When it comes to enjoying life in recovery, there are basically two stages – getting sober and staying sober.
Getting sober is difficult. First, you have to make the commitment to stop taking drugs or drinking alcohol. Making the decision to get sober is usually accompanied by fear, heartache, and a rollercoaster of emotions. But, once you have made up your mind, you have taken the first big step toward recovery.
At first, you have to follow through with this commitment one minute at a time. After all, the only way to get sober is to get sober! This starts with complete and total abstinence.
Next, if you have been using drugs or alcohol for an extended period of time, you have to navigate the symptoms of drug or alcohol withdrawal which may or may not require a medical detox. It is important to consult a medical professional at this point to ensure that you are not putting yourself at risk. Detox can by itself LITERALLY be a gut-wrenching experience that can go on for weeks. The good news is if you don’t use drugs NO MATTER WHAT, you only have to get sober once.
Staying sober is another story. To stay sober is to live sober. With each passing day, you renew your commitment to refrain from drinking or using drugs for the next 24 hours (which, of course, happens minute by minute). This is what “one day at a time” is all about.
Are You Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired?
If you have been struggling with an addiction to alcohol or drugs like heroin, meth, or prescription opioids; chances are you are in a lot of pain. Being hooked on a chemical substance is a miserable experience that causes devastation to individuals and families. Plus, we should never forget that addiction can be life-threatening and lead to premature death.
If you are ready to find a new way to live and kick your addiction to the curb, we want to congratulate you. Stepping out of denial and getting real about having a substance use disorder is the first step toward recovery.
It takes a lot of strength and courage to admit that you have a disease that requires treatment. But, most people don’t know what to do after admitting they are powerless over their addiction. They have a sincere desire to live a sober lifestyle, but they don’t know how.
SO! Are you are sick and tired of being sick and tired? If so, you are probably asking yourself the very important question, “How do I get sober and stay sober? The following 10 tips should help you get on the road to recovery.
10 Tips to Get and Stay Sober
- Reach Out for Help: Addiction thrives in secrecy. If you have a problem with addiction, you have probably been lying to the people who love you the most. It is time to get honest. Tell your loved ones you have a problem with substance abuse and that you are ready to get help. Let them know you need their support.
- Contact an Addiction Specialist for a Professional Assessment: It is always a good idea to talk to an addiction expert about your current situation. Many rehabs will do a free, confidential assessment over the phone and recommend a treatment plan. If you have been drinking large quantities of alcohol or using certain drugs, it is not a good idea to quit your substance of choice without professional help.
- Undergo Detox If Necessary: Drug and alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous and even life-threatening. This is why you should always consult with an addiction specialist when you are ready to get into recovery. They will be able to recommend the next step. You may need to undergo a professional medical detox for your safety or stay at a hospital or detox center for observation.
- Stay at a Residential Rehabilitation Center or Go to an Intensive Outpatient Program: If you could get sober on your own, you would have done so by now. The fact is, when you are addicted, the compulsion to abuse drugs or alcohol without help is next to impossible – even though you may have the sincere desire to quit.
Going for addiction treatment is often the best course of action for those looking for long-term recovery. Whether you stay at a rehab or go to an outpatient program, participating in treatment will equip you with the tools you need to stay sober. You will get the support you need in a safe environment that will help hold you accountable to your recovery.
- Stay at a Sober House: Consider transitioning to a sober house after your stay at a residential treatment center or while you are enrolled in an outpatient program.
A sober living house is designed as a safe, supportive and healthy environment that is conducive to recovery. Studies have shown that those who stay in sober living significantly increase their chances of continuous sobriety.
- Attend Regular Meetings At A 12-Step Recovery Program: To stay sober, you should attend a 12-Step program like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous to get ongoing support from other people in recovery. By attending regularly scheduled meetings, you will connect with people who have struggled with drug or alcohol addiction and found a new way to live. They will share their experience, strength, and hope with you and show you how to stay clean.
- Get a Sponsor: You will learn more about what sponsorship is when you attend the 12 Step fellowship of your choice. A sponsor is someone who helps you work the 12 Steps.
- Work the 12 Steps: The 12 Steps offer a proven program of recovery. It is a process by which you are able to learn principles that will guide your daily life and allow you to face life on its own terms. By working the 12 Steps, you will be able to confront the wreckage of your past, get to know yourself more intimately, make amends with those you have harmed, and establish a relationship with a God of your own understanding.
- Find Sober Friends: If you want to stay sober, you simply must make new friends in recovery. Especially in early recovery, hanging out with our old drinking and using buddies can be challenging. Making new sober friends you can call if you are struggling and need to talk or just want to hang out can make sobriety not just successful but fun and meaningful.
- Stay Sober One Day at a Time: In simple terms, you stay sober by remaining abstinent from drugs and alcohol one minute, one hour, one day at a time. You make the decision that you are no longer going to turn to intoxicants as a solution – and you stick to that commitment by doing the things we talked about above – creating a sober network, getting involved in a 12-Step program, finding a sponsor etc. If we could have stopped drinking on our owns we would have, but time has shown us that our way doesn’t work. We need to ask for help and part of that is accepting that staying sober long term happens one day at a time.
Contact Us: Time is of the Essence
If you are struggling with drugs or alcohol and you are ready to get sober, take action immediately. With every drink or drug you take, you are putting your life at risk. Addiction has nothing to offer you but more pain. However; if you will get sober and stay sober, you will find that you can enjoy a beautiful life in recovery. Getting and staying sober isn’t easy, but it is worth it!
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, we are here to help. Give us a call at 310.403.1032 or send us a message below and one of our admissions counselors will do their best to get you the help you need.