Oregon, a state in the United States’ Pacific Northwest region, is bordered by Washington, California, Nevada, and Idaho. Founded in 1859 and located in the upper Northwest corner of the US, the state is home to over 4.19 million people. It is often jokingly said, however, that the state has more trees than people — a joke with plenty of truth to it. Oregon is known for its diverse landscapes and scenic views. Bordered by the Pacific Ocean, this beautiful state contains every kind of terrain imaginable, from lowlands, volcanos, plateaus, mountains, 361 state parks, the deepest lake in the United States, and 5 million acres of forests.
In the midst of all of this natural largesse, Oregon is also known for its beautiful and culturally diverse cities. The most famous one is perhaps Portland, which is known for its “hipster” culture and laid back vibes. Also of note are Salem, Eugene, Oregon City, Bend, and Medford. Oregon’s economy is driven primarily by agriculture, hydroelectric power, and fishing. However, since the Silicon Forest was established in the 1970s, technology has also begun to play a major role in Oregon’s economy. Not only is this state a popular tourist destination, its thriving economy has made it the nation’s top moving destination.
Unfortunately, there is also a high prevalence of drug and alcohol abuse in the state of Oregon. Substance use disorders in Oregon can wreck communities, cause economic damage, devastate communities, and take lives. Oregon, unfortunately, is the ideal pitstop for drug traffickers moving between the Canada and Mexico borders. In small towns and large cities alike, drugs of abuse, including alcohol, heroin, and crystal meth have led to skyrocketing addiction rates.
In recent years, however, prescription opioids have become the single greatest cause of premature death in the state. Part of this is due to how loosely they are prescribed. For every 100 people in Oregon, doctors wrote approximately 57.3 prescriptions for opioid painkillers in 2018 alone. While prescription opioids can serve legitimate medical purposes, in many cases they lead to addiction even when they are prescribed to treat a medical need.
For individuals suffering from addiction in Oregon, help is available. Rather than suffer alone or try to control one’s addiction using individual willpower, it is best to reach out. Sober living homes in Oregon offer safe and trigger-free environments for individuals working to rebuild their lives in sobriety. It is often even more helpful, however, to start afresh in an entirely new city.
What Is A Sober Living House?
A sober living home is a type of home where residents agree from the outset to stay off of drugs and alcohol. Sometimes known as recovery homes, sober living houses offer a great deal of structure and support for individuals in early sobriety. Because all residents agree to be drug tested regularly, anyone moving in can expect a safe environment where they will not be exposed to drug and alcohol abuse. Having a trigger-free environment is crucial, especially during early recovery when people are more vulnerable to triggers.
One of the most critical elements of a sober living house is the support of one’s peers. In a sober living home, residents work together and support one another as they progress in their recovery journeys. Research shows that the relationships and peer support that people acquire in sober living homes decrease their chances of relapsing significantly — even years after they have graduated. The friendships people develop in sober livings not only serve as sources of feedback, advice, strength, and hope, but they make life more enjoyable in sobriety.
Sober living homes in Oregon and elsewhere do not provide clinical addiction treatment. However, sober living managers and staff work hard to ensure that each resident feels supported and gets access to any resources they need. For individuals with underlying issues, including mental health disorders and financial problems, sober living homes are excellent home bases where they can work on solving these problems. In many cases, fellow residents and even staff have had experiences with the same issues.
Residents of sober living homes not only develop sobriety, but they work to build new lives for themselves in sobriety. Sober living homes offer life skills training, employment support, and even assist residents as they enroll in college degree programs. Damaged relationships are healed and new ones are developed. By the time an individual graduates from their sober living home, they are well prepared for life in the outside world.
Sober Fun in Oregon
Individuals are far more likely to recover from an addiction if they remove themselves from the triggers associated with active addiction, so most people suffering from addiction in Oregon benefit considerably from enrolling in a sober living home out of state. For people returning to Oregon after getting sober, either on a visit or because they’re moving back, it may be difficult to figure out how to have a healthy and happy sober life. The state may be permanently associated in one’s mind with heavy drinking or drug use.
Fortunately, it is indeed possible to have fun while staying sober in Oregon. The state’s gorgeous outdoor environments and cultural offerings make it ideal for all sober people, no matter where their interests and passions lie. The key is to engage in activities with other sober friends. By enrolling in a sober living home, you unlock countless opportunities for sober fun and companionship. Attractions and events in Oregon that are worth checking out for sober fun include:
Sea Lion Caves
11 miles north of Florence, off Highway 101, you can find the only mainland rookery of the Steller Sea Lion. These caves, which are part of a connected system of caverns that opens up to the Pacific Ocean, are home to vast numbers of sea lions and California seals. It truly is an astounding sight to see them basking on the rocks and frolicking in the water.
Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Theatre lovers rejoice! Every year, between late February and October, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival offers between 800 and 850 performances of a wide range of Shakespeare plays. The festival also includes performances of contemporary and classic plays that are not limited to Shakespeare. Annually, over 400,000 people come each year to watch performances at this world-renowned festival, held in Ashland Oregon.
Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art
This museum of art, which specializes in Asian artworks but also has vast collections of American and European art, is located in Eugene, Oregon. The building itself is absolutely windowless, in order to protect the artifacts within. Located on the campus of the University of Oregon, this museum offers guided tours on the first Saturday of every month.
Crater Lake National Park
This national park offers absolutely breathtaking views of an incredible landscape. The so-called “crater” it’s named after is actually not a crater at all, but the ancient remains of an extinct volcano, Mount Mazama. Enormous lava cliffs tower 2,000 feet above a vivid blue lake. This popular weekend trip spot is home to some of Oregon’s top hiking trails, which are also popular camping grounds.
For people inclined to relax at the beach, Cannon Beach on northern Oregon’s coast offers spectacular views of jagged coastal boulders and wide stretches of endless sand. The largest boulder, Haystack Rock, is something of a landmark here. North of the beach, you can explore Tillamook Head and Ecola State Park, which offer even more attractions.
Washington Park, Portland
Portland, Oregon’s largest city, has something for everyone. But one area of Portland that is truly for everyone is Washington Park. This dense park is filled with gardens, including the International Rose Test Garden and the Portland Japanese Garden. It is also home to the Oregon Zoo, a museum, and countless hiking trails.
Surrounded by volcanoes, dry plains, and national forests, Bend is a diverse city in the center of Oregon. It also offers countless activities for people who like outdoorsy fun. Smith Rock is a popular rock-climbing destination. Hiking trails are bountiful. And the Mount Bachelor Ski area offers amazing skiing slopes for everyone — not just bachelors.
Benefits of Oregon Sober Livings
No one recovers from an addiction overnight. Learning the skills necessary to avoid relapse and maintain one’s sobriety takes time. It can take even longer to rebuild one’s life, especially after years of active addiction have devastated one’s relationships, job prospects, and even legal standing. Sober living homes allow residents to stay and get support for as long as they need, with some residents choosing to stay longer than a year. As they repair past damage, build relationships, and take positive steps toward better futures, sober living home residents enjoy many forms of support. Some of the benefits of staying in a sober living house include:
Many individuals with addictions spend years trying and failing to get sober on their own. With the support of sober living housemates, what seemed impossible will become very possible. Addiction is often termed a “disease of isolation,” so it is no surprise that connecting with others who have had similar experiences can be inherently healing. Long term residents offer mentorship and guidance to those who are just getting sober. Residents also work to build relationships with their local recovery communities by attending support groups or 12-step meetings.
24/7 Guidance and Supervision
Sober living home staff and sober living house managers actually reside within each recovery home as well. This means that clients have access at all hours of the day to the guidance, support, and feedback of a dedicated team of staff members. Whenever an individual has a question or concern, or is struggling with an emotional difficulty in early recovery, they can simply reach out to one of these people. Many of them have personal experiences in recovery that they can draw upon as well. Staff members also work to enforce the rules and ensure that all residents have access to a safe and sober environment.
Life Skills Training
Quality sober living homes do more than merely encourage people to stay off of drugs and alcohol. They also help clients begin acquiring the gifts of sobriety. To do so, it is essential for young people to learn basic life skills that they may not have been able to develop during years of active addiction. The nature of these skills can vary from person to person, and they can range from learning proper grooming habits to how to pass a job interview or write a resume. This ensures that residents, upon graduation, are well prepared to live the prosperous lives they hope for.
Research shows that individuals who stay involved and continue to make use of recovery resources for longer periods of time are more likely to stay sober. Sober living homes do not offer clinical treatment, but they are very frequently recommended to individuals who have recently graduated from rehabs, including inpatient treatment programs. Finishing rehab and then immediately jumping back into one’s previous life in the outside world can be triggering, jarring, and ultimately make one feel like sobriety didn’t change much. Sober living homes serve as a stopgap period, allowing individuals in early recovery to take all the time they need to rebuild their lives — with a strong support system to back them up.
Getting Sober Outside of Oregon
In early sobriety, it is often recommended that people change their environment completely. While Oregon has countless quality sober living homes that offer safe and trigger-free spaces, the state itself might pose problems to individuals who called it home during their years of active addiction. Oregon might have many triggers for them. Triggers are people, habits, places, and events that make people want to compulsively use drugs or alcohol, due to associations based on past usage.
During the initial days of sobriety, when one lacks coping skills, it is helpful to simply avoid common triggers. This can often mean temporarily distancing oneself from loved ones, including friends and family, especially if they were former drinking or using buddies. It can mean avoiding neighborhoods where one used to purchase drugs, or where one’s favorite bars are located. For these reasons, even though it is possible to get sober in any location, leaving Oregon entirely is often the best course of action. In a new state and a new city, individuals in early recovery can begin to build a new set of relationships and develop new habits — and with time they will once again be able to face their home state.
Recovery is Possible at Design for Recovery
Design for Recovery, a sober living home for men located in Los Angeles, California, offers the fresh start that individuals with drug or alcohol addictions need. At our sober living house, residents work to develop the coping tools they need to stay sober over the long term. They address underlying issues, including problematic communication skills and mental health disorders, while striving to root themselves in a new set of values. These values and principles include integrity, honesty, and accountability. Most importantly, they develop long lasting relationships with housemates and their local recovery community, forming bonds that are an endless source of experience, strength, and hope.
At Design for Recovery, we believe that recovery is far more than just physical abstinence. It involves taking active steps to build a new and better life for oneself. To that end, residents make bold decisions — taking jobs, beginning new careers, returning to college, and developing new hobbies and interests. Throughout this journey, they are fully supported by staff, fellow residents, and sober living house managers. We believe that no one can recover alone, but our sober living home nonetheless offers the best preparation for an independent and autonomous life in sobriety.
If you are ready to make a fresh start, leaving Oregon habits behind, reach out to us today.