Getting Sober in NYC
New York City is the greatest city in the world, but for people in recovery, the city can be an intimidating place.
Finding recovery in the city that never sleeps.
New York City is the place where dreams come true. From Washington Heights to Williamsburg, New York is the center of the universe for everything from business and finance to education, the arts, entertainment, food, fashion, and more. New Yorkers have big goals, big dreams, big ideas, and big plans. This is the place where anyone can do anything, as long as they work hard. Of course the city that works hard also plays hard, so NYC loves to party. New York City streets are lined with bars, nightclubs, boozy brunches, happy hours, rooftop parties, and late night events where excessive drinking and drug use are par for the course.
With alcohol playing such a prominent role in the lives of New Yorkers, life in NYC can be a challenge for people in recovery. Many people who want to stop drinking simply can’t envision a life in NYC without alcohol. But what many people don’t know is that despite its “work hard, play hard” reputation, New York City boasts one of the biggest and most vibrant recovery communities in the world. NYC is home to thousands of people in recovery, and offers hundreds of different types of support groups, 12-step meetings, sober networks, addiction specialists, therapists, and recovery professionals. The best thing about getting sober in NYC is that you never have to do it alone.
New Yorkers are independent, self-sufficient people, but no one can get sober alone. Finding a meeting or recovery community that makes you feel comfortable is crucial in early recovery. Luckily, the NYC recovery community is as diverse as the city itself, so it’s not hard to find a meeting or support group you can relate to. No matter what your age, race, religion, sexual orientation, creed, color, or preferred fellowship, there is a meeting for you in New York City. There are meetings in every borough, in every neighborhood, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Bring in the pros
This city can be pretty exhausting at times, so New Yorkers in recovery need all the help they can get. Luckily, New York City is home to the best doctors and medical professionals in the world. New Yorkers in recovery have exclusive access to leading edge addiction services like inpatient and outpatient treatment programs, sober living houses, recovery coaches, and sober companions.
There will be booze
Alcohol is sold at every bodega and corner store in New York city, while permissive blue laws allow public consumption almost anywhere in the city, including public parks. Sometimes in NYC, it feels like there’s alcohol everywhere. Of course not all New Yorkers drink, but in NYC, being around alcohol is simply a fact of life. Remember: just because it’s there doesn’t mean you have to drink it.
There are a million sober things to do in NYC. Parks, museums, galleries, concerts, plays, Broadway, shopping, and food are just the tip of the iceberg. New York City’s sober communities provide New Yorkers with the best sober activities in the world. NYC is home to dozens of sober communities that throw sober dances, parties, and events all year round. There are meetup groups that do anything and everything sober: sober rock climbing, sober sailing, sober book clubs, and more! And remember, any activity can be a sober activity as long as you do it sober.
Getting sober in New York City may not be easy, but it is simple: go to a meeting, reach out, join a group, go to a meeting, talk to a recovery professional, ask for help. Don’t drink. Don’t use. And most importantly, don’t do it alone.
This article was originally featured on the Life Assurance Recovery Blog. John Roesch is a Certified Arise Interventionist and Certified Addictions Recovery Coach for Life Assurance Recovery in New York City.