How to get sober is not a simple answer, but it is a journey towards recovery that can help you lead the life you want to outside of addiction. It is important to remember that recovery is not one set plan for everyone. What has worked for one person, will not necessarily work for you or a loved one who is seeking help.
By creating a step by step guide that fits your needs, you can find a stronger path towards sobriety. While there is not one road to walk down in learning how to overcome addiction, there are general guidelines for how to quit drinking.
Step 1: Understand Your Relation To Addiction
Society often views addiction as a choice, but it is far from that. Addiction is the inability to control the amount or frequency of consuming alcohol and/or other substances. For many, addiction may begin as a habit to cope with loss or life feeling outside their control. Before they have the chance to understand their actions, responsibilities and relationships fall by the wayside.
The first step in understanding how to be sober is to recognize there is a problem in the first place. Continued use over time can lead to mental health issues and deterioration of physical capability. Even when the person tries to stop, they feel cravings to keep drinking, despite the initial willpower in trying to stop.
Addiction simply cannot be overcome on your own, which is why asking for help gives the resources and support in how to get sober.
Step 2: Ask For Help
Asking for help is not an easy task for anyone, let alone a person who is looking to live a sober lifestyle. If there has been continued alcohol abuse, it can be hard to earn trust again when, for many people, relationships have been strained over time.
Not everyone comes to the conclusion to get help on their own either. Some individuals experience a conversation with family members or friends who are asking to support them in receiving the professional help they need to overcome addiction.
Be mindful of who you reach out to
Addiction help may not always come from the people in your immediate circle. If addiction has been prevalent in your life for a long time, this often can shift family and friend groups to be others who also encourage alcohol use disorder.
Make sure you reach out to someone who you have confidence in that can help you stay accountable in wanting to live a life of sobriety. Many people find themselves in codependent relationships that can hinder recovery or a pattern of returning to particular friend circles that enable alcohol abuse.
Reach out to someone you truly trust who can support you in recovery.
Step 3: Find Professional Guidance
While friends and family can provide a level of support for a person’s wellbeing, it is harder for them to provide the aspects of recovery that a professional is able to provide. If you have strained relationships and do not have someone to reach out to, professional support is the next step in finding a path towards sobriety.
Look for a local treatment or medical center that can connect you to the right resources. Only a medical professional can assist and provide a proper diagnosis to develop an individualized treatment plan to overcome addiction.
In many cases, there are layers to the diagnosis that may overlap. A medical professional is able to pinpoint different aspects that may be affecting addiction and offer a treatment plan that gives the person a chance for a higher rate for long-term recovery.
Having one professional to be able to monitor and adjust a treatment plan can lead to better outcomes and overall better care for an individual looking for addiction help.
Step 4: Choose a Therapy Method
A medical professional may suggest potential options for therapy, but there are varied options based on region and availability. Many treatment centers offer further group therapy and individualized therapy sessions to learn how to navigate social and personal triggers that lead to continued alcohol abuse.
Therapy methods can include,
Peer Support and Group Therapy Sessions
Peer support and group therapy often include the 12-Step program or similar programs that provide accountability, resources to learn about addiction and how to quit drinking, as well as the ability to learn from other’s experiences.
Personal care during therapy allows an individual to talk through past grievances, relationships, and personal hardship that has led to continual alcohol or substance abuse. With the ability to have continued support from the same therapist, a person can develop trust over time and find healthier ways to cope with grief and loss moving forward.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a problem-focused form of therapy that helps individuals identify emotional triggers and learn how they react. As a result, people are able to question their behavior in a safe space and find new pathways to cope and respond to future triggers to avoid relapse.
Motivational Enhancement Therapy
Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) is often used for those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. Sessions invoke quick changes and internal motivation that drive personal action towards change.
Involving family members can feel challenging for some people, but it can help in a stronger recovery process. Those who have family members that contribute to codependency or have a history of enabling substance or alcohol abuse, therapy can help educate family members about addiction, find solutions towards healthier relationships, and develop ways to maintain sobriety beyond a treatment center.
Interpersonal therapy gives the chance for those who struggle with making solid friendships and have continual conflicts with family the ability to develop social skills. Social skills and developing a support network through friendship helps individuals stay sober longer after initial treatment.
Depending on the location and availability, alternative therapy can be offered to assist in recovery. Alternative therapy such as equine therapy, art and music therapy, yoga and pilates, or guided meditations.
Step 5: Research About Treatment Centers
Whether it has been suggested for admittance into inpatient or outpatient care, signing into a treatment center increases the chances for long-term sobriety. Be sure to do your research beforehand to see the success rate for those who have recovered from being admitted into a particular treatment center.
Researched-based programs offer a higher chance of recovery with proven methods that are effective for those recovering from addiction. Depending on the severity of your addiction, or a loved one’s, there are different treatment levels that can be effective.
For severe cases, inpatient care is recommended for monitoring and medically helping with withdrawal symptoms.
Withdrawal symptoms can include,
- Extreme confusion
- Shaky Hands
- Delirium tremens
- High fever
- High blood pressure
Withdrawing on your own can lead to dangerous side effects and potential death. It is advised to seek medical attention before choosing to completely become sober. With a medical professional, withdrawal symptoms can be less uncomfortable and lower risk.
Other treatment center options include outpatient care for less severe cases where you can go to a treatment center during the day, but return home at night. While outpatient care is generally a cheaper option, it is only advisable if someone is able to be a strong support and hold you accountable during recovery.
Other options include partial hospitalization programs for those who have the option to return home at night, or residential programs for more severe cases.
Step 6: Aftercare Options
Holding yourself accountable to a treatment center and a recovery program is one step in the right direction in learning how to quit drinking. However, it is the aftercare options that give you the chance to keep living a sober lifestyle.
There are ways to have sober fun, but that begins when you put the right lifelines in place to keep yourself away from the risk of relapsing. If you are worried about what your options are after treatment, ask your medical professional who helped monitor your treatment about potential options.
In some cases, people choose to step down into partial hospitalization care or further outpatient programs. For many, joining a local support group can hold accountability and provide an emotional understanding of the process you have been through in recovery.
Step 7: Download a Sober App to Help Stay Accountable
One of the best ways to discover a sober lifestyle and sober fun out in the world is by downloading a sober app to help you stay accountable. A sober app gives you the chance to keep a clock in place for how long you have been in recovery, as well as the ability to connect with like-minded people who are looking for fun activities to do that do not involve alcohol.
Discover how sobriety can lead to greater things. When you take the steps towards recovery, you can learn to manage your own triggers, understand rooted emotions, and develop stronger friendships and relationships.
Follow these steps in how to get sober and find your own personalized path towards recovery.