The longer you stay sober, the better your chances are of remaining that way. One study of over 1,000 addicts found that abstaining from drugs or alcohol for at least a year increases your chance of long-term success.
In the study, approximately one-third of people who had been abstinent less than a year remained that way. But after a year of sobriety, less than half relapsed.
Those statistics are encouraging, but making the decision to get sober is still tough. But while those first days and weeks are difficult, you still owe it to yourself to try.
Read on for tips on how to get sober.
Get Professional Treatment
If you want to get sober, you’ll probably need professional help. A few people can quit alcohol on their own, but they’re the exception rather than the rule. You shouldn’t feel bad about asking for treatment.
Alcohol treatment is available in a variety of settings. For some people, inpatient treatment provides necessary structure. Other people do better with outpatient treatment.
Visiting or calling an alcohol treatment center will give you a better idea of your options. Many centers also accept health insurance. You can get more information from this site.
If you’re trying to eat better, you would probably avoid hanging out in fast food restaurants. The same idea is true if you’re trying to quit drinking.
Bars are a big part of many alcoholics’ social lives. But you have to change your social life if you want to stop drinking.
Next time a friend asks you to go out for drinks after work, level with them. Say you’re trying to quit drinking. Ask if you can go somewhere besides a bar.
You don’t have to provide every detail of your treatment, but you shouldn’t be embarrassed to tell close friends what’s up. A good friend will respond by asking what they can do to support you on your journey to sobriety.
Take a Walk
Exercise is an ideal way to distract your brain as you figure out how to get sober from alcohol. It doesn’t have to be intense cardio, either. Walking around the neighborhood can do wonders for your psyche.
If you want to join a gym, then go for it. You can exercise in a group setting or watch workout videos in your home. Both are valid options.
Find something you can enjoy. Sure, you may not always want to put on your sneakers and exercise. But there’s a very good chance you’ll feel better once your workout is complete.
Beware of Substitute Addictions
Everyone feels addicted to something, even if it’s just drinking a couple of cups of coffee in the morning. But if you’re a recovering alcoholic, you must be especially careful not to replace one harmful addiction with another.
For instance, focusing on fitness while you get sober is a worthy goal. But working out three hours a day, seven days a week is obsessive and unhealthy.
How to Get Sober
Don’t assume you will fail in your first attempt to get sober. Plan on success. If there are setbacks, deal with them as they come.
How long does it take sober? Only you and your treatment team can answer that. Be patient with yourself, but don’t make excuses.
It also helps to know what kind of things can trigger relapses. For instance, relationship problems can drive people to pick up the bottle again. Read our post on relapse triggers for more information.