How to Make This Be the Year You Get and Stay Sober
People struggling with addiction know that they cannot just make a New Year’s resolution to get sober and then wake up sober. The path to sobriety is a rocky road, but it is possible to get sober if you seek treatment and stay motivated to move in a positive direction for the new year. Our tips will help you get started on that path for 2017.
Don’t Wait Until You Hit Rock Bottom
Journalist and author David Sheff was affected by addiction when his son Nic became an addict at age 12. Sheff used his personal experience and more than ten years of research to conclude that addiction is a health crisis that is more akin to diseases such as diabetes rather than a choice or a criminal act. Sheff explains that getting treatment as soon as possible is essential to recovery because addicts who wait until they hit rock bottom are at an extremely high risk of death. He also emphasizes the importance of finding a treatment program that treats addiction as a disease.
Determine that You Will Seek Treatment
It may be tempting to try to detox and get sober on your own, but people who seek and receive treatment have much better success and achieve lasting recovery more often than those who try to make it on their own. Recognizing that you have a problem and seeking treatment are critical parts of the path toward sobriety, especially considering that the majority of addicts do not believe they need treatment.
Treatment and therapy are essential components of achieving sobriety, and it is even more crucial that people who have a dual diagnosis of an underlying mental disorder or illness receive therapy as part of their addiction treatment. Psychological and social factors can trigger a relapse, and undergoing counseling as part of a proper treatment program gives people the tools they need to make healthy decisions and stay on the path toward a positive, sober new year.
Identify and Focus on Reasons to Stay Sober
Because the road to sobriety is so tough, many recovering addicts struggle to stay motivated even when they do enter a quality treatment program. They find that identifying and focusing on reasons to stay sober help them remain on their positive path. For many addicts, they think about their family members and the improved relationships they have as a result of their sobriety. They also recognize they may be an inspiration or role model to someone else struggling with addiction, and they want to stay sober for that special someone.
Make Lifestyle Changes that Will Support Your Sobriety
Getting and staying sober requires a great deal of effort and a number of changes to your lifestyle. Recovering addicts find that they avoid relapse by cutting ties with people who continue to use and abuse substances, staying away from places where people use and abuse substances, and socializing with positive influences and people who are part of a positive support system. Know that it may be necessary to move cities or at the very least move to a different part of town. If you are able to go to a treatment center, that is a definitely an option worth exploring.
Other positive lifestyle changes that keep recovering addicts on the path to sobriety include taking one day at a time, identifying and avoiding triggers, and connecting with and getting support from other sober people. Keeping counseling appointments and attending AA meetings also help people maintain their sobriety.
Recovering addicts also stay sober by developing new interests and hobbies. Some pursue healthy activities like hiking, biking, and practicing yoga. Others take cooking lessons to learn how to cook and eat healthy to improve their overall well-being. Some addicts cope with recovery by volunteering and giving back to their communities; they enjoy feeling the pride and joy that results from helping others.
If you determine that 2017 is the year you will get sober, make it happen by seeking treatment sooner rather than later, sticking to your treatment program, identifying reasons to stay sober, and making lifestyle changes that will keep you on a positive, sober path in the new year.