There are many ways to cope with addictions. The path to staying sober is not easy, but there are various help methods available to those committed to removing an addiction from their life. Staying sober generally refers to abstaining from the overuse of alcohol but also refers to the self-denial of the overuse of any drug or harmful habit. There are procedures such as therapy, therapeutic communities, a variety of 12 steps programs, and rehabilitation treatment centers available for people who are unable to stay sober on their own. While any one of these more intensive methods are beneficial, it is often recommended that an addict try to overcome the problem with one or more of these plans in combination with a lifestyle change and support from friends and family. The advice for some of these lifestyle changes includes: completely stopping the use of the addictive substance or activity, not underestimating the addiction, staying busy, going for walks or doing other light physical exercise, setting goals, and reaching out to other addicts and a support network.
The intense, and sometimes uncontrollable, cravings associated with staying sober are difficult to manage, but ultimately treatable. Keeping this in mind can help addicts consciously make the decision to stay sober every day. One of the hardest moments for an addict trying to stay sober can be when they leave their therapeutic community or drug rehab program. This is a mark in the road to recovery but it is also a time when an addict must renew the techniques learned in treatment and build the network of support needed to remain sober. Many recovering addicts find continuing to go to 12 step programs and other after care therapies helpful. Recovering addicts should remember that even if a relapse prevention plan fails and a relapse occurs, this does not mean a total return to abuse has to occur. Staying sober is a life-long lifestyle change and commitment; relapse can happen at any point along the way even if a recovering addict is diligent.
Recovering addicts who experience a relapse should contact an authority in their aftercare therapy and their support network to discuss why they used and what triggered the relapse. By talking to those in the support network, a recovering addict can overcome the feelings of remorse often associated with a relapse. Such feelings are normal, but when not put in check can lead to a return of the self-destructive habits of abuse.
Staying sober has a variety of definitions to different people. There is no absolute or all-encompassing method that applies to all recovering addicts. Each person is unique and requires an individual set of therapy methods and care to achieve the life-long goal of remaining sober. However, there are fundamental aspects to staying sober that do apply to all recovering addicts: not using, going to therapy, and even reaching out to a support network and also being of service to others are all ways to cope that can help anyone to stay sober. Even when relapses or other problems occur, recovering addicts can best stay sober through constant vigilance.