Los Angeles might not be the Big Apple, but it’s by far one of the largest and most infamous cities in the country. LA is known for its warm weather, its rich cultural heritage, its long and storied history of sharing land and culture between the US and Mexico, and the star-studded fame of Hollywood. LA is the place to be, if where you want to be involves partying, fame, and fortune.
But there’s more to it than just that. On the surface, LA is iconic for symbols of material wealth and indulgence as the nation’s film capital – but it’s got much more to offer just beneath the skin, if you care to look. For recovering addicts, LA is a place with a large sober community, countless great sober treatment centers, a real sober nightlife, and much, much more.
A Large Sober Community
For a recovering addict, finding ways to spend time and learn new things is important. Staying sober means finding other ways to have fun and maintain an emotional calm – for many, addiction begins as a way to blow off steam, and turns into something much more sinister. There are plenty of meetups and online groups dedicated to helping people stay sober in LA, by organizing different events and helping people find hobbies they might be interested in.
Sober Living Homes
Sober living homes are sometimes seen as an alternative to residential treatment and are at other times an effective way to transition from a rehab program into regular life. In Los Angeles, different sober living communities offer beautiful properties with access to nearby parks or beachfronts, countless other amenities, and a chance at making friends with other recovering addicts who are staying at the community/home until they feel comfortable to head out into the rest of the world.
Strictly drug-free, these communities are like many other communities and apartment complexes, but with an additional ruleset to protect tenants and ensure total sobriety. Some rules are basic and universal, like curfews and drug testing, while others specifically pertain to the community in question.
A Real Sober Nightlife
Sober nightlife might sound like an oxymoron, but it exists. There are plenty of ways to enjoy a night out without actually getting a drink, even in a place as well-known for vice and indulgence as Los Angeles. Sober bars and nightclubs exist throughout LA and offer a safe experience to anyone looking to have fun without drinks.
Another option is to dance it out at a dance club, and just avoid the drinks and the drunks. Going with sober friends is much more fun, because it can feel a little strange trying to enjoy yourself when everyone around you is in a daze.
There are, of course, alternatives to dancing and mocktails. After all, LA is known for its excellent food.
Food to Die For
The food scene in Los Angeles spans across the entire region and gives food critics all over the nation dozens of great options to recommend and favor. Your favorites will depend entirely on taste and bias, but there’s really no wrong option if you pick from any of the different online bucket lists and restaurant collections.
Thousands of dedicated foodies spend their time reviewing and taste-testing their way through the entire Los Angeles culinary landscape, giving you weekly updates on all of the best eats throughout the city. You’re just bound to find something you genuinely enjoy. Why does that matter?
Even if you’re not big on big portions, almost anyone can enjoy a well-prepared, perfectly-cooked dish. From vegan options to the city’s absolute best in surf-and-turf, whatever it is that might rock your boat, or if you’re specifically looking for more exotic and daring culinary adventures, there’s going to be something out there for you. When going sober, it’s important to be open to new experiences and give your senses a chance to truly experience everything around them and get used to enjoying many other things, particularly things you’ve never enjoyed before. New experiences are important because they help you separate the old from the new, and truly dedicate yourself to this fresh chapter in your life.
Los Angeles may be a city, but it’s incredibly large. Spanning 503 mi² with a total population of over 4 million, it features not only countless boulevards, main streets and industry hotspots, but the greater LA area is also home to true natural wonders, including The Ballona Freshwater Marsh, the James Irvine Japanese Garden, the Virginia Robinson Gardens, and countless hike trails, including Sandstone Peak, Los Liones Trail, the Bridge to Nowhere, and more.
Just like food, nature is important for sobriety as well. Even if you’re not much of an outdoorsy person, giving yourself some time to just take an hour or two and sit by some flowers or under a tree, with your phone off, can change your perspective on the world around you and give you a little bit of a feeling that there’s more going on than just you sitting in the middle of a bunch of greenery. For reasons that have not been fully explored yet, nature tends to soothe people, and we exhibit less stress and lower levels of anxiety and depression if we take some time to visit and immerse ourselves in real nature from time to time.
Always Something New
It’s Los Angeles, which ultimately means you’ll never run out of things to do. There’s always something new to check out, a new event to go to, a new hobby to try out, a new trend to examine, or a new perspective to chase. Even something as simple as a hiking trail can end up drastically different each time, depending on who you end up meeting, who you’re going with, and what happens along the way.
And that, in a sense, is how life works as well. If you keep an eye out for new experiences and learn to actively seek out something different, you’ll find that sobriety is just as, if not much more exciting that addiction ever was, and ever will be.