Maintaining Sobriety Through Community

By The Fix staff 07/31/17

A built-in community in early recovery is invaluable. With resources like Westwind Recovery, clients have a safe environment to not only live drug-free but also to thrive drug-free.

room at Westwind Recovery
Westwind Recovery offers former addicts a sober living housing arrangement that promotes recovery within a safe and fun community. image via Westwind Recovery

It’s miraculous what can happen when three sober heads are put together. When drug-and-alcohol-free friends Justin Wells, Zachary Ament and Justin White decided to create a safe living space for those in early sobriety in the Los Angeles’ Hancock Park neighborhood, their initial haven flourished from an idea fueled by passion, to a full fledged sober community. And community is key to recovery.

The Founding (Sober) Fathers
Now a pillar of Southern California’s upscale sober living offerings, Westwind Recovery was founded in 2014 as one residence determined to give those who were new to life in recovery the tools to maintain sobriety. Their mission included “compassion as a cornerstone in everyday living, drug and alcoholtreatment, structure, and freedoms with a client-centered approach.” Ament, who studied psychology and addiction counseling in college, and Wells knew first-hand the benefits of living with other sober people. They met at an unofficial sober living home in Los Angeles. White had previously worked at some well-reputed treatment facilities. The three of them together made for some structured-early-recovery-living magic.

Sober Living at Its Finest

Finding connection and commonality is crucial to staying sober. Forming relationships with like-minded folks also trying to live life substance-free (God willing, one day at a time) isn’t always easy outside the confines of a residential treatment center or 12-step meetings, and sometimes meetings and fellowship just aren’t enough. That’s when sober living can be a literal lifesaver. And “like-minded” doesn’t just mean, “also sober.” Westwind Recovery recognizes this by offering homes exclusively for men, women, the LBGTQ community and individuals with co-occurring disorders.

Now, an impressive 12 locations spread across Los Angeles, from East Hollywood to Venice Beach, Westwind Recovery facilities feature a boatload of amenities from in-home washer/dryers (a serious perk in Los Angeles) to complimentary Wi-Fi, heated pools and “unlimited coffee,” a sober person’s lifeline. A gym membership and daily living supplies (think paper products and Tide) are also included.

image via Westwind Recovery

A Socializing Savior

Overall, Westwind Recovery is a shining example of the 12-step principle of attraction rather than promotion. Build it and they will come—especially if they’re promised fun, non-booze-driven activities like bowling, beach trips and yoga classes. In early recovery, the concept of socializing without drugs or alcohol is harrowing. People who’ve experienced it know all too well, going to a bowling alley without having to worry about their companions sharing a pitcher of beer; it’s a game changer.

Westwind Recovery is described by its leaders as a, “sober living environment free of rigidity and punitiveness.” To establish this, they’ve got 24/7 staff who create honest, family-like atmospheres where clients are treated as unique individuals, not just a restricted resident expected to follow a set of rules. The founders are still heavily involved in the community, and believe in the importance of rigorous honesty in regard to their own journeys and making sure clients have mentors and solid leadership, not just sober chaperoning.

A built-in community in early recovery is invaluable. With resources like Westwind Recovery, clients have a safe environment to not only live drug-free but also to thrive drug-free. That’s definitely an incentive for someone to stay sober—and hopefully inspire others around them to do the same.

Reach Westwind Recovery by phone at (800) 223-5759. Find Westwind Recovery on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter

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