.43 million people. In terms of demographics, while the city of San Diego is almost 59% white, it contains a wide variety of different ethnic groups. 29% of residents identify as Hispanic or Latino, in part because the city is located so close to Mexico. 

While the average household income of $45,733 is about average for the state, San Diego does contain a relatively high quantity of homeless people, containing the third largest homeless population in the United States. The city is located only a short distance from Chula Vista, Tijuana, Ensanada, Santa Ana, Riverside, and Anaheim. Popular destinations for visitors include the Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo, and of course San Diego’s surf beaches! San Diego, which was the first place on the West Coast settled by Europeans, is now a bustling hub for the biotechnology industry, military activities, manufacturing, and tourism.

Unfortunately, San Diego is also known as a city with a major substance abuse problem. Over the last decade San Diego and its surrounding areas have experienced a surge in drug addiction and drug-related deaths. Fentanyl and heroin are major problems. 

Deaths in the city from prescription drug overdoses in 2017 numbered 273. Heroin is a problem in particular, with 11% of adults arrested testing positive for heroin. As elsewhere in the United States, rampant alcohol use disorder and the opioid epidemic have also left their scars.

Fortunately, San Diego has a wide variety of resources for people who are trying to get sober, including sober living homes.

Check out our welcome video to learn more about life at Design for Recovery, a sober living community based just two hours north of San Diego in beautiful Los Angeles, California. Begin your new sober life with us and learn the skills you need to thrive.

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What is a Sober Living Home?

Sober living homes are a type of recovery residence for people recovering from substance use disorder. Residents sober living homes in San Diego agree to maintain their sobriety as a condition for living there. People who enroll in sober living have the advantage of living in a safe and supportive environment away from the triggers they might encounter back home.

Individuals spend this time focusing on building the skills and developing the tools they need for long term sobriety. Moreover, they can do so with the built-in social support system that living with other sober people provides. Many sober living homes in San Diego also offer specific outside resources conducive to staying sober, such as counseling, support groups, and medication monitoring.

Sober living homes can also be great places to get assistance and support in finding work, returning to school, and repairing relationships. It is not just a place to sleep for people who are sober, but a chance to continue to strengthen one’s foundation of sobriety and prepare for the challenges of sober life.

Many people choose to enroll in sober living homes after graduating from an inpatient or outpatient treatment program, as part of an aftercare plan for maintaining sobriety. However, they can also be beneficial for patients who are getting treatment during the day at an outpatient or intensive outpatient treatment program. 

Sober living in San Diego are also known to include a number of structured sober living houses, which offer more regulated schedules and resources for recovery. These programs can be useful on their own for individuals who have opted not to include an outpatient program as part of their recovery.

The Sober Living Community in San Diego

Individuals who are recovering from a substance use disorder can take comfort in the fact that San Diego is a welcome and supportive place for the sober community. San Diego and its surrounding neighborhoods are home to a thriving 12-step community. There are dozens of Alcoholics Anonymous, or AA, meetings in San Diego from early morning to late at night. 

At meetings for AA in San Diego, people who are at different stages of sobriety can share stories, receive support, make friends, and work to develop life strategies conducive to long term sobriety. These meetings are both easy to access and absolutely free of cost. The fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous is a powerful resource both for people struggling to get sober and for those who have been sober many years. However, it should also be noted that other self help groups in San Diego are also thriving, including SMART Recovery and outpatient group therapy programs.

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Sober Living Network in San Diego

San Diego and its surrounding areas are also home to a variety of recovery options for people who hope to get more intensive care for their substance abuse problems. Rehabs, halfway houses, and sober living homes provide individuals with safe spaces and resources that allow them to focus all of their energy on the process of getting sober. 

Inpatient treatment centers and sober living in San Diego allow addicts to take up full-time residency with other sober people who are working to develop a new way of living.

Outpatient programs offer flexibility to individuals who have work, school, or family commitments that prevent them from committing to a residential program. These services allow people to receive counseling, build a sober social support network, and learn new coping techniques. 

While it is possible to get sober anywhere, San Diego has the unique advantage of having a wide variety of treatment centers to choose from — as well as being an agreeable and exciting neighborhood to get sober in.

Sober Fun in San Diego

San Diego has a variety of attractions that people travel from all over the world to see. Any number of these activities can be enjoyed without having to be intoxicated. For newly sober people, “sober fun” might sound like an impossible contradiction in terms — or it might sound scary. 

However, for people who are taking advantage of the many 12-step groups and treatment centers available in and around San Diego, sober fun is readily available. Inviting sober friends can make an activity that was previously unthinkable without alcohol into an exciting and laugh-filled experience that you’ll actually remember afterwards.

Fun things to do sober in San Diego include:

Balboa Park – If you’re interested in a day trip, this 1400-acre park is home to beautiful gardens, scenery, museums, and more.

SeaWorld – While made somewhat controversial by the documentary Blackfish, SeaWorld remains a major attraction for visitors interested in seeing marine mammals perform.

Gaslamp Quarter – This historical district is now a thriving and trendy area for shopping, art galleries, and luxury hotels.

San Diego Zoo – The most visited zoo in the United States, this enormous cageless zoo is famous for successfully breeding a giant panda.

Point Loma – For lovers of natural landscapes, Point Loma offers an incredible view of both the Pacific Ocean and the city of San Diego itself.

San Diego Museum of Art – Containing art from all over the world, the San Diego Museum of Art is known in particular for its Spanish art collection.

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Exploring Options of Sober Living in San Diego

Recovering from a substance use disorder in the relative seclusion of a sober living home can allow individuals to reintegrate into the world at a comfortable and unhurried pace. Research has actually shown that people who remain in a recovery program longer have lower rates of relapse down the road. People seeking for sober living in San Diego have a variety of options to suit their particular situations. 

While not all sober living homes in San Diego will allow residents to bring along their furry friends, some pet-friendly sober living houses actually have in-house pets for residents to enjoy and take care of. Couples who are interested in sober living homes can choose from a number of co-ed sober living houses. The vast majority of sober living homes, however, are single-sex, so that residents can eliminate distractions and focus on their recovery.

When researching and selecting a sober living home, it is important to look out for a number of qualities. Including:

Regular drug testing.
This ensures that you’ll be living in a safe environment with other sober residents, as well as helping you stay accountable to yourself.
Number of residents.
You want to make sure that your sober living home has the space and resources to accommodate your needs.
Sufficient length of stay.
It is important to make sure the sober living allows residents to stay for the length you need to guarantee sufficient time for recovery.
Structure.
While most sober living homes do not provide the same intensity of scheduling as inpatient treatment centers, it is important to choose a sober living home that offers resources beyond a bed.
Location and transportation.
It is good to choose a sober living home that is in a practical location for your unique needs. Another good question to ask is if they provide a means for residents to attend 12-step meetings in the area.
Affordability.
Sober living homes cost money.  Many sober living homes can help you develop a plan to finance your residency.
Experienced staff.
Staff members and management at a sober living home should have experience working in recovery.  A good sober living home has staff available 24 hours a day.
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Finding The Right Sober Living in San Diego

There are a number of resources available for individuals seeking sober living in San Diego. For people graduating from treatment programs, case workers can provide sober living home recommendations as part of an aftercare plan. If you’re not affiliated with a treatment center but attend 12-step meetings, members of your fellowship can also often provide recommendations.

Individuals doing solitary research can consult the website of The Sober Living Network. The website sets quality standards for sober living apartments and houses throughout the United States. Facilities that meet their criteria can become members of The Sober Living Coalition. These approved facilities are safe, well-managed, and ethical. To research sober living in San Diego, you can use The Sober Living Network’s free search tools.

Design for Recovery Sober Living for Men

Design for Recovery stands out from other San Diego area sober living homes not only because it is strongly rooted in the 12 steps of recovery, but it is also a highly structured program centered on the principles of honesty, integrity, accountability, responsibility, and service. Addicts who are floundering in recovery and repeatedly relapsing can find lasting sobriety in Design for Recovery, which is known as one of the best sober living homes in the San Diego area.

Design for Recovery is committed to the idea that recovery from drug addiction is about more than just the removal of substances from the body. The process of recovery involves dealing with the underlying issues behind the addiction as well as developing the tools and coping strategies required for long term success in sober life down the road.

We offer a number of services to aid people along their paths to recovery. Including:

The founders of Design for Recovery bring with them a wealth of experiences in recovery and structured sober living. They are passionate about helping young men who are trapped in the cycle of substance abuse. The mission of our facility is to help these individuals rebuild their lives from the ground up, a process that is demanding yet carried out with a great deal of compassion.

Through commitment to the Design for Recovery program, countless young men have been able to break free from the chains of addiction.

Los Angeles Sober Living - Design for Recovery
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Design for Recovery Sober Living Residents at the Beach next to a volleyball net

Sober Living Homes in San Diego

Anyone living in San Diego who is suffering from drug and alcohol addiction would benefit from enrolling in Design for Recovery. Located in nearby West Los Angeles, Design for Recovery provides individuals with a safe sober community and a structured program of recovery strongly rooted in the 12 steps. Design for Recovery can also point potential residents toward possible sources for financial assistance for sober living enrollment. Design for Recovery’s convenient location as well as its proven track record of helping people recover from substance abuse disorder makes Design for Recovery the clear solution for individuals who are eager to find a newfound freedom and happiness. For anyone seeking more information about the history of Design for Recovery, its core values, or details about the day-to-day workings of its program, feel free to reach out and contact us today.

Sober Living Homes near San Diego, California

Located in the heart of Southern California, our sober living facilities are centrally located near the beach, downtown and LAX airport. We provide a safe and comfortable base for young men to involve themselves in the community and to thrive as new and growing individual.

Frequently Asked Questions

Sober living is a great way to transition from inpatient care to independent living post-treatment. It reinforces the lessons learned in rehab while providing social support and helping prepare for the daily challenges of life.
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 San Diego for a few months, while others may need to stay for a year or more.
Sober living homes in San Diego 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 San Diego 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 San Diego sober living:
  1. Sober livings help residents to develop healthy routines and habits that support their sobriety.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Reach out to us today.

Design For Recovery is committed to helping you or your loved one live a fulfilling life free from alcohol and drug addiction. Below you can find out what to expect when you contact us for help.

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