That pal who seems to be in an AA meeting whenever he’s not in one of the meetings before the meeting (er, coffee) or one of the meetings after the meeting (er, more coffee) would probably be delighted by a subscription to The Grapevine, AA’s monthly “meeting in a magazine.” To those not familiar with the publication, the Grapevine was founded in 1944 to be what Bill W. called “the voice of the Alcoholics Anonymous movement" and could be describe as an AA-focused, more conservative version of The Fix. ($49.97 for print and online version, $34.97 for online, $28.97 for print)
In a perfect world, those who relied on a steady diet of amphetamines would be so energized by the process of living their lives to their full potential that they wouldn’t need anything but just more oxygen and deep breathing to help them stay focused. But in the world we all live in, they may want a little help from a stress-relieving drink that also helps them to focus. Just Chill tastes great, includes seven essential vitamins and minerals as well as ginseng, ginkgo and a whole lot more and is only 50 calories a can. (12 pack, $24.99)
For The Friend In Need of Emotional Sobriety (The Language of Letting Go)
There's wonderful program-approved literature as well as whole lot of great material that isn't. Among the latter is a book you'll find on the shelf (or bedside table) of most every happy sober person you know: The Language of Letting Goby Melody Beattie. Technically an Alanon book because of its focus on co-dependency, Language comes in hardcover, paperback and audio and there are also versions that have attached journal pages. A new passage every day takes a spiritual approach to situations every sober person—not to mention every person—is bound to encounter as they interact with the people, places and things in their life. (Hardcover, $10.98)
For the Special Lady In Your Life: Number Necklace
There’s a lot of recovery jewelry out there, some of it quite tacky. For the most exquisite way to honor a sober person’s years of commitment to recovery, consider a Number Necklace from XIVKarats, the epic but reasonably priced jewelry store that’s a favorite of Kim Kardashian, Lindsay Lohan, Hilary Duff and many a Real Housewife. The 14-karat white, yellow or rose gold numbers contain between .03 and .10 karats and are strung on 16-inch, 14-karat gold chains. The rub is that the store doesn’t do online or telephone orders so you actually have to go into their Beverly Hills store (or have a friend go in there for you). But it’s the most beautiful bling you’re going to get for the buck. (Prices range from $220-$440)
For the Special (But Maybe Not as Special) Lady (or Man) In Your Life: Silver Sobriety Medallion
Medallions, coins and chips are a way of life for the 12-stepper but the kind they hand out in meetings tend to be valuable in terms of what they signify only. The same can’t be said for these silver medallions which mark notable years of sobriety (from 1-60). There are less expensive options in gold-painted rainbow, too. ($55 for silver, $20 for gold-painted rainbow)
For the Sober Smart Ass: WTF with Marc Maron 2 DVD Box Set
Marc Maron is the sardonic, sober host of the ridiculously popular WTF podcast, where he interviews fellow comics about the dark and painful parts of their lives (often addiction), somehow managing to both find humor in the situation and simultaneously mend fences with them. Show the sober person you know a ninth step in action (and also that you both sympathize with their plight and are cool enough to get it) with the WTF with Marc Maron two DVD box set—which contains the first 1,000 episodes and features interviews with Ben Stiller, Sarah Silverman and many more. ($49.99)
For the Sober List-Maker: A Moleskine Passions Wellness Journal
Sober people tend to need a lot of notebooks, both to do their step work and to write down the random thoughts that years of drug use have made it difficult for their brains to remember. While any Moleskine notebook is sure to appeal, your suddenly healthy sober friend/daughter/boyfriend/boss might respond especially well to a Moleskine Passions Wellness Journal, which provides information on seasonal foods and theme-based sections on diet, exercise and personal goals, among other topics. 240 pages for them to fill out to their healthy, anal self’s content (it sure beats that idea of getting him the Moleskine Passions Wine Journal, too). ($19.95)
Sobriety doesn’t promise addicts an easy life, just (hopefully) an easier time dealing with a life that's still—well, life. The friend of yours that’s going through a divorce, or just always bitching about his or her ex, may benefit from a Divorce Detox Online Survival Kit, which provides helpful topics (sample: Obsess Less), divorce success stories and downloadable podcasts. Just keep your fingers crossed that your friend’s not the messenger-shooting type. ($19.95 a month)
For the Aspiring Musician (Lessons from TakeLessons)
Before sobriety, addicts usually aren't pursuing their dreams or secret passions and now that there are fewer drug dealers to call and bartenders to socialize with, there's a lot more time to explore creative activities that just may make the soul sing. TakeLessons offers private classes in everything from accordion to piano to dance to songwriting to singing to a whole lot more in cities ranging from AA's original city Akron, Ohio to Naples, Florida to Seattle, Washington (and a lot of places in between). (Gift certificates available in a variety of denominations, from $50-$5000).
For the Sober Bibliophile: A First Edition Big Book
Some first editions of the Big Book can run you up to $50,000 but that doesn’t mean they have to. For the comparatively reasonable price of $650, you can snatch up this version: a beauty from the 16th printing which comes with a new reproduction dust jacket and only has a few stains and water marks (possibly from where Bill Wilson himself spilled a glass!) Guaranteed to make your pal the envy of every Book Study. ($650)
Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you.
Capo By The Sea offers an executive rehab program complete with medical detox and a focus on dual-diagnosis issues, as well as an outpatient option in an environment that exudes the kind of beach house optimism one would expect from an Orange County recovery outfit.
Want many of the luxury amenities A-listers have come to expect—including an enormous backyard with a pool and patio, an herb garden, a volleyball net and a spectacular vista of the Santa Monica mountains—with a recovery program to match?