What Is Sobriety?
Alcoholics Anonymous defines sobriety as “a state of being without alcoholic beverages.” This includes both drinking no drugs or alcohol and abstaining completely. However, there are many different levels of sobrietry, ranging from partial to total abstinence. Partial sobriety means avoiding alcohol consumption entirely, while total sobriety means never consuming it again.
The term “sober living” refers to people who live a life free from drugs and/or alcohol. These individuals are often referred to as “clean and sober,” “drug and alcohol free,” or “dry.” Some people choose to live a life free of substances because of health reasons, while others do so out of moral conviction.
Is it easy to become sober?
Getting sober isn’t always easy. Many people have tried and failed to stop drinking or drug use. Others try again and fail, and some never succeed. But there are many different paths to recovery.
Some people struggle with addiction and relapsing. They might feel like they’re out of control and unable to break free from their substance abuse. For others, getting clean is just one part of a larger journey toward self-improvement.
There are many ways to recover. You don’t have to go cold turkey; you can gradually reduce your intake over time. And while most people find support groups helpful, you don’t necessarily have to attend meetings every week. If you want to talk about how you’re feeling, call someone up. Or reach out to a friend or family member.
If you’ve been struggling with addiction, here are some resources that can help:
• AA – Alcoholics Anonymous
• NA/AA – Narcotics Anonymous / Al-Anon Family Groups
• 12 Step Recovery Programs – These programs teach people how to live without alcohol or drugs.
Family and friends can play a huge role in helping someone struggling with addiction. They can help keep you safe, provide emotional support, and even offer financial assistance. But there are times when family members aren’t able to step up and lend a hand. When that happens, it’s important to know where to turn for help.
Professional support is another option. Many professionals can provide treatment options, including medication-assisted treatments like Suboxone and methadone. These medications allow patients to maintain abstinence while reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms. In addition, some doctors specialize in treating opioid use disorder. If you’re interested in finding out about local resources, check with your primary care physician, psychiatrist, or substance abuse counselor.
Finally, you can look into professional organizations that focus on addiction. For example, SAMHSA offers a directory of state-based treatment programs. You can also contact the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAAADAC), which provides information on how to locate counselors in your area.
Support groups provide a place where you can talk about what’s bothering you. They offer a safe environment where you don’t have to worry about being judged. You can ask questions without fear of judgment; you can even cry it out loud if you want. If you’re feeling down, there’s no shame in asking someone else for help.
There are many different kinds of groups, including Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Smart Recovery (SMART), LifeRing, and Sober Living. Some online programs like Ria Health let you meet virtually.
If you’re looking to kick substance abuse, there are medications out there that can help. But it depends on whether you’re ready to start taking them.
A study published in the journal Addiction found that people who used medications to treat alcoholism had better success quitting compared to those who didn’t. Researchers surveyed 725 people who wanted to get sober and were interested in getting help. They looked at whether participants took medication to help them become sober and how successful they were at stopping.
The researchers found that people who did take medication were less likely to relapse within six months of trying to quit. However, the study wasn’t able to determine why this might be the case.
There are several types of medications that can help people get sober. Some work by blocking certain chemicals in the brain. Others reduce cravings. Still others act like antidepressants, helping people feel better about themselves.
Some medications can cause side effects such as drowsiness, nausea, headaches, dry mouth, constipation, or heartburn. You can talk to your doctor about what type of medication works best for you.
You can also try behavioral therapy. This involves learning skills to cope with urges to drink. For example, you could learn relaxation techniques, mindfulness practices, or cognitive restructuring.
Success rates vary depending on how much time you want to spend abstaining before beginning treatment. People who tried to quit cold turkey had a success rate of just 11 percent. Those who waited a few weeks to begin treatment had a 30 percent chance of succeeding. And people who began treatment after one month had a 50 percent chance of staying sober.
For some people, medication may be enough to keep them off booze. If you’d rather avoid medications, you can still make progress toward reducing your substance abuse. Just don’t give up too soon.
Get Through Detox
A medically supervised detox may be required to help you through withdrawal. This process involves monitoring your vital signs, providing medications to manage symptoms, and offering support throughout the experience. If you are experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms, it might be necessary to go into inpatient rehab.
Inpatient rehab facilities offer 24/7 care and provide medical supervision during the entire length of treatment. They often include individual therapy sessions, group counseling, recreational activities, educational classes, and meals. Outpatient programs offer similar benefits, but allow patients to continue living at home. Both types of programs require long-term commitment and follow-up care.
Prepare for PAWS
Postacute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) is a common problem among those trying to quit alcohol or other drugs. Symptoms include anxiety, depression, irritability, insomnia, restlessness, fatigue, muscle aches, headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. These symptoms are often mistaken for something else and can make it difficult to treat.
If you think you might have postacute withdrawal syndrome, seek immediate medical attention. If you don’t know what postacute withdrawal syndrome looks like, watch this video.
The word “rehab” is often used interchangeably with “treatment,” but there are actually two main categories of treatment programs: short-term and long-term rehab. Short-term rehab generally lasts about three months, while long-term rehab can go up to five years. Both are considered outpatient programs because you don’t live in a facility during the program.
Short-Term Rehab Programs
Most short-term rehab programs focus on helping patients deal with addiction issues, such as alcohol abuse, prescription medication abuse, eating disorders, and gambling addictions. These programs typically include group therapy sessions, individual counseling sessions, 12-step meetings, and relapse prevention training. Some facilities offer intensive day care where patients attend classes and receive medical attention throughout the day.
Long-Term Rehab Programs
Some long-term rehab programs are designed specifically for those suffering from substance use disorder, including alcoholism. Long-term rehab programs usually take place over a period of six to 18 months. During this time, patients participate in both group and individual therapies, as well as participate in regular checkups with physicians and counselors. Patients may also undergo behavioral modification techniques, like cognitive behavioral therapy, in addition to traditional psychotherapy.
Consider a Dual Diagnosis Program
Addiction and mental health are often linked together. Many people who suffer from one experience symptoms of the other. If you’re struggling with either addiction or mental illness, consider enrolling in a dual diagnosis program. These programs combine treatment options for each issue into one place. They can help you better understand why you feel the way you do. And they can help you learn how to cope with life’s challenges without turning to drugs or alcohol.
Quitting On Your Own
If you’re looking to kick your addiction without professional help, there are some things you’ll need to do yourself. First, you’ll need to decide what type of alcoholic beverage you drink most often.
You’ll also need to avoid places where you know you’ll likely encounter drugs or alcohol. As they say in Alcoholics Anonymous, “If you spend enough time at the barber shop, you’ll probably get a haircut.”
Finally, you’ll need to develop a plan for dealing with cravings. Alcoholics Anonymous recommends avoiding situations where you feel tempted to drink. If you’re having trouble controlling your urges, you might try calling a friend or family member to talk about your situation. Or you could call a hotline like Al-Anon or AA. Both organizations offer support groups specifically designed to help people deal with addiction problems.
Tips To Set Goals for Sobriety
Setting goals for recovery helps keep us motivated and focused. Short-term goals are easier to accomplish than long-term ones because we tend to take action sooner. We are more likely to follow up on our short-term goals than we are to work toward our longer term goals. This is why it is important to identify what matters most to us and then set goals based on those things.
If you don’t know where to start, here are some tips to help you set goals for recovery.
1. Determine Your Values
Ask yourself what makes you happy? What do you enjoy doing? What do you want out of life? Once you figure out what matters most to you, write down your values. You might even want to make a list of your values. Now think about how each value relates to your recovery. For example, if one of your values is family, does being around your loved ones help you feel better? If you find that you struggle with certain aspects of recovery, such as staying clean, you could use your values to guide you towards achieving your goal of recovery.
2. Make A List Of Your Goals
Once you have identified your values, make a list of your goals. These goals should reflect what you want to accomplish during your recovery. Think about what you want to change and how you plan to go about making those changes. Do you want to lose weight? Start exercising? Get into therapy? Write down your goals.
3. Take Action
There’s no time like the present. The longer you wait, the more difficult it becomes as habits become more ingrained. Many people hold off, telling themselves “I am not ready yet”. The fact is, if you wait until you’re “ready”, you may just end up waiting your entire life.
Care for Your Mental Health
Mental illness affects as much as 40% of adults in America today. And substance use disorder (SUD), including alcohol and drug addiction, affects about 20 million Americans. But what happens when you have both? You end up with a serious problem.
The good news is that there are effective treatment options out there. Studies show that combining SUD and mental health care improves outcomes over either alone. This is true even among patients who don’t respond well to traditional therapies.
But it takes work to find the right combination of programs. In fact, some experts say that finding the right fit might take longer than getting sober. So here are three things you can do now to make sure you’re ready when the time comes.
#1 – Start Early
Getting help early makes a big difference. If you know someone who needs help, encourage him or her to seek treatment sooner rather than later. Helping someone recover from addiction is easier when he or she isn’t struggling with depression or anxiety.
#2 – Find Someone Who Knows What He/She Is Doing
If you’re looking for a therapist, ask friends or family members for recommendations. They’ll likely be able to tell you whether the person you’re considering is qualified to handle your particular situation. And if you’re thinking about joining a 12-step group, consider checking with the local chapter first. Many groups offer free information sessions where you can meet others in recovery and learn more about their experience.to Manage Stress
Stress affects us all. We are living longer and healthier lives, but we still face stressors every day. Learn how to manage stress effectively and live life to the fullest.
Learn to Relax
There are some simple steps you can take to help reduce stress and improve your overall health. First, try to identify the source of your stress. Is it work related? Family problems? Relationship issues? Financial concerns? Do you feel overwhelmed by life’s challenges? Once you’ve pinpointed the problem, you can start making changes. For example, if you’re stressed about money, you can make a budget and stick to it. Or maybe you need to spend less time worrying about relationships and focus on improving yourself. Whatever the case, it’s important to know where your stress stems from so you can address it effectively.
The next step is to learn how to relax. Take a few minutes each day to breathe deeply, close your eyes, and just let go. Focus on the feeling of air entering and exiting your body. Feel the tension melt away. This is one of the most effective methods of relaxing. It helps you clear your mind and release negative emotions.
If you’d rather meditate, you can use guided imagery to calm your nerves. Imagine yourself in a beautiful place, surrounded by nature. Let yourself drift off into a peaceful state of mind. Use this technique whenever you need to relax.
Finally, you can practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is defined as intentionally paying attention to something without judgment. When you’re mindful, you’re aware of everything around you—the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and feelings. Notice your thoughts and emotions. Don’t judge them. Just observe them.
Once you’ve mastered relaxation skills, you’ll be better prepared to deal with stressful situations. Learn to recognize signs of stress early on, and you won’t suffer as much later.
Reach Out – You’re Not Alone
With so many different factors involved, it’s easy to get overwhelmed when finding a place to started in sobriety. Sea Change Recovery is run by recovering addicts that are passionate about helping anyone struggling with addiction or alcoholism in any way we can. The call is totally confidential, and we encourage you to call even if you’re not ready. We’re here for you.