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Staying Sober

man helps another man up cliff

There are many ways to cope with addictions. Getting well is the start. Treating addiction can involve any or several types of programs that may include inpatient or outpatient treatment. Once you’ve cleared the initial hurdle, the challenge is to retain your clear head and body and stay sober. Staying sober doesn’t refer just to avoiding alcohol. Staying sober refers to steering clear of drugs and other addictions that create problems and complications in life.

You’re not in this alone

A variety of options exist to help you get sober. Therapy, therapeutic communities, a variety of 12 steps programs, and rehabilitation treatment centers available for people who are unable to get sober on their own.  Many people benefit from participation in several types of therapy that can begin with strong support leading to increasing independence.

Lifestyle changes

Treatment is most likely to be effective if combined 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.

Coping with cravings

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.  The struggle is often hardest when first leaving a therapeutic community or drug rehab program.  It’s time to form a strong support network and work to develop solid coping skills and a new lifestyle.  Many recovering addicts find ongoing 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.

Recovery from relapse

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

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. In addition to offering various addiction treatment programs, Arbor Behavioral Healthcare also has two programs designed to offer long term, or even lifetime, support for those wishing help to stay in sobriety. The Arbor Advocacy program is designed to support relapse prevention programs. Arbor Alumni provides weekly 12-step meetings and ongoing support for your sobriety.