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Many people in the recovery community advise newly people trying to get sober to avoid “pulling a geographic.” This term refers to the common habit of drug addicts and alcoholics to move to a new city with the hope that the changed circumstances will be sufficient to curb their substance abuse habit. 

While this strategy might work for a while, the impediments to substance abuse that a new city provides (not knowing a drug dealer, focusing on finding an apartment, etc) eventually dissolve. For this reason, it is not recommended for addicts to change cities in an attempt to sober up.

However, it is true that some cities do offer more opportunities for addiction treatment and there are some best cities for recovering addicts. If you are planning to make a move because you hope to have access to these recovery programs, that is very different from pulling a geographic.

While recovery programs are available all over the globe, the majority of addiction treatment programs are located in cities in the United States, which is the birthplace of 12-step programs and the disease model of alcoholism. Read on for a list of the best cities for a sober living!

6 Best Cities To Get Sober In!

Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles is a thriving home to a multiplicity of inpatient and outpatient treatment facilities. It is also one of the only cities where people can find structured sober living homes. Graduates of these programs who continue to live in Los Angeles can look forward to a thriving 12-step community. 

Los Angeles is home to approximately 3100 weekly Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. All that aside, Los Angeles is a thriving city and a beautiful place with every kind of natural terrain available. Physical activities like surfing and hiking make the whole process of getting sober feeling worth it.

San Diego, California

It’s no surprise that San Diego, another California city, has a thriving recovery community. Located near Tijuana, an infamous city for debauchery, San Diego is definitely a good place to be if you’re looking to party. Ironically, party cities tend to become great places to get sober.

San Diego has a very high quantity of quality rehab centers, halfway houses, and sober living homes. Like Los Angeles, it’s also simply a pleasant place to be — and to surf — if you’re trying to get some peace of mind. 

New York, New York

According to recent research, about 15% of New Yorkers drink excessively. As a result, New York has a 12-step meeting on pretty much every block. It’s also where Alcoholics Anonymous’ Central Office is located. New York is not only the United States’ largest city by population, but it’s also the most diverse. As a result, recovering addicts will have many options in terms of their meetings, from LBTQ+ meetings to Polish meetings.

Boston, Massachusetts

While Boston is probably most famous for its proximity to Ivy League Universities, like most college-affiliated areas, it is also a very raucous drinking town. There are approximately 2,000 AA and NA meetings in the city alone. Universities like Harvard, Northeastern University, and Boston college also offer their own support systems and counseling services for students in the city who need help with addiction and/or mental health.

Delray Beach, Florida

In some ways, Delray Beach is a town whose main attraction is its recovery community. In fact, an article in the New York Times in 2007 identified Delray Beach as the recovery capital of the United States due to its high concentration of sober living homes and rehab facilities. While not as sunny as Los Angeles, Florida is another idyllic setting to experience the first arduous days of recovery.

San Francisco, California

San Francisco, like Los Angeles several hundred miles south, has one of the country’s most diverse recovery communities. San Francisco can feel welcoming to people who are recovering from substance use disorder because it has always been a welcoming oasis to those who are a little bit different from the norm. 

It’s progressive history with defending gay rights and its high quantity of immigrants makes San Francisco a great place to find LBTQ+-friendly and bilingual 12-step meetings.

Structured Sober Living in Los Angeles, California

While all of the cities listed above have thriving recovery communities, it is important to examine yourself and think deeply about the kind of program you need. Los Angeles, California has the unique advantage of being the birthplace of structured sober living homes

While sober living homes are a very beneficial  for newly sober individuals, structured sober living homes are especially effective because they provide recovering addicts with the routine and resources they need for success after graduation.

 Design for Recovery, located in the middle of beautiful Los Angeles, is perfectly situated to help any alcoholic or addict, no matter where they are on the path to sobriety. Contact us today!

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Edited by: David Beasley

David Beasley - Design for Recovery

David Beasley is a certified RADT (Registered Alcohol/Drug Technician). David, moved to California from North Carolina after many failed attempts to get sober.

Medically Reviewed by: Charley Allen

Charley earned his Masters of Clinical Psychology from Antioch University, Los Angeles, and is a California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT).He teaches mindfulness to both adults and children in group setting such as schools, corporate workplaces, and medical treatment facilities.

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