There are often frequently asked questions when it comes to sober living, recovery housing and addiction treatment services.
We spoke with Jace Horwitz, owner of Herbert House Sober Living Residences, and posed a variety of common questions people often have prior to, or while living in a semi-structured addiction recovery home. Each type of sober living environment is unique, however, there is one reality that the good ones always share, and that is, always protect the client’s sobriety. Comfort and amenities is great, but it must always come secondary to why the client is there in the first place, which is to recover and build a foundation for success in life.
Q: Why is it important to have gender-specific housing, in your case just men and no women?
A: When someone first comes into recovery, their human instinct is to find new comforts to take the place of the drug/alcohol that previously brought them comfort. Many people are inclined to seek the path of least resistance, but that is especially true with drug addicts. Confronting your addiction and the underlying behavior is not generally fun, so if there were women living here the men (and women) would naturally seek comfort through relationships, affection, sex and so forth. Our ability to help our clients would be dramatically hindered if this were a coed environment. Early in my own sobriety I was in both, coed and male-only recovery environments, and I can personally attest to this truth.
Q: Sober living home prices here in West Los Angeles, California seem to range from as low as $700 per month to as much as even 6 or 8 thousand per month. Your pricing seems to be towards the lower end ($1250 shared room / $2450 private room); how do you rank in terms of structure, services, comforts and amenities?
A: By law, sober livings are not allowed to actually provide licensed clinical services onsite, though some actually do. The recovery process, however, is largely experientially based. My experience, as shown in some of our recovery videos, as well as my manager’s experience, is the beacon we have our clients focus on. The exception is in cases where a client has a co-occurring mental illness, such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc., in which case we are happy to connect them with a psychiatrist or therapist within a network of clinicians we know first hand to be very effective. In terms of comforts & amenities, I am a big believer in cleanliness and promoting togetherness through many of the comforts you’ll notice in our photographs. Great beds and leather sofas and 65 inch tv’s with cable and wifi are wonderful, so long as they remain secondary to the client’s primary purpose, and that is how Herbert House operates.
Q: Is Herbert House 12-Step based, non 12-Step, religious, etc.?
A: We support whatever will keep the client proactively moving forward in their recovery. I believe 12-Steps is important for the reason that it provides a recipe for life on life’s terms, with integrity and honesty no matter what hurdles there are. We’ve had clients gravitate toward religion, Agape, SMART recovery, and others. In most cases though, they prefer AA or NA.
Q: What happens if/when a client relapses?
A: Each case is different. The question we always, always ask ourselves in such a case is, are we better protecting the other clients by giving the person a second chance or, rather, by having them leave? First off, if they require a medical detox then 100% they must leave and go to a detox facility if they have any hope of coming back. The are those rare exceptions in which a client will be given the opportunity to stay, but a number of pieces must fall into place for this to occur. It’s never about punishing the one who relapsed. It’s always about protecting the ones who are here and doing good work on themselves and their recovery.
Asking the Right Questions
A wise man once told me that a key to life is not so much knowing the right answers as it is knowing the right questions. If you or your loved one has any questions whatsoever about Herbert House or even recovery in general, just send us an email using the form below, or even better, give us a call at (310) 737-7566.