Addiction, dependence and substance abuse have been classified as chronic mental disorders since 1994, when version IV of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders was published. There is no cure for these disorders, but people who suffer from addiction can learn to control the symptoms. Engaging in several sober activities is a crucial first step.
Addiction treatment specialists emphasize the importance of engaging in healthy, positive behaviors to reinforce sobriety and to help bring meaning to life in recovery.
Hiking and Cycling
Physical exercise is high on the list of quality sober activities. Hiking and cycling help you build up your fitness level and release natural feel-good endorphins.
There are many opportunities in Asheville and the surrounding areas for enjoyable sober activities that involve exercising. The Blue Ridge Parkway has many wonderful hiking trails in which to pursue outdoor activities.1 The Parkway stretches over 469 miles of spectacular scenery with numerous places of interest along the route.
Just a short distance from Asheville, you can enjoy other beautiful hiking routes, and the trails range from easy to difficult. At the more strenuous end of the scale you can try the 11-mile hike up Blackrock Mountain, or the 13-mile hike along Mingus Creek and Little Creek Falls. Likewise, there are many different cycling routes, ranging from easy to very difficult.
The foliage in North Carolina changes throughout the year. Enjoy the vibrant greenery during late spring and summer from summits like Beech Mountain and Rough Ridge. You can revisit the area in the fall and enjoy the variety of colors as trees prepare to shed their leaves. Don’t forget to visit the many spectacular waterfalls, such as Looking Glass Falls and Soco Falls, that you can find near Asheville.2
You can join local hiking or cycling groups, such as the Asheville Hiking Group or the Blue Ridge Cycling Club, which are open to everyone. These groups organize regular meet-ups, and there is great camaraderie between the hiking and cycling enthusiasts who take part.
Some of Asheville’s best attractions are often taken for granted, and there is much to learn about Asheville’s culture and history. Gray Line Trolley Tours, complete with informative guides, is one of the many organizations available to take you on a light-hearted trip through the city’s history. You can check out the city’s numerous coffee shops, enjoy fine cuisine and attend many excellent artistic events.
Outside the city’s bustling downtown, you can find hundreds of species of birds and animals. You might even develop a passion for bird-watching or other nature pursuits. Get in touch with nature by visiting one of the many state parks, such as Dupont State Forest and Chimney Rock Park.
Being sober makes you appreciate more fully the wonders of nature that are on your doorstep. The natural joy you will get from visiting any of the fantastic attractions in and around Asheville can help restore your spirit and make you a stronger person.