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Back to Basics


back-to-basics-santa-barbaraBack to Basics Review

Based out of Santa Barbara, California, Back to Basics is a non-profit recovery organization which provides sober living to women in recovery. In addition to teaching clients all necessary independent living skills, Back to Basics incorporates equine therapy into its program.

Accommodations and Amenities

There are a total of 12 beds available at Back to Basics in private, semi-private and shared rooms in a residential house separate from the organization’s ranch location. The home also has two live-in assistants to supervise.

While the layout of each room is somewhat flexible, clients generally share rooms with between one to three other residents; they each have twin beds, dressers and a shared closet space. The house itself is in a quiet beach community about eight minutes from the ranch, which clients visit for equine therapy and other activities. The women’s home has common living areas with cable television, a dining room and two full kitchens which residents use to cook their own meals (the facility’s staff frequently goes to food banks to help provide groceries for residents).

Rules and Regulations

Throughout their stay, residents are expected to attend five off-site 12-step meetings a week as well as two in-house meetings. Additionally, each client must get a sponsor and commit to a home meeting in the first month of their stay. Women are also subject to nightly breathalyzer tests as well as rotating and random urinalysis testing. Residents are expected to do basic chores and obey a standard behavioral contract of non-violence, sexual abstinence and general good standing with the staff and other participants.

Because the vast majority of residents come from inpatient treatment, most are required to seek employment, volunteer or pursue further education while in the program (though exceptions may be made for those on disability or attending outpatient treatment, for example). Clients attend equine sessions once a month with rotating activities including riding, grooming, obstacle courses, emotional processing and horse painting. These sessions are designed to help residents release control and become more emotionally honest. Other activities include a 12-step study every Monday night.


In addition to the above, the facility hosts monthly game nights and house barbecues periodically. A special equine treatment plan is available for veterans with PTSD as well. Women are also invited to participate in on-site kickboxing and yoga classes and there are plans to add art therapy.

The home keeps one full scholarship bed in reserve at all times for women who can’t afford the program. Eligibility for the slot is determined on a case-by-case basis.

In Summary

Overall, Back to Basics is a unique sober living option for women which offers flexible lengths of stay. While clients mostly live independent lives, the facility provides flexible treatment support in the form of on-site classes and meetings as well as equine therapy. For those seeking an intimate, 12-step based program for an extended stay in Southern California, Back to Basics is worth looking into.

Back to Basics Location

Back to Basics
1107 San Andres St
Santa Barbara, CA

Back to Basics Cost

$150 (initial deposit, refundable); $700 (30 days). Reach Back to Basics by phone at (805) 617-9893. Find Back to Basics on Facebook

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