Sober living homes come in many varieties to respond to the needs of disparate social groups. Coed sober living homes are often beneficial for couples who hope to work together on their addiction recovery. Recovery homes also exist that focus exclusively on the unique needs of members of the LGBTQIA community. Some women’s sober living homes have more resources for dealing with the needs of addicts suffering from mental health issues and are geared toward dual diagnosis individuals.
Gender-specific sober living homes are another common variety of sober living home that addresses the unique needs of people in addiction recovery. Despite suffering from the same condition, men and women with substance use disorder often face issues that are particular to their gender. It is important for young women to have access to a safe and supportive community that allows them to be vulnerable during the important early days of addiction recovery.
Benefits of Gender-Specific Sober Living for Women
Women’s Sober living homes can greatly aid the recovery of young women who are recovering from addiction and trying to repair their lives. Not only can recovering in a gender-specific sober living home feel safer, it is often more effective. By focusing on the unique needs of women and helping each individual holistically, women’s sober living homes can mitigate many of the challenges that individuals face during the recovery process.
The early days of addiction recovery are a time of great vulnerability. It is crucial that young women feel safe when it comes to bringing up problems they’re facing or aspects of their addiction stories. Many women have problems that they might find difficult freely discussing with men. The consequences of addiction extend far beyond mere substance abuse, making themselves apparent in many areas of a person’s life, ranging from mental and physical health, family life, to even sexuality.
During the early days of sobriety, young women are often grateful to have access to a community of fellow women who are likely to understand what they’re going through. At a sober living for women, residents can be honest and work through difficult issues without fear of being misunderstood or judged.
During the initial months of addiction recovery, many young women benefit from the sense of focus that a sober living for women provides. Cultural expectations that men either consciously or unconsciously impose on women can add unnecessary pressures during an already difficult time.
Aggressive or predatory behavior from men can also be damaging for young women who are emotionally vulnerable and trying to heal. In a coed recovery house, it is easy for women and men alike to be distracted by romance, sex, and dating, whereas a gender-specific home naturally limits these kinds of diversions. While homosexual women might find that some of these distractions remain at a sober living for women, most find that the benefits of being part of a likeminded community outweigh other considerations.
Women and Recovery from Substance Abuse
For females, there are a variety of biological traits that increase the dangers associated with addiction. While men are statistically more likely to engage in risky drug use overall, women tend to develop physical dependence more quickly. The result is that many women suffer from the mental and physical consequences of substance use disorder more rapidly and dramatically than men.
Studies have also confirmed that women have a higher rate of relapse and are more susceptible to drug and alcohol cravings even after withdrawal. These vulnerabilities, which are unique to women, are part of why young women benefit from being among their own kind in gender-specific sober living homes.
Women also have a higher likelihood of facing other complications caused by substance abuse. Women have higher rates of sexual abuse and PTSD than men, and these statistics become more alarming when drugs and alcohol enter the picture. Women also are more likely to be diagnosed with mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. Comorbid conditions can complicate the addiction recovery process. Women who have children often face further difficulties, with many women avoiding treatment or dropping out early for fear of losing custody of their child. Addiction treatment programs and women’s sober living homes can mitigate many of these factors.
Women’s Sober Housing in Los Angeles
The sober community in Los Angeles is active and diverse. Los Angeles contains countless treatment centers and women’s sober living homes. It also has a thriving community outside of formal treatment facilities. Support groups and 12-step meetings are available every day throughout the city during all hours. 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous provide support to anyone with a desire to stop drinking or using drugs.
These meetings offer individuals an opportunity to develop helpful sober social support systems and learn new coping tools that pave the way toward long term sobriety. Beyond the mere practical needs of addiction treatment, many people continue to go to these meetings decades after getting sober because they have found lasting and meaningful friendships there.
Like gender-specific sober living homes, many support groups and 12-step programs offer same-gender meetings. Women’s meetings offer young women an outlet for opening up about concerns that they might be reluctant to address on a group level in a coed meeting. Women’s meetings, including LGBTQIA meetings and young people’s meetings, are also opportunities to build on the social support system that is so crucial to long term sobriety.
12-step programs often urge members to get “sponsors” of the same gender. Sponsors, who function as mentors and guides for individuals completing the 12 steps, are helpful resources for young women as they meet and conquer the challenges of sober life. Since the relationship of sponsor to sponsee is one of mutual trust and understanding, it is often essential to have a sponsor who is also a woman.
Sober Fun for Recovering Women in Los Angeles
The idea of “sober fun” can seem intimidating or even absurd to someone new to sobriety. While there may sometimes be triggers related to drugs and alcohol, making use of the “HALT” strategy can be beneficial. This involves asking yourself if you are hungry, angry, lonely, or tired before making any impulsive decision.
Having tools like this in place can prevent unnecessary relapses. However, having a strong sober social support group of other young women can make having sober fun a walk in the park. Activities that at one point might have seemed unthinkable without drugs and alcohol can become thrilling once again in the company of good friends. And best of all, you’ll likely remember what happened afterwards!
Los Angeles, which is an international destination with a little something for everyone, has limitless options for fun and entertainment. The following, however, are a few good places to start:
- The Griffith Observatory. For newly sober individuals, one great way of getting out of your head is looking up — at the stars. The Griffith Observatory offers people a chance to look through high powered telescopes. Located at a high altitude of Griffith Park, you’ll also have a chance to look at the city itself from a bird’s eye perspective.
- The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). LACMA’s enormous permanent art collection as well as its revolving exhibits make it an essential destination for the city’s art lovers. There are many other museums throughout Los Angeles as well, including The Getty and the Norton Simon Museum.
- Grand Central Market. Smack dab in the center of Downtown Los Angeles, Grand Central Market is a food hall with plenty of history. Offering both fresh produce and meals at chic mini restaurants, the market draws enormous crowds from all over the city.
- The Santa Monica Pier. The Santa Monica Pier features amusement park rides, arcades, restaurants, and novelty stores. Located above the ocean, the pier is both scenic and exciting.
- Venice Beach. Even if you don’t want to get into the water, Venice Beach is an incredibly diverse place to go for a stroll. Whether you’re interested in shopping or just people-watching, there’s something for everyone.
- The Hollywood Bowl. The Hollywood Bowl hosts concerts almost every day of the month, featuring major pop stars and experimental musicians alike. There are also countless smaller venues scattered throughout the city, from the Echoplex to the Troubadour.
- Hiking. Los Angeles is nestled against mountains, so it’s no surprise that there are countless trails to hike on. From Griffith Park trails to Runyon Canyon in Hollywood, your options are limitless.
Sober Living Homes for Women
Case workers often recommend sober living homes after young women graduate from formal treatment programs at inpatient recovery facilities and medical detox centers. Women’s Sober living homes are a vital component of aftercare treatment plans. Aftercare treatment plans are programs for maintaining sobriety after graduating from formal treatment programs. Women’s Sober living homes are particularly effective because they strengthen young women’s foundation of sober tools and help them transition back to the “real world” at a healthy and safe pace.
In fact, multiple studies have confirmed that individuals who remain in recovery programs longer have lower rates of relapse over the years. Many sober living homes work with graduates to design aftercare programs that they can continue to follow for years down the line. For young women who hope to continue the progress they have begun making toward sobriety, enrollment in a sober living home is an essential step.
Women’s Sober living homes can often successfully be utilized by individuals who have never attended any kind of formal treatment program, especially in the case of structured sober living homes. However, one of their primary benefits is that they allow young women to gradually build up their lives in sobriety so that when it is time to enter the “real world” they are confident and well-prepared. Sober living homes emphasize skills and values that are essential to living healthy prosperous lives. Many sober living homes offer job placement resources and even work with young women who aim to re-enter school.
Staff members work individually with residents to ensure that they are taking necessary steps toward their goals. Research on women’s sober living homes indicates that residents not only have lower rates of relapse, they also have improved outcomes when it comes to legal, financial, and even mental health problems. By the time an individual graduates from their sober living home, they not only have a strong sober social support network in place, but they are well on their way toward living lives that may have once thought were impossible.
Finding Women’s Sober Living Homes Near me
Selecting a women’s sober living home can be a difficult decision that requires some research and questioning. However, if you have come to a decision that you are ready to make a change, there are a wide variety of resources to consult:
- Speak to case workers at your treatment facility. They can often recommend women’s sober living homes that they’ve seen people use successfully.
- Google “women’s sober living houses near me” or “female halfway house near me.” Google will factor in your location and show you sober living homes listed by approximate distance from your device’s zip code.
- Contact a medical professional or social worker who is familiar with your history.
- Get recommendations from members of your support group or 12-step meeting.
- Search the listings on the National Alliance on Recovery Residences (NARR) website.
- Intervention America also lists sober living homes in a large directory. You can even search for specific subtypes, including sober living homes for men.
Ensuring the Quality of Recovery Services
It is also important to look at any sober living home before enrolling to ensure that it is run ethically and effectively. It is a good idea to talk to the managers about your personal history and unique recovery needs. Other good traits of a sober living home to look for include:
- Managers with extensive training and experience dealing and working in recovery
- Clear house rules and expectations
- Staff members who are on duty and available 24/7
- Daily schedules and structure (a sober living home is not merely a place to crash for the night)
- Frequent drug-testing to guarantee the sobriety of every resident
- Clean and safe facilities
The Sober Living Network also offers a free listing of sober living homes. The organization works to set quality standards for members of their Sober Living Coalition, requiring as a condition for membership that they be safe, well-managed, and ethical.
If you are ready to make a change, don’t wait. Reach out to one of these resources and find a sober living home that meets your unique treatment needs. Your sober life is waiting for you