Fishing Activity Enhances Addiction Treatment

Our weekly fishing expeditions help our clients learn to love life free of drugs or alcohol.

Sober Living by the Sea has been successful in treating addiction because our clients are given the structure and support to achieve sobriety and then learn how to enjoy life while maintaining sobriety. Our location on the coast of Orange County allows for a wide variety of enjoyable rehab activities.

Once a week, at the crack of dawn, staff member Eric V meets our clients on the beach right out in front of our rehab facility and takes them out on a sport fishing boat.

The fishing experience is wonderful for people who have lost the ability to have fun without their drug of choice. As Eric says, “many of the men and women who we are treating have been using drugs and alcohol for so long that they suffer from anhedonia or ‘pleasure deafness.’ This condition comes about as a result of the brain becoming conditioned to the spike of dopamine that is associated with drug abuse.

When we use our activities to continually entertain the clients as they build up more sober time, their brains adjust to the new source of enjoyment and they begin to experience pleasure again.

The sensation of reeling in a 50 pound fish on the open ocean is so rewarding that even the most ‘pleasure deaf’ person will be monumentally affected by it.”

Building Fellowship in Recovery

The vast majority of the Sober Living by the Sea community and staff are people who are in recovery from addiction. People who have embraced a life of sobriety are grateful to be free of addictive behaviors and know that working with others is an effective way to strengthen their own recovery. Friendships are formed during activities like our fishing program, and these friendships provide newly sober individuals the chance to bond with and learn from people they can relate to and trust.

Clients from any of the Sober Living by the Sea rehab programs are eligible to participate in our fishing program (with the approval of their case manager, which is contingent upon appropriate behavior). Many of our clients have never tried fishing before but all are encouraged to try.

Learning How to Have Fun in Sobriety

Participating in rewarding activities is a powerful component of our recovery model. Sober Living by the Sea offers a full schedule of recovery-related therapy sessions, workshops, and 12-step meetings, but there are only so many hours in a day when our clients can sit inside and effectively receive counseling and education.

That is why Sober Living by the Sea provides a wide variety of activities (including surfing, soccer, and many others) that are:

  • physically challenging
  • spiritually enlightening
  • socially stimulating
  • culturally enriching