Arizona, a state in the United States’ Southwestern region, is generally considered to be one of the Mountain states. It is the nation’s 14th most populous state, with a population of over 7 million people. It is also the 6th largest state in the country by land mass. Arizona is well known for its hot summers, mild winters, and desert climate. The state is filled with natural beauty, including plentiful Douglas firs, spruce trees, mountain ranges, canyons, and the Colorado Plateau.
Migration has caused the state’s economy and population to grow rapidly, with cities like Phoenix and Tucson expanding outward into sprawling suburbs. It is home to major companies, including CircleK and PetSmart, as well as major universities, including the University of Arizona and Arizona State University. Many are drawn to the state for economic and educational opportunities — but others are drawn here for its diversity. One fourth of the state is composed of Native American reservations. It also has a thriving Hispanic population as well as a significant Mormon population.
Tourists flock to Arizona for its skiing resorts as well as the world-famous Grand Canyon National Park. This land-locked state is easy for people on the West Coast to access. It is bordered by Utah to the north, Colorado to the northeast, Nevada to the northwest, New Mexico to the east, and California to the west. It also shares a border with Mexico, offering easy access to Sonora and Baja California to the south.
Despite Arizona’s beauty, thriving economy, and rich cultural offerings, it is also a state with significant drug and alcohol abuse problems. The state’s proximity to the Mexican border makes it an ideal state to cross into for drug traffickers and smugglers working for Mexican drug cartels. Income inequality also drives substance use disorder rates up among the rich and the poor alike. Native American reservations suffer from higher rates of alcoholism as well. As such, the communities, families, and individuals in Arizona have been devastated by drug and alcohol abuse.
Alcohol, crystal meth, heroin, and other traditional drugs of abuse continue to cause addiction and death in this state. However, in recent years the opioid epidemic has left even more significant scars. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1,106 people died from opioid overdoses in Arizona in 2018. For years, heroin was the major culprit behind these deaths. However, the greatest danger in Arizona lies in the prevalence of prescription opioids, including oxycodone and fentanyl. These prescription painkillers have caused a nearly twofold increase in the overdose rate in the state.
It is crucial for individuals who suffer from addiction in Arizona to know that they have options. If you or a loved one is suffering from a substance use disorder, it is never too late to reach out for help. Sober living homes in and outside of Arizona help individuals at all levels of addiction learn to live without drugs and alcohol. More importantly, they give them a chance to start fresh and rebuild their lives.
What Is A Sober Living House?
A sober living house is a home where residents work daily to strengthen their sobriety and rebuild their lives. Most sober livings have house rules and provide a great deal of structure to support residents. Among sober livings, the most prevalent rule is that all residents must stay away from drugs and alcohol. Sober living home staff generally engage in regular drug screenings and administer tests to ensure that all residents are clean and sober.
The purpose of sober livings is to ensure a safe and trigger-free environment while residents are pursuing recovery. Environmental factors play a crucial role during addiction recovery. During early sobriety, most people are extremely vulnerable to triggers. Triggers can include intense emotional distress, being around people who one used to use drugs with, and even being in certain neighborhoods where one used to drink. The most dangerous triggers, however, involve direct exposure to drug or alcohol use. With time, most people are able to learn ways of coping with potentially triggering situations, but in the early days, it is important to remove oneself from triggering circumstances in order to avoid relapse.
Sober living homes do more than just provide a clean and sober environment, however. They work to ensure that all residents make steady progress in their recovery journeys. While sober livings do not offer clinical addiction treatment, they make sure that residents are connected to any outside services or resources they might need. On a daily basis, residents work on addressing underlying issues, develop new coping skills, and repair past damage.
One of the most critical benefits of sober livings is the community aspect. Residents of sober living homes develop strong peer support networks. In studies on sober living homes, researchers have learned that individuals who attend sober living homes have lower rates of relapse even several years after leaving. The reason behind these lower rates of relapse is that former sober living home residents have strong social support systems that they can rely upon. It can be surmised that they not only rely on these relationships while facing challenges, but also as a means for enjoying life in sobriety.
Quality sober livings in Arizona and outside of Arizona aim to help residents not only stay sober, but begin leading meaningful and joyful lives in sobriety. This means not only building new relationships, but cultivating new values and principles to live by. Many sober livings also offer employment support, assisting residents in getting jobs while they live in a recovery home. Part of the recovery process means considering one’s future; residents take steps toward new careers, develop new hobbies, and often even enroll in academic degree programs. By the time they graduate, they have a vision for the future and the means to live an autonomous, independent, and fulfilling life.
Sober Fun in Arizona
For individuals who spent time in Arizona actively abusing drugs and alcohol, it is often recommended that they leave Arizona entirely during the early recovery process. Attending a sober living home outside of Arizona, such as a Los Angeles sober living home, allows one to cultivate new habits and new relationships. Recovering outside of Arizona decreases the likelihood that one will be drawn back into old habits.
However, it is important to note that Arizona is a wonderful place for sober people. It is important to develop sober coping skills and strong sober relationships in order to take full advantage of life in Arizona, however. Whether you are choosing to stay in Arizona during early recovery, or whether you are returning after attending a Los Angeles sober living home, Arizona offers countless attractions and activities that can be easily enjoyed without needing to resort to the crutch of drugs or alcohol. Some ideas for sober fun in Arizona include:
The Grand Canyon
A list of activities to do in Arizona would not be complete without a mention of the Grand Canyon. Tourists around the world flock here every day to take in the amazing views. This deep canyon has been formed through thousands of years of erosion by the Colorado River, which can be seen from above. This enormous natural wonder offers hiking trails, countless lookouts along the road, and mule rides. You can even ride a helicopter over the canyon if you so desire!
Phoenix is the biggest city in Arizona. Its metropolitan area, including Mesa and Scottsdale, offers excellent dining, shopping, biking and hiking trails, and some amazing museums and architectural marvels. It is worth stopping by the Heard Museum as well as Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West.
Arizona’s second largest city, Tucson, is a beautiful metropolis built smack dab in the Sonoran Desert. Surrounded by mountains, this city offers beautiful hiking trails inside and outside of the city. Our recommendations for tourists here include Saguaro National Park, Old Tucson Studios, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, and El Presidio Historic District.
Located on the Havasupai Indian Reservation, the 100-foot Havasu Falls are an incredible sight. The water in these waterfalls has a striking bluish green tint. The Havasupai tribe is actually named after the water: the word Havasupai means “people of the blue-green water.” This idyllic valley has countless waterfalls, basins, and bathing pools for visits to experience.
Are you a fan of the wild west? Tombstone is a modern Old West town that offers a realistic recreation of times past. Characters roam the streets in full costume. If you walk through the town with friends, there is a good chance you will find yourself witnessing a staged gunfight. This town, which offers themed stores, restaurants, and attractions with tourists in mind, also contains a number of legitimate historic sites. These include the Boothill Graveyard, the O.K. Corral, and the Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park.
Benefits of Arizona Sober Living Houses
Addiction is a chronic mental health condition. For individuals who suffer from substance use disorders, it is not possible to recover overnight. Learning the skills necessary to avoid relapse takes time. Moreover, in most cases “recovery” means far more than merely avoiding drugs and alcohol. After years of active addiction, it is important to take steps toward building a better life for oneself in sobriety. This process takes time.
Fortunately, sober living homes offer individuals in early recovery a safe and supportive environment where they can strengthen their sobriety and rebuild their lives. Quality sober living homes in Arizona generally let residents stay for as long as they need to, sometimes for over a year. By the time they graduate, they will be well on their way toward living lives that they likely never thought possible. The many benefits of sober living homes include but are not limited to the following:
Transitioning from Treatment
Sober living homes do not offer clinical addiction treatment, but they are nonetheless highly recommended to individuals who are graduating from treatment programs. After finishing an inpatient rehab, it is rarely a good idea to immediately jump back into one’s old life. Graduates may be sober, but it is unlikely that they are prepared to meet all of the challenges of early sobriety on their own. Sober livings offer a bridge period between treatment programs and life in the outside world. Moreover, making use of recovery resources for longer periods of time is statistically less likely to experience a relapse.
Sober living home staff and house managers live on-site with other residents. They are available at all times of day to answer questions, deal with emergencies, and help guide young people who are dealing with the difficulties and ambiguities of early sobriety. Staff is present at all times to enforce house rules, keep residents accountable, and ensure a safe, clean, and sober environment for everyone. Sober living home staff have generally been through the recovery process themselves, so they are uniquely qualified to offer guidance and support.
Social Support System
One of the most vital benefits of attending a sober living house is that residents are able to develop strong social support systems. Fellow sober living residents are more than just roommates — they form a community offering mutual aid. Simply being around other people who share similar experiences can be inherently healing. Addiction is generally characterized by loneliness and conflict; many people feel hopeless because they assume no one else can understand what they’re going through. At a sober living home, residents confide in each other, share their experiences, offer advice, and make sure no one is left behind.
Developing Life Skills
While living in a recovery home, residents not only work to stay sober one day at a time. Quality sober living homes support residents as they rebuild their lives. In many cases, this means learning new life skills that were neglected during years of active addiction. Learning to clean up after oneself, groom oneself, or successfully apply for jobs are all essential life skills that sober living home residents cultivate. The goal is to create confident and independent individuals who are prepared for life in the outside world.
Should I Attend an Arizona Sober Living Home?
One of the reasons why sober living homes are so helpful is that they provide a safe environment that is removed from the triggers of the outside world. During early recovery, most people are especially vulnerable to these triggers. For this reason, even though Arizona has plenty of quality sober livings, it is often suggested that people leave their hometowns and pursue recovery elsewhere. Once they have a strong program of recovery in place, they can face their hometowns with renewed confidence.
For those who are interested in making a fresh start in sobriety, Los Angeles, California is often recommended as the ideal place to make major life changes. Los Angeles, CA is a diverse and extremely open-minded city with countless opportunities. The city’s thriving recovery community exists in AA meetings and support groups that meet throughout the city at all hours of the day. Moreover, Los Angeles is known for being the home of a specific type of sober living home: structured sober livings. Structured sober living homes offer a higher quantity of support, recovery resources, and guidance than traditional sober living homes.
Recover from Addiction at Design for Recovery
Design for Recovery is Los Angeles’ preeminent structured sober living house. Our sober living for men offers a safe, supportive, and trigger-free environment that serves as a home base during early recovery. Residents work together, forming lifelong relationships, and get involved in Los Angeles’ recovery community. They work on cleaning up the wreckage of their past, address long standing issues that may be driving them to abuse substances, and develop a new set of values and principles to live by. Sobriety, we believe, requires more than just abstinence: it requires honesty, integrity, accountability, and a willingness to ask for help.
Every day, our residents take tangible steps forward. We believe that recovering from addiction means building a new life for oneself that is happy, joyous, and free. Residents get jobs or enroll in school while living at Design for Recovery. They build new relationships, develop new hobbies, and rediscover their passions. This process can be challenging, but no one has to do it alone. At Design for Recovery, individuals who are working to overcome drug or alcohol addictions get the help they need. It is possible to get sober — and it is possible to have an enjoyable and fulfilling life in sobriety.
For more information on Design for Recovery and the recovery process, contact us today for a free and confidential consultation.