New York City, located in the state of New York, is not only the most populous city in the United States, but it is also the most densely populated. By urban landmass alone, New York is also the largest metropolitan area in the world. The New York metropolitan area is home to more than 20 million people. But the grandeur of New York goes well beyond its size and density. New York is widely regarded as one of the world’s most important financial, cultural, and media capitals. New York exerts influence in many industries and fields, including art, fashion, sports, technology, education, and international politics.
Day-to-day life in New York is very diverse. The city is home to some of the richest people in the country (in fact, it houses more billionaires than any other city), but there is also considerable poverty. New York has also remained the top gateway for legal immigration in the United States for many decades. As a result, it is the most linguistically diverse city in the world, with over 800 languages regularly spoken in New York each day. It is a city of contradictions that is frequently depicted on tv shows, movies, books, and in the public imagination. Countless people move to New York each year, chasing a personal dream.
Despite New York’s prosperous appearance, however, the city has long been beset by crime and drug addiction. Drug and alcohol problems afflict New York City residents of all walks of life, from the very richest to the most downtrodden. New York City is a place where anything people want is accessible. Unfortunately, this “anything” often refers to alcohol and illicit drugs. Addiction in New York is a serious problem, affecting CEOs addicted to cocaine and designer drugs to high school students experimenting with crystal meth and opioids.
The opioid epidemic, which has caused devastation in many smaller communities in the country, has not left New York City untouched. During the 1990s, New York was well known for heroin; in fact, the ubiquity of heroin in New York even created a fashion trend: “heroin chic.” Today, however, synthetic opioid painkillers like fentanyl, oxycodone, and hydrocodone are the biggest driving forces of addiction — and life-threatening overdoses. In 2018 alone, 2,991 fatal drug overdoses occurred in New York due to opioids. Substance abuse is a significant public health problem in New York, taking lives, wrecking communities, tearing apart families, and even leading to significant economic damage.
If you or a loved one lives in New York City and has a problem with drugs or alcohol, help is available. Recovering by oneself, using personal willpower alone, is rarely a viable option. New York City has many resources for individuals who hope to escape the vicious cycle of addiction. By making use of the resources that sober living homes provide, New York City residents with drug or alcohol addictions can get sober and rebuild their lives.
What Are Sober Living Houses?
Sober living houses are homes that support residents who are working to get sober. While it is of course possible to quit drugs or alcohol anywhere, staying sober is far easier in a supportive environment. Sober living homes require all residents to commit to living drug and alcohol-free. Basic house rules and structured daily life make it far easier to stay sober. Sober living staff members provide hands-on support and guidance as residents encounter the challenges of early sobriety and begin working to rebuild their lives. Fellow house residents form a community, offering one another experience, strength, and hope. As such, sober living homes are focused environments where clients can prioritize their recovery.
Sober living homes offer safe, supportive, and trigger-free environments. During early sobriety, most people are very vulnerable to the effects of triggers. Triggers most commonly involve direct exposure to drugs and alcohol, though in some cases relationships, places, and even objects can be triggering. Sober living homes help remove recovering addicts from their unstable home environments. The fact that all housemates are sober means that residents will not expose each other to substance abuse. Even when emotionally destabilizing events occur, which are inevitable in early sobriety, roommates and staff can provide guidance and support.
The peer support network that sober living houses provide is arguably the most crucial benefit. Research studies on sober living houses repeatedly demonstrate that individuals who attend sober livings tend to have lower rates of relapse than people who do not attend sober livings. This protection against relapse is attributed to the strong social support networks that sober living graduates possess. Not only do sober social support networks offer strength, guidance, and experience, but they also make it possible for a person to discover joy and fulfillment in sobriety.
Quality sober livings both in and outside New York City are designed to help residents not only stay sober but build quality lives for themselves. While many people start their recovery journeys with nothing to their name, they quickly begin taking steps toward repairing and building relationships, finding steady employment, and even sometimes returning to school. Residents address underlying issues, including health, legal, and financial problems, so that they can begin focusing on their futures. Developing a fulfilling and joyful life is not only the greatest gift that sobriety provides, it is also the most surefire means of strengthening recovery.
Sober Fun in New York City
New York City is world-famous for its nightlife. Tourists visiting New York often look forward to visiting the city’s countless bars, clubs, and after-hours events. But New York City is much more than a place to be intoxicated. In fact, this enormous and diverse city has enjoyable activities for anyone — including people in recovery. The best way to discover sober fun in New York City is to enroll in a sober living home. In a sober living, you’ll have the opportunity to develop new coping skills that will allow you to relax and have fun without needing to rely on the crutch of drugs or alcohol. More importantly, you’ll develop a group of sober friends who you can invite along with you.
While going to a concert or a party sober might sound scary at first, you might find yourself pleasantly surprised. Is it possible these activities are even better drug and alcohol-free? Ultimately, the answer to this question may be discovered the following morning, when you wake up without a hangover actually remembering the events of the previous night. The activities listed below are only a few ideas of ways to have sober fun in New York. So let loose and have fun!
Replace the Bar Crawl with a Pizza Crawl
New York City is world-famous for the quality of its pizzas. In fact, other cities advertise their pizzas by claiming to serve “real” New York pizzas. Instead of going on a bar crawl, why not spend a night trying a slice from as many New York pizzerias as you can. Stop by Grimaldi’s by the Brooklyn Bridge. Other delicious cheesy options include Di Fara, Artichoke, Paulie Gee’s, and Motorino. You won’t get a hangover, though there’s no promise that you won’t get a stomach ache if you overdo it.
Walk the Brooklyn Bridge
Before you chow down on a Grimaldi’s brick oven pizza, why not work up an appetite with friends by trekking across the Brooklyn Bridge? The stroll across the bridge is both scenic and pedestrian-friendly. The Brooklyn Bridge itself is an architectural marvel, but the views it offers are even more fantastic. Take some shameless selfies, people-watch, or go on some side adventures (did you know there’s a bomb shelter from the Cold War hidden in the bridge?).
Ice skating usually isn’t the best idea when you’re drunk: you’re likely to fall. As a sober person, however, you now have a wide range of new activities that are open for you. Ice skating is a lot of fun and provides a rush that puts drugs and alcohol to shame. New York City is home to several ice skating rinks, including Bryant Park, Rockefeller Center, and Central Park. Just make sure to get there before summer!
Check Out a Museum
New York City has more museums than anywhere else in the United States. From art museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA, and the Frick Collection, to educational museums like the American Museum of Natural History and the Morbid Anatomy Museum, New York City has something for everyone. There are also countless galleries for people interested in the current contemporary art scene.
Visit Central Park
Central Park is the most visited urban park in the country. Located between the Upper West and Upper East Sides of Manhattan, Central Park is an enormous green space with a ton of events. Check out the Central Park Zoo, the Carousel, or the Delacorte Theatre. Recreational activities in the park include bicycling, sports, tours on horseback and events such as Shakespeare in the Park. Many locals, however, find it sufficient to just sit with some friends and have a picnic or read.
Attend a Sober Rave
Yes, that’s right. A sober rave. New York City is the birthplace of Morning Gloryville, a dance party event that was designed to be drug and alcohol-free. This rave begins early in the morning, providing dance, exercise, music, and smiling faces. Not to mention, they provide smoothies, coffee, and anything else you might need to wake up, including back rubs and buckets of ice-cold water dumped on your head. If this event sounds strange and unique, it is. New York City has countless events and activities that make it possible for life in sobriety to be far more interesting than active addiction ever was.
Benefits of New York City Sober Livings
Once a person has developed a drug or alcohol addiction, it is not possible to simply “cure” it. In fact, substance use disorders are recognized by the medical establishment as chronic health conditions. Like diabetes or high blood pressure, living with a substance use disorder means taking daily actions to ensure that symptoms don’t flare-up. While it is important to emphasize that sober living houses do not provide clinical addiction treatment, they do help residents develop the tools, support systems, and coping skills they need to stay sober and become the best possible versions of themselves.
The greatest gift that sober living homes provide is time. Unlike clinical rehab programs, residents at a sober living home are under no pressure to leave. In fact, they are encouraged to take all the time they need to get on their feet and become independent. Many people stay for a year or longer. During this time, residents experience many benefits, including:
Addiction is widely recognized as a “disease of isolation.” Individuals suffering from addiction often feel like no one understands what they’re going through. Moreover, substance abuse often leads to behaviors that drive people away. Living with other people who have had similar experiences — and who are equally committed to recovering — is a powerful experience. Sober living homes are more than just houses: they are family-like communities where people in recovery come together to share their experiences, strength, and hope.
Sober living staff generally live on-site with clients. As such, staff support is available 24/7. Parents and family members can speak with staff members at any time of day to ask questions or voice any concerns they might have. Staff members have generally been through the recovery process themselves, so they not only enforce house rules and help structure residents’ lives — they can offer compassionate and empathetic support.
New Life Skills
Sober living houses are places where individuals not only work to get sober but also to gain the gifts of sobriety. During active addiction, many people fail to develop basic life skills. While residing in a sober living, clients work to improve their communication skills, conflict-resolution skills, and even practical skills like getting through job interviews. In doing so, residents become empowered to live independently and follow through on meeting their goals.
Transition From Treatment
Sober living homes are often utilized as a first-line response to substance addiction. However, many clinical addiction treatment programs recommend sober livings as part of an aftercare program. Engaging in aftercare services, like sober living houses, reduces the likelihood of relapse after finishing rehab. Clients who have recently graduated from an inpatient rehab program are often advised to move into a sober living house rather than abruptly jumping back into their old lives. Sober livings offer rehab graduates smoother transitions, skills development, and a chance to build new lives worthy of their newfound sobriety.
Sober Livings Outside New York City
It is often a good idea to leave New York City to attend sober living. While New York City is home to many high-quality sober living houses, attending a sober living in New York can be triggering. New York City is a bustling city where substance abuse can easily be witnessed just walking down the street. For people who spent their years of active addiction living in New York, the city can be even more triggering. Walking down certain blocks, passing by certain bars or street corners, or even encountering an old drug dealer or drinking buddy on the sidewalk can be destabilizing. For these reasons, many recovery experts recommend New York City residents choose a different location to begin their recovery journeys.
Los Angeles is the ideal place to make a fresh start. In many ways, Los Angeles is the polar opposite of New York. Some even say it’s a rival city! But New Yorkers will feel right at home here, especially since so many bicoastal New Yorkers live in Los Angeles already. Los Angeles is a sunny city with beaches, mountains, and other natural wonders that might put New Yorkers at ease. Moreover, LA is the birthplace of structured sober livings. This unique style of sober living home is very effective because it offers more structure and a wider range of resources for recovery.
Recovery is Possible at Design for Recovery
Design for Recovery is Los Angeles’ top structured sober living home for men. Located in West Los Angeles, our property provides young men with a safe, supportive, and trigger-free environment. Design for Recovery is the ideal home base for individuals in recovery who are working to address underlying issues, develop new skills, build new relationships, and face the challenges of early and long-term sobriety. Residents in our structured home work daily to get sober, stay sober, and develop futures for themselves that they can be proud of.
At Design for Recovery, we believe that addiction recovery is far more than just staying drug and alcohol-free. Our residents don’t simply abstain from drugs and alcohol — they work hard to develop a new set of principles to live by. These values include integrity, honesty, accountability, and responsibility. This design for living not only helps people stay sober, but it also helps them achieve freedom from the vicious rollercoaster ride of emotions that many addicts face even when they are not drinking or using drugs. Put simply, Design for Recovery aims to help residents live sober lives.
If you or a loved one suffers from addiction in New York, give us a call today. Contact us for a free and confidential consultation, and start your recovery journey.