Our Recovery Program

The Heartland House residential treatment program is organized to focus on the specific needs of the individual, supporting person centered treatment and progress in treatment. Each man learns more about the disease of addiction and explores new ways of solving problems without using drugs or alcohol. The focus is on changing patterns of thinking and acting. As he becomes orientated he becomes more involved in the program. Working with his counselor, he develops an individual recovery plan with solid goals that form his journey to a clean and sober life. He is engaged in therapy and activities that help him achieve his goals. The Heartland House program is continually evolving to incorporate the new research in the field of addiction, address changing needs of the men we serve, and meet changing federal and state requirements. Our residents are a diverse group. They include older men who may be struggling with relapses. Some are younger men who started drinking and using and living a hard life at a much younger age. More of our residents have dual-diagnoses, challenged by both addiction and mental illness. Our veteran population is increasing as well, and we work closely with the VA so that our veterans receive their outpatient treatment services.

Program Components

Our multi-dimensional treatment program tailors an individual program for each man depending on his unique needs. We seek to continually improve our treatment program, using evidence-based therapy models and providing trauma-informed, culturally competent care. Our program components are listed below, by category.
Core Treatment Program Components
Each resident at Heartland House receives these core program elements:
NEW! Journey to Wholeness: Return to BE
Journey to Wholeness: Return to BE was created by Victoria Odde, who In 2015, studied and trained under Deepak Chopra at The Chopra Center in La Costa, California, and gained accreditation as a Certified Educator of Perfect Health: Ayurvedic Lifestyle program developed by co-founders Drs. Deepak Chopra and David Simon. It is fashioned after the global best seller book, Perfect Health by Deepak Chopra, M.D.


Social Model (12-step) Program
The established peer-support model that uses the 12 steps to successfully abstain from alcohol and drugs, and achieve long-term recovery. (Reference for more information)
Alcohol and drug education
Helps influence the client’s attitudes, understanding, and behaviors associated with drug and alcohol use. (Reference)
Individual and group counseling
Individualized counseling helps the patient develop coping strategies and tools to abstain from drug and alcohol use and maintain abstinence. Group counseling offers social reinforcement of a drug-free lifestyle through peer discussions. (Reference)
Relationship and family counseling
Addresses how to create a substance-free home environment, family roles that support addiction (e.g., enabling, co-dependency), as well as relationship issues that can be triggers for relapse. (Reference)
Relapse Prevention Therapy© (Gorski)
One of the most highly-recognized relapse prevention programs, which has been shown effective with different addictions and across multiple populations. (Gorski’s Website)
Anger Management (SAMSHA)
Participants learn to recognize their emotional responses to people, places, actions, and other triggers, and learn new behaviors and responses. (Reference)
Social and recreational activities
Builds new social networks and creates a new community of clean and sober friends, which are important to initial recovery and ongoing sobriety and abstinence. This is especially critical when current social networks include friends and family who drink and use. (Reference)
Sober Living/Continuing Care Housing
We operate sober living/continuing care apartments for a total of eight men across the street from Heartland House. This facility provides more stability for men without sufficient family or social supports during the transition period after graduation from Heartland House. These men live more independently and stay up to 24 months.
Intake and Goal Setting Components
Our experienced, professional counselors work with each man to design a specific program to address his unique needs and build on his strengths, using:
Motivational interviewing
An approach that uses compassion and understanding to help individuals become willing to “do the work” of recovery. (Reference)
ASI and SMART treatment planning
Identifies the client’s most important goals for treatment, describes measurable, time-sensitive steps towards achieving those goals, and creates a treatment plan agreement between the counselor and client. The plan is composed of Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-limited goals. (Reference)
Individually-Centered Treatments
There is no cookie cutter approach to treatment and recovery. Individual life experience, past trauma, physical health conditions, substance abuse history, and mental health all interact with and add complexity to each person’s addiction. Some treatments are only effective with specific addictions – e.g., an approach for cocaine addiction may not get the same results for opioid addiction. This list of additional therapeutic interventions and services are provided onsite to residents, depending on their unique recovery needs and goals:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
A relapse prevention strategy that helps clients identify problem behaviors and develop effective coping strategies. (Reference)
Motivational Enhancement Treatment (MET)
Can help clients who are unsure and haven’t committed to stopping their use of alcohol or drugs. It can help patients more fully engage in treatment and improve their results. (Reference)
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
Uses mindfulness and other tools to help clients address depression, anxiety and other emotional conditions that challenge recovery efforts. (Reference)
Case Management
A personal counselor who helps each man manage referrals and navigate systems to receive any outside physical and behavioral health treatment, and connect with community resources. (Reference)
Pharmacological Treatment
May be prescribed by doctors in some cases to help manage withdrawal so that an individual can better focus on their recovery program. (References: for alcohol, for opioids)
Additional Education Programs
Heartland House offers additional education programs and assistance for:
HIV/Aids, TB, and hepatitis
Provides education and connection to treatment for residents who have contracted these illnesses through intravenous drug use, homelessness with unprotected sex, or other activities.
Financial literacy
Financial problems can be a trigger for relapse. This program helps residents learn ways to rebuild their financial health, to stabilize their lives, and make needed amends.
Smoking cessation
There is also a high correlation between alcoholism and smoking, and illicit drug use and cigarette smoking. Smoking cessation can bring significant health improvements and eliminate a trigger for returning to drinking and using. (Reference)
Gambling addiction
A higher percentage of individuals with substance abuse disorders also have gambling addictions. Uncontrolled gambling can lead to financial, family, emotional and employment challenges, which can create the kind of pressure that may trigger relapse.

Future Program Developments

  Heartland House has recently added Journey to Wholeness: Return to Be, a mindfulness program component to its program to teach residents lifelong techniques to address stress and trauma. Research shows this is a key long-term tool to preventing relapse. Please see the link to the Journey to Wholeness page above. The approach of Heartland House is to create a successful course of treatment which combines therapies, services, and methods to produce favorable outcomes. Each piece of our multidimensional model helps men address their unique “addiction triggers” such as medical and psychological factors and helps them strengthen “supporting factors” such as employment and family ties. Each program component was selected to give every man the best chance to become clean and sober and become resilient against relapse.

Our Mission

Our mission is to serve men recovering from substance use disorder and related co-occurring conditions. Our overall goals are to provide a living environment conducive to continued recovery, conduct an educational program that helps the newly recovering alcoholic/addict establish a long-term support system, and generate attitudes that enhance self-sufficiency, self-worth and an ongoing quality of life.


The last time I was here was about 3 and a half years ago and, I came back thinking I really needed help-bad. The VA was once again helping me out, I am a veteran, and they’ve always had my back. So they like to send us to the Heartland House, they have a special contract with them, which is really cool. So I went in there and I started to really listen to what was being said to me, which I hadn’t done before.


Our mission is to serve men recovering from substance use disorder and related co-occurring conditions. Our overall goals are to provide a living environment conducive to continued recovery, conduct an educational program that helps the newly recovering alcoholic/addict establish a long-term support system, and generate attitudes that enhance self-sufficiency, self-worth and an ongoing quality of life.

Heartland House · 5855 Streamview Drive San Diego, California 92105 · info@heartlandhouse.org · 619-287-5460

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