California in general, and SoCal specifically, often gets a bad wrap when it comes to sober living opportunities. Many people assume that because of the common celebrity, Hollywood lifestyle, it is virtually impossible to live a life of recovery in the area. While it is true that there are many people in California that choose to use drugs and/or alcohol, there is also a large and thriving population of individuals who don’t engage in any substance use at all. In fact, the prevalence of drugs and alcohol in the area actually lends itself well to attracting a growing number of people who are committed to living a sober, healthy, lifestyle. The road to recovery in Southern California is a path that is well traveled. Individuals looking to find both peer and professional support on their journey to sobriety will quickly find that the opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals in SoCal are endless. As you begin thinking about where to pursue your recovery journey, consider placing Southern California at the top of your list because:
California Is Historically Committed to Drug and Alcohol Recovery
California has been on the cutting edge of addiction research since the early 1900s. The prevalence and proximity of some of the best research universities in the world has created an environment where new and innovative methods of supporting individuals in recovery are commonplace. Many experts have continued to recommend a healthy dose of “sea and sun” for people recovering from a variety of ailments, and addiction is no exception. Additionally, a large number of celebrities and affluent Californians that have been victims of excessive consumption of drugs and alcohol often wanted to find recovery support close to home with lavish amenities, and this demand has made SoCal a common place to receive exceptional support for addition.
AA and 12-Step Programs Are Abundant in SoCal
Since that Alcoholics Anonymous was founded, the organization and it’s 12 step model of recovery support has been able to reach millions of people that struggle with drug and/or alcohol addiction. The 12-step method of recovery encourages addicts to admit that they are powerless over their addiction when they are not sober, provides frameworks for rebuilding relationships damaged by drug and alcohol use, and helps individuals to focus on the steps that need to be taken in order to achieve lasting sobriety. In SoCal, there are hundreds of different AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), NA (Narcotics Anonymous), and other 12 step meetings that meet across the region. Some meetings are targeted towards specific populations, like individuals under 30 or people over 55. Some groups that meet are even held in different languages. These meetings allow those that are struggling with or who have struggled with addiction to connect with other individuals who are familiar with the experience of addiction and who are committed to living a sober lifestyle. Those that are new to their recovery journeys can even be matched with a sponsor or addict who has been able to remain sober for a considerable amount of time. Addicts who commit to the AA program and are able to reach their recovery goals can also choose to give back after a certain amount of time and help to provide support and encouragement for other addicts who are new to the recovery journey.
Intensive Recovery Programs Are Everywhere
For many addicts, the daily focus on getting access to large quantities of drugs or alcohol can make it difficult to continue to function in day to day life. Some individuals that struggle with chemical dependency may begin to be untruthful in relationships, burn professional bridges with their employers or clients, and even run into financial trouble because of the high cost of frequent substance abuse. When addiction situations get to this point, many addicts feel that the best way for them to truly commit to recovery and achieve sustained sobriety is to participate in an intensive residential program or rehab. These programs provide round the clock support and access to trained professionals like counselors, skills workers, caseworkers, and medical personnel in order to set participants up for success when it comes to their recovery goals. Southern California has dozens of programs just like these, and individuals that are interested can make a selection from a wide range of different recovery opportunities. Some facilities even provide support for family members and other loved ones who have been impacted by the drug or alcohol use of someone they care about. Many locations in the SoCal area are even willing to provide support when it comes to connecting with your insurance provider to ensure that you or someone you love can receive the recovery support they need at little to no out of pocket cost.
There’s Tons of Diversity
California is one of the most diverse locations in the United States. SoCal boasts high rates of diversity of all kinds including racial diversity, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, religious affiliation, and much more. The state of California is home to more than 37 million people. While a majority of the state’s residents identify as white, there is a large Hispanic/Latino population in the state with sizeable Black and Asian populations as well. There are several different languages spoken in the state as well, including English, Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Korean, Persian, Japanese, Russian, and others. Additionally, Californians affiliate with many different religious traditions. The largest religious population in the state are Christians, but there are also large numbers of atheist/agnostic, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, and Mormon residents as well. This vast diversity means that individuals from all different backgrounds with all different types of experiences will have the opportunity to find their niche and connect with other people who understand and appreciate their lived experience. Newcomers to SoCal will also have the chance to meet new people from different walks of life. The constant opportunity to meet new people and switch things up helps to decrease boredom and stagnation, both of which can be contributing factors to relapse and continued drug and/or alcohol abuse.
Outdoor Opportunities Are At Your Fingertips
Southern California is well known for boasting almost 300 days of sunshine per year. If you’re someone that loves to get outside and enjoy the fresh air and beautiful SoCal weather, you’ll quickly find that there is an endless list of things to do and places to visit in the great outdoors. Visitors and residents to the area can, of course, enjoy the sprawling beaches and seascapes of the area. Whether you want to just enjoy the scenery and bask in the fresh ocean breeze, or if you want to participate in some of the exciting activities like surfing, sailing, snorkeling, and diving, you are sure to find an abundance of ocean enjoyment in Southern California. SoCal is also home to many beautiful parks and botanical gardens that can help individuals struggling with addiction to connect with nature and their own higher sense of self. The region’s gorgeous weather also lends itself well to other outdoor exhibits and shopping opportunities. For example, Olvera Street in LA can offer an authentic Mexican and Aztec cultural experience, Chicano Park in San Diego provides access to the largest outdoor mural collection in the US, and Rodeo Drive and the Hollywood Walk of Fame can provide the traditional outdoor SoCal experience. The opportunities in Southern California to enjoy the outdoors are truly endless. The sunny weather has also been known to help people keep up healthy levels of vitamin D and stave off the dreaded winter blues (also known as seasonal depression). This is great news for individuals battling addiction because keeping your spirits up is key to reducing the urge to use.
It’s A Fun Place For All Ages
For those who are looking for a family-friendly location to begin their recovery journey, you’ll be happy to know that SoCal is an ideal location for family fun for kids (and adults!) of all ages. Families will, of course, enjoy the large selection of theme parks, including Disneyland, Legoland, and Knott’s Berry Farm. The San Diego Zoo is also a once in a lifetime experience, and the selection of animals is so large that you can easily spend a few days wandering around and enjoying the exhibits. It can be very difficult for families to deal with the impacts of addiction and chemical dependence, and many addicts find that creating an opportunity for the whole family to get away can be healing and restorative.
Making the decision to focus on your sobriety can be challenging and overwhelming. Many people who are just beginning the process worry that without continued drug/alcohol use, they may miss out on the fun that life has to offer. Luckily, in a beautiful, unique, location like Southern California, individuals from all walks of life will easily find positive activities and valuable relationships that can help them achieve their sobriety goals. If you or someone you know is interested in turning a new leaf and is interested in receiving more information about how to begin a recovery journey in SoCal, contact the expert staff at South Bay Sober Living today!