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Our Philosophy

Asking people who are impaired by behavior, substance abuse and mental health issues to flip a switch and be totally abstinent with a 30-day deadline just isn't a realistic goal. High Sobriety's philosophies of Harm Reduction, Medication-Assisted Approaches and Cannabis Inclusive Recovery offer advanced addiction recovery approaches that ensure more people engage in a process of healing while also meeting their individual goals and objectives.

Our philosophy saves lives, with a more inclusive definition of "Recovery." We believe that too many people are dying from addiction that could be alive. High Sobriety is working to shift the addiction recovery paradigm to include harm minimization as an option. An option that will save more lives, include more people, and help our clients achieve a sustainable state of recovery that is not only safe, but humane and self-defined.  


After living with us, a former resident: 

1.) Understands the egregious harm drug use has on not just themselves, but their family and community. 

2.) Has knowledge of multiple paths to recovery, including total abstinence, 12 Step recovery, harm minimization, and options for mutual help organizations. 

3.) Has knowledge of the vital importance of the physiological aspects of recovery. They further understand their own body's need for proper diet and exercise and can sustain that knowledge with actions and habits. 

4.) Has a commitment to service in the community, not limited to the recovery community but to their own passions and interests. 

5.) Has knowledge of where to seek help and has willingness to ask for it. 

6.) Has a deep understanding that a self-defined recovery is a process, rife with victories and defeats and an understanding that success is conditional on the willingness to keep striving for improvement. 

7.) Has respect for the medical process, the opinion of mental health professionals, and a willingness to follow recovery community recommendations. 

8.) Has an internalized understanding that no one improves alone and has developed the skills to combat isolative behaviors. 

9.) Has an individual working definition of what recovery means to them and an actionable comprehensive plan to sustain this recovery, make ongoing personal improvements and continue to grow. 

10.) Has a fundamental awareness of the "Safety First!" concept. They understand that no one finds any measure of recovery if they are dead. 

11.) Has the ability to accept "No" as an answer, tolerate feelings of discomfort, differentiate between fact and opinion. Has an understanding of their right to
self-determine and the capability to accept the consequences of those choices.

Harkness Method

The Harkness Philosophy is a way of learning: everyone comes prepared to share, discuss, and discover, whether the topic is "family relations" or "living safely", there are no lectures presented at High Sobriety.
Additionally, the Harkness Philosophy is a way of being: interacting with peers, listening carefully and curiously, speaking clearly and respectfully, accepting new ideas and questioning old ones, using new knowledge and learning to tolerate and even enjoy the richness of human interaction.  Alienation and isolation are major hurdles to overcome when creating sustainable life changes. The Harkness table combats the alienation that fuels harmful and self-destructive behaviors.

Non-Clinical Protocols

Be not idle, be not alone. 


There are few absolutes with mental health: brains, personality constructs, culture, family systems and individual belief are all in play. One thing is certain; nobody gets better alone and nobody gets better without action. Samuel Johnson said "If you're solitary, be not idle, if you're idle, be not solitary". Johnson was correct. At High Sobriety our goal is to be neither alone nor idle.

In addition to providing access to traditional clinical work through a number of outside providers, High Sobriety uses a social model for reengaging in life. Cognitive activity is critical to restoring healthier living.  

A comprehensive physiological program with an accountability partner ensures engagement and execution. We all work out, we move, we breathe. The belief that medical marijuana users are lazy,  complacent, and idle is due largely to culture and expectation. We reject that idea entirely. 


Nutrition and cooking: Self-regulated, safe living is a goal at High Sobriety. Recovery is never cheap, fast, or easy. That ideal should permeate all areas of life. Many people who have been using alcohol or other lethal dose drugs have long neglected nutrition. More than a skill set, our goal is forming new habits. Cooking and eating are effective group skills. 

Film and book club: From classics to new releases, reading and discussion is good for health and well being. 

Civic responsibility: All peers at High Sobriety choose an issue of which they wish to explore. Peers explore the issue and search for ways in which they can participate. 

Service hours: With the aid of our service coordinator, all peers in phase two commit to no less than 10 hours monthly, dedicated to a service project. 

Recreation matters: High Sobriety supports recreation, outings and exposure. The world won't change for us and if we can't maintain healthy boundaries in the world, we can't maintain healthy boundaries.  From USC and UCLA sporting events to beach outings, life should be fun when it can. 


High Sobriety supports mutual help groups. To date, 12 step groups reject the idea of harm reduction. High Sobriety provides space for current peers, alumni, and others in the community seeking mutual help while using medication assisted recovery.