Delray Beach, Florida
For those who call this southeastern Florida beach city their home, it comes as no surprise that it be dubbed the most sober-friendly city in America. Delray Beach is home to a high concentration of quality treatment centers and it is estimated that more than 5,000 people attend 12-step meetings each week. There are prototype communities across the country, where recovering addicts plant roots near renowned treatment centers (such as the recovery community near Hazelden in Minnesota), but many say that no such community compares to Delray, because of its compact geography and egregious quantity of recovering substance-abusers. The large amount of addicts in the area causes Delray to boast incredibly unique attractions, such as a recovery radio show and a coffeehouse with a therapy group. However, those who live in the area cite their fellow addicts and accompanying camaraderie as the reasons so many people suffering from chemical dependency find help in this beach town.
Los Angeles, California
The City of Angels boasts more than just sunny weather and celebrities, it also has one of the most sober-friendly communities in America. Initially drawn to the world-famous treatment centers, addicts flock by the thousand in an attempt to find sobriety in the Big Orange. Once in Los Angeles, or the neighboring Orange County, substance-abusers feel right at home in a community that holds over 3,100 meetings per week. However, southern California offers plenty of activities that aren’t related to recovery, including sightseeing, surfing, hiking, camping, restaurant-going and art-appreciating, to name a few. And as anyone in recovery will tell you, it's incredibly important to live somewhere with plenty of action, as boredom is often at the root of relapse.
The Twin Cities
America’s heartland also boasts an impressive recovery community in its twin cities, Minneapolis and St. Paul. The area is home to Hazelden, which has been a pinnacle of drug and alcohol abuse treatment for some time (it is now partnered with the Betty Ford Foundation). Subsequently, many substance-abusers flock to the area and end up making the Twin Cities their home. Minneapolis and St. Paul are also home to approximately one-third of the nation’s recovery high schools. The Twin Cities are not only ahead of the curve in the academic sense, but their progressive medical and legal systems also aid them in being at the forefront of providing knowledge and abolishing judgement regarding the disease of addiction.
While a college town may not be the most likely candidate for a thriving sober community, Boston certainly goes against the grain by having over 2,000 meetings in the city’s greater area. Not only does it boast an impressive amount of meetings, but its meetings also entail a special program called a “commitment exchange,” in which home-group members are required to speak at meetings other than their own, creating a sense of camaraderie unique to the Boston AA/NA scene.
New York City, New York
New York City is a great place to be a recovering addict. There are 4,000 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings per week in the five boroughs alone, especially those catering to diverse populations, specifically the LGBT community. There are also meetings in different languages and those intended for diverse cultures, typical of the melting-pot dynamic in the city.