Top Ten Reasons Why West Hollywood Is The Destination For Recovery

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By Patrick O’Neil, Group Facilitator

When you think of Southern California do you immediately think recovery? Well you should, because the Huffington Post listed Los Angeles as one of the top ten American cities that make getting sober easier. The criterion that put L.A. at the top of the list is the extensive recovery services offered including drug treatment centers, sober living facilities, and an abundance of 12 step meetings. If one were to take that listing even further to include the neighborhoods and districts that make up the greater Los Angeles area then West Hollywood would not only be ahead of the pack, but a crucial element within the SoCal recovery landscape.

Commonly referred to as WeHo, West Hollywood is its own city within Los Angeles. Bordered by the Miracle Mile neighborhood to the South, Beverly Hills to the West, Hollywood Hills to the North, and Hollywood itself on the East. With a population just over 37,000 WeHo feels like the tightknit community that it is. However, with the Sunset Strip and Santa Monica Boulevard’s ever-growing nightlife, restaurants, and hotels the weekends can see the population expand to 80,000, and with such iconic events as Halloween or the Pride Parade crowds of 100,000 to 500,000 are not unusual. One would think with this “party atmosphere” West Hollywood would not be known for its recovery. But that would be a misconception as WeHo is definitely a Destination For Recovery.

Here Are the Top Ten Reasons Why:

1. Treatment Centers: If you’re looking for a city that can deliver on rehabs then West Hollywood is your answer. According to the U.S. Department of Mental Health’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration there are 41 recovery centers that provided substance abuse treatment and mental health services within WeHo’s seemingly tiny 1.8 square mile radius. Per capita that would make WeHo the densest ratio of rehab to residents in the entire Los Angeles area.  

2. Meetings: Do meetings make a difference? Former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy was quoted as saying, “Well-supported scientific evidence demonstrates the effectiveness of twelve-step groups.” Whether it’s Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, Crystal Meth Anonymous, Marijuana Anonymous, or Overeaters Anonymous (just to name a few), West Hollywood is home to over 150 of these meetings per week. So to say WeHo is 12 Step friendly would be an understatement.     

3. Spirituality: Are you searching for a sense of connection to something greater than yourself that not only inspires you, but also promotes harmony with the universe? What you’re no doubt looking for is “spirituality”. In West Hollywood there is an abundance of opportunity to find the right guidance to help connect you with your own inner peace and serenity. Spirituality can be found following a religious faith or through inner personal connections, such as engaging in mindfulness activities like yoga and meditation. WeHo has a multitude of faiths, churches, temples, meditation and wellness centers, and over 50 yoga studios that offer various approaches to help you discover your own spiritual path. 

4. Health: An integral part of recovery is addressing mental and personal health issues. There are numerous hospitals and medical centers in or near West Hollywood, including the world-renowned Cedars Sinai Medical Center, and the UCLA Medical Center. Psychology Today lists close to 300 licensed therapists, psychologists, and counselors in West Hollywood, and the list of “Alternative Medicine” practitioners is just as long. For physical health there are well over a hundred fitness clubs, gyms, yoga studios, and just as many personal trainers available to assist you in whatever level of comprehensive fitness program you desire.  

5. Diversity: West Hollywood is a diverse multi ethnic, cultural, and racial city. It is not unusual to hear Slavic languages spoken along side English and Spanish. 45% percent of the population identifies as LGBTQ and 65% of the adults have a college or graduate degree. The overwhelming majority of the workforce is employed in white-collar jobs and there are more artists, designers and people working in media than anywhere else. This diverse concentration of occupations and ethnicity helps shape West Hollywood’s character into a distinct community that not only embraces individual differences and uniqueness, but celebrates them.

6. Housing: Think palm trees and swimming pools because West Hollywood is home to an unprecedented number of fine hotels and motels, all of which cater to your every lodging needs. WeHo also boasts an abundance of sober living, transitional living, and sober roommate opportunities. Online share-rental companies list hundreds of rooms, apartments, and houses for short and long term rental agreements. For more permanent options there are numerous rental companies that can help you land that amazing WeHo apartment.    

7. Fun: There is no reason not to have fun in recovery. In fact, why be in recovery if you can’t have fun? West Hollywood is a party town and that party includes sobriety. Every New Year’s Eve there’s a city sponsored Alcohol/Drug-free celebration. During Pride and Halloween there are accompanying sober events. The restaurants are legendary. Sunbathing at the ocean beaches or hikes in the canyons of Hollywood are minutes away. For cultural events there’s the West Hollywood Book Fair and the Pacific Design Center. At last but not least, the shopping is phenomenal. From the numerous stores in the Beverly Center to the glamour of Sunset Plaza and Rodeo Drive, the cutting edge designer clothes are everywhere.      

8. Safety: Personal safety is always a top priority and West Hollywood ranks high as a safe area in Los Angeles County. The Los Angles Sheriff’s Department polices WeHo and according to their statistics crime is down, assuring visitors a secure and welcoming environment. The main boulevards are well lit. The near constant foot traffic in the business areas helps pedestrians stay safe. The city employs “Security Ambassadors” on bicycles that patrol the neighborhoods. Their constant vigilance keeps the residents safe and crime down. 

9. Transportation: Need to get around and have concerns about transportation in a new city? Well, there’s no need to worry as West Hollywood has an abundance of transportation options. Town cars, taxis and ride share services ply the streets and are on call 24 hours a day. Cityline shuttle services the Santa Monica Corridor and connects with the Metro Red Line in Hollywood. Five Los Angeles Metro bus lines transect the city allowing for connections across the greater Los Angeles Area. WeHo has it’s own bike share company and you can find racks of rental bikes throughout the city. If you’re driving a personal vehicle, the majority of WeHo’s streets are regulated with residential parking permits. Be sure to check if your neighborhood requires a permit, as temporary Visitor Parking Permits are available free of charge.

10. Weather: Are gray skies and bad weather getting you down? Seasonal depression is real and nothing helps more than sunshine and getting exercise outdoors. Southern California’s weather is legendary and WeHo’s weather is no exception. The summers are warm and the winters are cool and partly cloudy. The temperature averages from 48° to 82° and rarely gets below 42° or above 90°. The last thing you want to worry about is bad weather. Staying in West Hollywood allows you to focus on your recovery, not digging snow out of the driveway or slogging through puddles of rain. 

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