STARR is an acronym for Sobriety, Trust And Recovery Reputation. Each of the houses that joins Sober Living Halfway House Search has a unique opportunity to participate in the STARR Sober Living Network of homes program. This is accomplished by making a public pledge to uphold certain basic standards of management that demonstrate honesty, trust, and organization within a recovery home or halfway house environment. This is not limited to sober livings in California, but we can gain an ever stronger voice in Washington as we add houses from all over the country
The pledge demonstrates a genuine attempt on the house management's behalf to declare they operate their recovery house with their guests' best interests in mind on a best efforts basis at all times. The STARR Logo is a status symbol of sorts for sober livings and halfway houses. It is a logo they can display proudly, much like a Good Housekeeping Seal . It says “I'm part of something much bigger than this one house, and I'm proud of it because it means I am a house that you can trust and depend on for your recovery”
While this may seem quite general or even trite to some, let us please examine this for a moment. 3 out of 4 sober livings or half way houses do not even have websites. It is our contention at Sober Living Halfway House Search that many of these homes have never made ANY public statement whatsoever that they can be held responsible for relative to how they run their houses. And while we cannot possibly police every house, and neither are we dictating how to run a house -- there will now at least be a mandatory Code of Conduct that guests receive upon intake, and a written plan for what happens when somebody relapses, amongst other things. That alone is probably more than many of these homes operated with beforehand. This pledge will indeed help raise the overall standards when taken as a whole, however, because to get their logo they have made a pledge which is very specific on many points. It now allows somebody to hold them to certain standards where there was nothing before.
Hopefully the general public will take notice of this and recognize that most recovery homes are in the business with the best of intentions and have honest management. At worst, the STARR logo will be symbolic of those things. Enough zoning problems have arisen in some areas of the country to upset the whole industry, and a general pledge of honor where one can lose the STARR “Patch” or Logo if formal legal complaints are made about a home-- and even be removed from this site if a home is viewed as possibly putting guests’ general safety in jeopardy – can only be seen as a positive effort to raise the bar for all of us in the recovery industry.
So I say three cheers to anybody serious and genuine enough to sign a public statement which claims they are working for the greater good to the best of their ability when it comes to managing a house, and they should display these new logos with pride and confidence. A perfect example of how much good recovery housing can do is displayed in our story about How Sober Living Saved A Life
The STARR Pledge
“S” represents Sobriety:
“T” represents Trust:
“R” signifies Recovery:
2nd “R” signifies Reputation:
FAQ and Keywords Related to Sobriety, Addiction, Alcoholism, and Treatment
For anybody who is unfamiliar with any of the terms related to sobriety, sober living homes, halfway houses, and drug or alcohol addiction and treatment, there is a lot of terminology used that may be new to you. As well, if you are building a website for a sober living home or halfway house, you may wish to use some of these words as keywords, keeping in the vernacular. Plug these words into your keyword tool and use them with the sites for a sober living home, a sober home, a sober house, a halfway house or a half way house and use these words on your pages of influence. These are good keywords with definitions included:
Addiction is the entire process and ongoing event (ranging from overeating to regularly having to take drugs or drink alcohol) of developing and maintaining a physiological and/or psychological dependence upon an action that is usually harmful and very difficult to stop, and often it is underscored or occurs concurrently with other mental illnesses such as PTSD, depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder.
Addiction process is the occurrence and progression of addiction, as defined above.
Addiction treatment is the act of getting treated, as in correcting the defect of addiction itself by way of attending a treatment center or rehabilitation center to break the habit at the root of the addiction.
Addictive can apply to the degree to which something has the potential to get someone addicted. For example, opiates are an extremely addictive drug. Playing video games can be addictive.
Addictive behaviors are the actual behavioral actions that are indicated and presented by somebody who is on the verge of addiction, or who has an addictive personality.
Alcohol addiction is another and this author believes a better way of describing alcoholism. Many alcoholics see themselves as being different from addicts, and there was (and still is to a small degree) a time when Alcoholics Anonymous differentiated between addicts and alcoholics. In fact, an alcoholic is simply somebody who is addicted to alcohol, completely blurring the line between an alcoholic and an addict.
Alcohol treatment centers are places that treat people for alcohol addiction or alcoholism. These are differentiated from detox facilities, which simply medically supervise your stopping drinking. A treatment center is generally recognized as attempting to treat the whole person, not just the body, in an effort to help that person stop thinking the “old” way which led to addiction, and begin thinking anew.
Celebrate recovery is a term used generally by anybody who can celebrate the fact that they have recovered from an addiction, or are in recovery from addiction. In AA the number of days you have “clean” is celebrated by taking a chip at 30 days , 60 days, 90 days, 180 days (not everywhere), and annually. A “birthday” when spoken by somebody in recovery refers to their annual sobriety date, and is usually much more significant to them than their date of birth.
Centers for sober living may be a bit misleading, but it refers to a place where there are AA meetings in proximity to a number of sober homes. In fact, anybody who is sober can attend meetings at such centers.
Chemical dependency or chemically dependent is the medical term used when diagnosing addiction. It includes addiction to alcohol and or drugs and or any such chemicals or substances that are harmful and can be abused.
Christian sobriety refers to the fact that numerous sober living houses or places of service for alcoholics or addicts are managed by churches or people of the cloth. In fact they welcome people of any denomination, but if you go to a Christian sober living, expect the emphasis to be much more on God and religion that it may be at a “regular” sober living or halfway house.
Client is a word that sober livings and treatment centers use instead of calling the guest a guest or a patient. I find it somewhat humorous that people can be at the edge of death practically over dosing daily from heroin, for example, and enter an expensive treatment center and suddenly be “the client”. I believe it is one of the problems with high end treatment today, in that these types of centers distance themselves using verbiage from the real problem. The person is a very sick patient in an upscale hospital, in most cases, but he can distance himself from reality by being the “client” at “the treatment center”.
College classes are encouraged highly by long term sober livings and residential treatment. Any activity that gives a person forward momentum in a sobriety program is a welcome activity.
Contact alumni are those that “have graduated” from a particular center or a program and list they as available for help to others who are still in that center or program.
Counseling is the act of being counseled, usually with reference to recovery by a social worker or someone who has earned a degree of some sort in drug and alcohol counseling. Often times you will hear that a counselor made a huge difference in someone’s life. Many people have found that when it comes to drugs, alcohol and addiction, a counselor well-versed in the whole issue of addiction (or someone who has actually experienced alcoholism or addiction but who is recovered or in recovery) can make much more progress with someone struggling in sobriety and have a more positive effect than a psychologist or psychiatrist who does not specialize in addiction.
Counseling component when used speaking about a center for addiction therapy means that there will be one-on-one counseling or group counseling as part of the program. Counseling is a critical component to getting better when it comes to addiction because it is generally accepted that if you cannot talk about the problems that got you into your addiction in the first place, you will have little hope for recovering long term and not relapsing.
Dependency is simply the act of having become dependent – in the drug world, that means dependent upon or addicted to whatever substance is being discussed. Much is discussed about the subject of “people dependence” also, insofar as “codependency” is concerned, as being “codependent” with somebody else is generally seen as unhealthy and gives one the ability to continue more easily on their path of addiction.
Depression is the term used clinically to signal a mood disorder which keeps one in a “low” or depressed state of mind, usually seen as related to an imbalance of one or more of the neurotransmitter chemicals, especially dopamine, serotonin, and epinephrine. These imbalances are typically treated with a class of drugs known as “anti-depressives” – though doctors are not clear on exactly what the action in this class of drugs is.
Depression anxiety is a very normal expression in the psychiatric world, and especially in the world where psychiatry and drug addiction cross paths and find people who are dually diagnosed for a mental illness and chemical dependency. Anxiety is a type of emotion that is classified with its own disorders, but frequently depression disorder is intricately tied in with feelings of anxiety.
Detox is the process of detoxifying, or getting off of drugs or alcohol and usually lasts acutely for 3 to 7 days. Less acute phases of detox can extend for months, and it generally refers to getting all traces of chemical abuse out of the body entirely.
Diagnosis is an extremely important part of addiction and alcoholism that is often overlooked. But a diagnosis should be made after a patient has had a full assessment by a medical professional, preferably a psychiatrist with an MD. If addiction is “treated” without a full medical workup, it is probable that the underlying mental problems that led to the addiction in the first place will be missed, and if so, relapse probability approaches 100% pretty rapidly.
Dual diagnosis is a concept and a term that has been around since at least 1990. More and more treatment centers are subscribing to the dual diagnosis theory, but still nowhere near the amount of emphasis and effort has been put into this area by some treatment centers. Dual diagnosis is simply the reference to a person who has been diagnosed with two problems, such as depression and chemical dependence. This author believes that close to between 80% and 90% of all addicts would be diagnosed with depression or some sort of mental illness that could be found to be at the root of a cause of his or her addiction were they carefully assessed by an addiction savvy psychiatrist. “Treating” somebody for alcoholism or addiction without assessing them carefully for a mental disorder is ludicrous, and this author would go so far as to say it was negligent treatment. If you don’t catch the mental illness that drove the patient to take the drug to make himself or herself more comfortable because of a mental discomfort in the first place, you will never be able to control the addiction. Dual diagnosis is one of the most important theories of addiction to pay special attention to today, in my humble opinion.
Facilities refer to the type of amenities and occupational premises of a particular treatment center
Facilities tour refers to a tour everybody should participate in before choosing a treatment center, a sober living home or a halfway house. If the people who run that facility really care about their patients, and they must to have an effective facility, then their premises are going to show it. You are able to see the amount of pride and care an owner puts into a center by the general appearance, cleanliness, and feeling about a facility. Go with your gut instinct on a facilities tour, and don’t excuse any problems you see. If there are cigarette butts all over the grounds, and the gardens are unkempt, and beds are unmade and there is a messy appearance on your tour, just imagine how bad it would be living there. Don’t hesitate to move on and look at other facilities
Family counseling is a very important part of treatment. If the families don’t understand what makes the patient tick, the right and wrong things to say, and doesn’t adjust to a new life of sobriety WITH the other family member, it will make life all the more difficult for everybody, and likely lead to relapse.
Family members refer to anybody in the subject’s immediate group of loved ones be they blood relatives or not, who could play a part in the treatment process.
Family environment simply refers to the type of environment that the individual is living in terms of support or conflict.
Family program means that sometimes there are programs for families to attend, whether that whole family needs treatment, or they simply need an orientation around the member getting better.
Financing loan is a type of medical loan that is financed by special medical loan companies. These types of loans can be used in an emergency situation but take care to understand how fast a bill can be run up while one is in treatment.
Free assessment is something that many clinics offer, but I would be wary of these. If a “free assessment” is nothing more than a written questionnaire with an administrator of counselor, that is not a true assessment. You want a full psychological workup and a medical assessment in order to gain
Half way house is often misspelled for the correct spelling below of halfway house.
Halfway house is a word used to describe either a house that is synonymous with a private sober living home, and that is a house which generally takes in and accepts people who are exiting a traditional alcohol or drug treatment program. Private sober livings and halfway houses can also accept somebody who is not fresh out of a treatment center, but who is practicing living sober. In general, however, you have to test “clean” by the time you arrive at a sober living or halfway house. What is confusing about this term is it is also a type of house run or managed by a public or private group who must answer to the department of corrections for the sole purpose of housing inmates who are just being paroled, and who are getting ready to be released. It is in effect a house to get ex-convicts or convicts ready to face the “real world”, and often these houses are cited in the news for parolees slipping away, or even for violent crimes that may occur in these homes, as it is often the first time they have lived in a low level to no level security situation and some people are not ready for this. Unfortunately this author believes that such houses which are related to the Department of Corrections are confused with “regular” halfway houses and sober livings when it comes to the problems they can bring to a neighborhood. This is not to say that people exiting jail don’t deserve a second chance also, but I think it is a mistake that the naming of these houses both halfway houses “crosses over” definitions and can be so easy to confuse with one another. It is making it much more difficult for sober living and the quieter, “regular” halfway houses to move into residential neighborhoods.
Halfway house rules are the rules that accompany a drug and alcohol-oriented halfway house, and a set of these is printed in the Sober Living Halfway House Search Blog, at soberlivingsearch.com.
Halfway houses are simply the plural reference to several halfway house facilities.
Halfway housing is simply the reference to people living in a halfway house, or the establishment of a halfway house or a half way house.
Highly monitored refers to the way some recovery homes are managed; that is with stricter rules and tighter regulations than others.
Highly structured symbolizes the same definition as above, except that there are perhaps more activities structured into the rules than simply a highly monitored sober living house or halfway house.
Individualized treatment refers to treatment that is custom tailored to individuals`
Program is short for either the AA program or any alcohol and/or drug program. “Are you in the program?” while speaking about the topics of drugs or alcohol is another way of asking if you are sober.
Recovery is the process of recovering from alcoholism or drug addiction. Some people especially in AA like to refer to all addicts and alcoholics as “being in recovery” or “recovering” for life, while some programs deem you “recovered” once you have stopped using. The two references are controversial.
Recovery bible is generally another word for what is also called “the Big Book” in AA, or the main book which everyone follows and quotes out of
Recovery house is another word for a sober living or halfway house.
Recovery housing is what a recovery houses do in terms of housing those in need of shelter and sober living protocol.
Recovery living is the type of living one does in a sober living or halfway house, where the primary number one rule is you stay sober.
Rehab program is short for a period of time or a proper program at an alcohol and or drug treatment facility.
Rehab treatment is also a reference to treatment to get free from drugs or alcohol.
Residential program is when patients live in a residence and receive treatment at the same time. The rules are considerably stricter than a sober living home or a halfway house.
Residential treatment is the same as residential program above.
Resources are, when it comes to drugs and alcohol, the tools one has hat hand or in his or her mind that have been learned to deal with alcoholism or addiction
Seeking treatment is someone’s way of essentially saying they want to get sober.
Share is a term generally used or perhaps started in the rooms of AA, where people are encouraged to speak. Such speaking in a group setting is called sharing, and generally the protocol is that whoever is sharing has a certain number of minutes to speak before their time is up.
Sober refers to the state of mind and body of being clear and free of all illegal drugs and alcohol
Sober environment is one where liquor and drugs of any sort that might temp an alcoholic or addict are completely absent from the premises, and generally the people on the premises in that environment must be sober too.
Sober group is a group meeting where experiences are shared among and by members of the group.
Sober home a sober home is another term for a sober living, where the premises are free of drugs and alcohol, and certain rules about living in the home are in force.
Sober homes are simply a group of individual sober houses, or the plural form for the word.
Sober house is yet another word synonymous with sober living, except there was also a show on VH1 called Sober House which increased the trend of use of this particular term in the past several years.
Sober individuals are people who maintain sober lifestyles. People in sober livings are presumably sober individuals.
Sober living is the traditional and best known term for referring to an alcohol free, drug free way of life at a home that also has a substantial number of other rules if it is presumed to be a sober living. It should be noted that sober livings are not governed by any regulatory agency, but the establishing of such houses is protected to a degree by federal laws applying to disabled persons. Ex-addicts and alcoholics are often deemed to be disabled.
Sober living home is simply another term, but an extended one used for sober living.
Sober living homes is the plural word of the singular word above.
Sober living house is another extended way of describing a sober living environment.
Steps are usually referenced when talking about the Big Book in AA and the 12 steps it follows which are said to help lead one to sobriety and a happy life.
Step based refers to treatment which adheres to the AA philosophy, and is the opposite of a program which claims they are not a “sep based” program.
Structured environment is the way some people refer to both treatment programs and sober livings for people who are trying to get and stay sober. It refers to an environment where there are typically a fair number at least of rules, regulations and actions that need be performed.
Structured treatment refers to a treatment program that is not a loosely put together program, but one which includes a lot of activities and requirements so that there is not a lot of free time during which people can be left to their own devices.
Students are how Narcanon refers to their patients. When their patients have finished a program they have “graduated” and are considered “recovered”. This flies in the face of AA theory but this author believes “whatever works” to be the best path to success.
Success stories are what people who have recovered for a long period of time usually in the face of a very difficult environment to recover in. Sober people refer to others who have come along and made it a certain amount of time “success stories”.
Supervised residences are the types of most residences for people in recovery. An unsupervised residence leaves people leaderless to some degree, and might imply they can get into trouble. Some more loosely run sober livings may have a manager present for the daytime until midnight, for example, and leave the residents unsupervised from 12am to 6 am. This would be considered at best a loose policy and at worst a poorly run house.
Transitional living is another synonym for sober living, and literally means that the individual is in a state of transition between different locations to live –treatment and sober living.
Treatment is the whole process of literally leading one away from the sickness and ill ways of living under the spell of addiction to drugs and alcohol, and teaching him or her how to deal with the entire problem of facing drugs and alcohols and steering clear of their evil ways and means of imprisonment and entrapment in their small but powerful world.
Treatment center is where somebody goes anticipating he or she will learn all the processes of treatment as it is described above.
Treatment experience is the whole experience where the individual receives in treatment per the description above.
Treatment options are the different types of treatment per the description above that someone can undergo to get free from alcohol and drugs.
Treatment philosophy expresses that there are different beliefs in how to go about administering treatment to people. Some believe in the 12 step program’s philosophy while others do not. Treatment philosophy is an important decision in choosing which treatment to philosophy or strategy to employ that feels right for the individual.
Treatment program is synonymous with the definition of treatment above.
Underlying issues have to do with some of the deep psychological issues or even childhood trauma that could underpin the addiction. It is essential that talk therapy be employed in treatment to get at some of these deeper issues.
Video treatment is a newfangled idea that some people have had that you can substitute on onsite program with a video treatment program from home. The difference of being with real people, however, cannot be replaced in a video IMHO.
The only rules to the drawing are:
1) You found a house using this website and moved into it. IMPORTANT: Within 3 days of moving in you tell the manager that you found the house through SoberLivingSearch, as we must check on this before payout with a phone call to your manager.
2) During move-in or before you move in you can fill out the form below with 6 items - that's all! Your name, a phone number we can call you at if you are a winner, house name, state, and manager's name, and your move in date.
3) You can enter drawings each month you stay at the house. We will pay you by Pay pal, but if you don't have a pay pal account we will FEDEX a check from Chase Bank to any address you give us day of your winnings. It's that simple!
4) We will be giving from 1 -10 prizes of $150 each month depending on how many houses sign up with us.