Why Sober Park?
Sober Park is a concept that has always stuck with us about addiction and how we should treat it. In Balance Sober Park is the physical manifestation of this dream/concept. It is based on the work of renowned psychologist Dr. Bruce K. Alexander who worked with rats to study the brain and addiction. What he found was that if he got rats addicted to opiates in isolation, they would continue using opiates, even though food and water were readily available, until they either overdosed or starved. This shows the powerful effects of any drug that "high jacks" the survival instincts part of our brain and shows that our brains will continue to use drugs until our demise while using in isolation. Dr. Alexander marveled at the power of drugs to turn off our "thousands of years of evolution worth" of survival instincts, this power shows how and why 150 people can and are dying from opiates every single day in the United States. He also pondered...how can we stop something so neurologically powerful. This led him to build Rat Park (see where I got the name?). The concept of Rat Park was simple: him and his team got rats physically addicted to opiates but this time instead of being in isolation, he put them in a setting that had toys, treats, wheels, beautiful colors, and most importantly, it had a social community of other rats who weren't addicted to opiates: he made Rat Park. He found that the community of rats, their social interplay and the more engaging setting were powerful enough to make the rats stop using opiates. This is what we know works for young adults after 20 years of In Balance operating, and this is why we have created In Balance Sober Park. The Park will have 21 young men, in recovery on one campus, in separate dwellings, in a fun, engaging campus with a giant social community. Recovery doesn't have to have a "beat you down" mentality, places like prison aren't going to get people sober and healthy, you need to make life engaging, fun, fulfilling enough so people WANT to chose this path over drugs and alcohol. Join the sober park movement.
Recovery is about about being happy, joyous and free...at least it should be.
***Campus pictures coming soon but in the mean time enjoy these pictures of actual murals around Tucson, AZ!***
A robust, strong, recovery community of healthy young men, creating a brotherhood; made up of our staff, our alumni, current residents and the greater Tucson young people recovery community.
12 step meetings on site, fellowshipping, mandatory meeting attendance offsite, mandatory sponsorship and home group. We will be providing 12 step theme activies like sober tailgates, BBQs etc
We have a program specific, full time therapist just for sober park. She has worked for In Balance for years, is in her own recovery and amazing, check out her bio above, her name is Rebecca Drake.
We have mandatory drug testing at least once a week, curfew enforcement, 12 step accountability, random breathalyzer, onsite 24/7 live in staff, we have the right balance of independence and safety
21 single rooms
Option to bunk up for reduced tuition
7 separate houses on property
7 living rooms
Pool with covered cabana
Sand Volleyball Court
Half Basketball Court
Onsite firepit/Meeting space
Providing a fun, engaging and fulfilling experience, teaching the guys that they can have FUN in recovery. If recovery was boring and miserable, then why would anyone want to be in recovery long term.
Onsite outdoor gym set up
Two onsite/live in managers
At least once a week drug testing
Every other week therapy
Optional academic services
12 step requirements and experience
All house supplies included, like light bulbs, paper towels, toilet paper, cleaning supplies
Every other week house cleaning
collegiate sober living.
Every other week academic meetings with academic advisor
Weekly organized study sessions
Coordination with U of A recovery group Wildcat's Anonymous
Sober tailgates and college experiences
2 blocks from University of Arizona and close proximity to Pima Community College
Practically on campus housing
Daniel Barrasso, MSW
Daniel Barrasso has a Bachelor's in Psychology from the University of Arizona and a Master of Social Work degree through Arizona State University. He joined the team many years ago with plenty of relevant life and work experience. He previously worked at In Balance during its early stages, when he was a teenager, as a life coach at In Balance Academy, a group facilitator at In Balance Intensive Outpatient and as a life coach for In Balance Transitional Living. He decided to take a three year hiatus after his undergraduate degree in which he worked for a nationally recognized leader in adult residential treatment, where he proved to be a vital member of their team. After becoming lead of their Intake department and garnering extensive professional experience he chose to come back to In Balance to further his career. Daniel is responsible for outreach and admissions for In Balance Transitional Living and for In Balance Sober Living, he is the program director of the In Balance Young Adult Continuum and he is, what he loves the most, a therapist.
"I am extremely excited about my place at In Balance. I grew up with an intense passion to help others, whether that meant volunteering at the Children's Hospital, staying overnight at a homeless shelter every Thanksgiving or helping a stranger on the side of the road. I've always known that I wanted to make a significant impact on young peoples' lives specifically; I just didn't know how I wanted to do it. I started off my college career looking to get a degree in education, become a teacher and have the ability to make a positive change in my students. My career path took an unexpected turn when I was asked to come work at In Balance one summer 16 years ago. From the second I came into contact with the population we serve and the dream that is In Balance I absolutely, positively knew that I could not see myself doing anything other than this. I believe full heartedly in the vision of In Balance and am thrilled to be part of the team. I am married to my bestfriend Rachel, and have 2 kids: James and Ella. My favorite hobbies are basketball, biking, outdoorsy stuff."
Tiffany Gallego, LMSW
Tiffany Gallego is the program director and a therapist at In Balance Living. She carries a small case load, oversees the operations of In Balance Living, supervises the staff and residents and monitors all admissions. Tiffany started at the In Balance Intensive Outpatient Program in 1997. From there she helped with the planning and opening of In Balance Ranch Academy in 2002, serving as a milieu manager and primary therapist at the ranch. She received her Bachelor's in Special Education from the University of Arizona and Master's in Social Work from Arizona State University.
In 2006, Tiffany helped to develop the In Balance Transitional Living program. Tiffany and Patrick Barrasso, owner of In Balance, realized how difficult it was for young adults coming out of treatment to be thrown back into the same environment that got them into treatment in the first place. Often they would stumble in their recovery. It was Tiffany and Patrick's belief that this stumble was unnecessary. Transitional Living was the answer; it would provide a safe and recovery living environment that would allow residents to acclimate back into society at a manageable pace. They would be introduced to young people in recovery in the Tucson area, helping them to realize that their community of support goes far beyond anything they first realized. They could enroll in college classes, find a sponsor that would become essential to their growth, learn how to attain, maintain and succeed at a job. These individuals will achieve success and will take these accomplishments with them as they continue off on their life path.
Rebecca Drake, MAC
Program Director and Primary Therapist
Rebecca was raised in Northern California and moved to Tucson 8 years ago. She has been in recovery and clean since April of 2013. Recovery has allowed Rebecca to build a healthy and full life with a strong sense of purpose. She currently attends the University of Arizona and is pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Psychology. She is a dog lover and enjoys spending free time with her family. Working at In Balance Transitional Living has given her the opportunity to share with young men the many benefits and rewards of recovery. In Balance Transitional Living has afforded her the ability put her passion for recovery and helping others into practice.
Sober Living Manager
I’m a Tucson local. Been living here since 1996. I was raised by a beautiful, single mother who always taught me to stay involved and to look after myself. My youth was filled with daycares, summer camps, and after school programs. I was in the BoyScouts for 6 years and fell in love with the wild and doing awesome outdoor activities. Sadly within that time I also was manifesting a drug addiction within myself which robbed me of all of that passion that I had. In high school I was heavily involved with the guitar class and audio production class and relied on that to be by passion all throughout high school until drugs once again robbed me of that joy. By the time I was 18 I was homeless, empty, frail, and hopeless. Fortunately for me I found AA soon after that and quickly turned towards service and fellowship. I was making a life for myself until I tried one night of experimenting and exercising a sense of control over drug use and realized that I still had a very serious problem which then I quickly transformed that more motivation to take my recovery seriously and get to the roots of my pain and the disease of alcoholism. Since February 2016 I’ve been sober, involved heavily in service work and providing hope to the newcomer, and helping other cultivate a sense of fellowship that can last a life time. I started working for In Balance as a life coach in November 2018 and I was immediately enthralled with the opportunities that we were giving to our guys, the community that they were building, and the lives that were being restored. I started working for InBalance just to try out the waters and see if I was interested, and I’ve continued to work for InBalance because I am invested in helping these guys and your kids have the same opportunity that was given to me and help them find their own passions. For me I love to share with them my interest in music, art, physical fitness, and the outdoor in hopes that it will help them find something that they can keep as a part of themselves and use as a tool to continue to use to heal their spirit.
BS in neuroscience and Bachelor’s of health sciences in physiology. Rohith has been sober since October 1st 2017 and owes much of his life today to 12 step programs. He hopes to help show young men that sobriety can allow them to not only sustainably flourish academically/professionally, but also enjoy life to the fullest along the way. He prioritizes fellowship and 12 step approaches to recovery, as focusing on those aspects helped him most in all avenues of life. However, he is also very interested in some of the neural mechanisms behind addiction, recovery, and mental illness. He enjoys camping, backpacking, attending music festivals, traveling, and playing boardgames. He plans to apply to medical school to pursue psychiatry to continue helping those affected by addiction.