Since the inception of Alcoholics Anonymous and the advent of treatment for alcoholism and addiction, we have truly come a long way. Back when Alcoholics Anonymous first sprang forth, the preferred method of treatment for alcoholism and addiction was to hospitalize the person suffering from these illnesses until their psychical symptoms went away and then release them back into the world, hoping beyond hope that they wouldn’t pick up again. There was no real program to follow, besides early iterations of the 12 Steps, like the Oxford Group or certain religious related groups, and an alcoholic or addict who could not stay sober ran the risk of eventually being sent to an asylum, to live out their days under lock and key.
Now however, it seems like there are treatment centers on every corner, in every city of this country and no person who suffers from alcoholism or addiction has to do so alone without a blueprint on how to get better. While treatment does not equate a cure, nor does it even really constitute a recovery community, often times large recovery communities will spring up around cities where a large concentration of treatment centers are located.
These cities offer a wonderful reprieve for the suffering alcoholic and addict, who for most of their life have probably felt like an outsider. Within these cities they can find a large recovery community in which to recover, and many like-minded individuals who can help them on their journey.
So let’s take a look at some cities with a large recovery community throughout the country, so that if you are thinking of relocating, or simply just thinking about finally going to treatment, you can do so educated on what the surrounding environment is like.
Cities with a Large Recovery Community
The reason that a person should get sober in a city with a large and thriving recovery community is because of the opportunity that this avails them. They will have a better opportunity at meeting people that they can relate to than if they get sober in an area with little to no support, and they will have an opportunity to participate in a number of different events that the recovery community puts on throughout the year.
· South Florida
I understand that South Florida is not a city, but from Delray Beach all the way down to South Miami, there is a flourishing recovery community. Part of the reason for this is because there is such an abundance of treatment centers in the general area, but the warm tropical weather and sunlight also help in making this area a draw for many transplanted people in recovery.
Delray is really considered to be the largest recovery community in the area, but Ft. Lauderdale, Hollywood, North Miami, Miami, and Coral Gables, all have very large and very active recovery communities.
· Los Angeles
Los Angeles is known as one of the best places in the country to get sober. Once again this is due to the number of treatment centers, some of which are world renowned, and the weather. Within the greater Los Angeles area, there are over 3,000 meetings a week and you can meet people from every age demographic and personality type imaginable.
· New York City
With a population of just over 8 million, it is no wonder that New York City has a very large and very active recovery community. In fact, if you have ever talked to a person who got sober in New York, they will heap praises upon the meetings and community available to those living in the Big Apple. New York was one of the initial hubs of the recovery movement back in the 30’s and there are thousands of meetings every week that a person can attend.
· Minneapolis & St. Paul
The “Twin Cities” as they are known, also go by another moniker: “The Land of 1,000 Treatment Centers.” Hazelden is located in the area, which is known as one of the best treatment centers for drug and alcohol abuse. There is a thriving community in these two cities and the surrounding area, and the greater metropolitan area offers a wonderful recovery alternative to people who do not want to live on either coast of the US.
Although Boston, and Massachusetts in general, sometimes get a bad rap for the problems they have experienced with crack and opioids, it is for this same reason that there is such a thriving community for people in recovery. People, who live in Boston and do not go away for treatment, get sober there and add to the mounting number of recovered people in the area. There are thousands of meetings to attend every week and because of this, Boston is a great place to live and stay sober.
Although mostly known for its collective of artists and other social misfits, Portland also offers a very large community for people who are seeking recovery. There are hundreds of meetings to choose from every week and lots of sober events to attend.
· San Francisco
Rounding out our list is San Francisco, the home of the Counterculture movement of the 60’s and ground zero for the LSD explosion that rocked an entire generation’s consciousness. Very often what you will see with cities that have experienced tremendous drug problems, is that those same cities also offer some of the best recovery around. This is the case with San Francisco and the eclectic nature of the city’s inhabitants means that you shouldn’t have any trouble finding someone to relate to.
This is just 7 of the thriving communities in this country for people who want to seek recovery, but there are dozens and dozens more, and the number keeps growing. As more and more people continue to find recovery, we will hopefully see even larger and even more active communities spring up throughout the nation, which in turn, will help spread the message to more sick and suffering individuals.
For more great resources like this, check out our Sober Resources page which has a full list of recovery resources ranging from songs to sober groups. Our sober resources page has everything you need for your ongoing recovery journey.