Our Recovery Program


The Heartland House residential treatment program focuses on the specific needs of the individual. Each resident learns about the disease of addiction and explores new ways of solving problems without using drugs or alcohol. The focus is on changing his patterns of thinking and acting.

As a resident becomes more familiar with the program, his involvement in his own recovery increases. Working with his assigned counselor, he develops an individual recovery plan with specific goals that serve a route and milestones on his journey to a clean and sober life. He actively participates in therapy and activities that help him achieve his goals.

The Heartland House program is continually evolving to incorporate new findings in the field of addiction, address the changing needs of the men we serve and remain in compliance with the federal and state requirements of the recovery field.

Our residents are a diverse group. They include older men who are struggling with relapses as well as younger men who started drinking, using and living dangerously early in their lives. Some 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 Veterans Administration so that our veterans receive quality outpatient treatment services.

Program Components

Our multi-dimensional treatment program is designed to address each man’s 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:
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

Instruction designed to influence the client’s attitudes, understanding, and behaviors associated with drug and alcohol use. (Reference)

Individual and group counseling

Individualized counseling aimed at helping the client develop coping strategies and tools to abstain from drug and alcohol use and maintain abstinence; and group counseling that offers social reinforcement of a drug-free lifestyle through peer discussions. (Reference)

Relationship and family counseling

Counseling designed to foster a substance-free home environment, identify family dynamics – such as enabling and co-dependent behavior – that are conducive to addiction, and address relationship issues that can be triggers for relapse. (Reference)

Relapse Prevention Therapy© (Gorski)

One of the most highly-recognized relapse prevention programs with a strong record of success in treating a variety of addictions across multiple populations. (Gorski’s Website)

Anger Management (SAMSHA)

The training of participants to recognize their emotional responses to people, places, actions, and other triggers and learn new, skillful behaviors and responses. (Reference)

Social and recreational activities

Interactive opportunities that help the client to build new social networks and create a new community of clean and sober friends, a vital element to one’s initial recovery and ongoing sobriety and abstinence. These activities are especially critical when the client’s current social networks include friends and family who drink and use. (Reference)

Sober Living/Continuing Care Housing

Heartland House provides sober living/continuing care apartments for a total of eight men. Located across the street from Heartland House, our Sober Living/Continuing Care Housing 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 than the residential treatment clients and stay in Sober Living for up to 24 months.

Intake and Goal Setting Components

Counselor-and-client interaction to design a specific program to address the client’s 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)

Interactive Journaling

Use of interactive journals developed by The Change Companies® that are completed by clients with professional facilitation using motivational interviewing and cognitive-behavioral techniques. This element of our program encourages clients to examine all aspects of their lives and use a variety of resources, such as change plans, to enrich their quality of life as they proceed toward living on their own.

ASI and SMART treatment planning

Treatment planning that is informed by the severity of the client’s addiction (expressed as his Addiction Severity Index, or ASI) and that produces a set of Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-limited (SMART) goals that comprise a treatment plan agreement between the counselor and client. (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 when used to address opioid addiction. Any or all of these 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)

An approach to clients who haven’t committed to stopping their use of alcohol or drugs, helping them to more fully engage in treatment and improve their results. (Reference)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

A practice that teaches mindfulness and other skills that 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

Doctor-prescribed medications designed 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

Education and connection to treatment for residents who have contracted these illnesses.

Financial literacy

Instruction in ways to rebuild financial health, stabilize one’s life, and make needed amends.

Smoking cessation

Treatment to improve overall health and eliminate smoking as a potential trigger for drinking and using illicit drugs. (Reference)

Gambling addiction

Assistance in addressing uncontrolled gambling that can lead to financial, family, emotional and employment challenges, creating the kind of pressure that may trigger a 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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