Yes, living a sober life does require that you abstain from using drugs and/or alcohol. That’s because so much more goes into sobriety than just staining from a particular substance. When life gets difficult because of addiction, cessation from drugs and alcohol is the key to a better life. Someone who abstains from drugs and alcohol is giving themselves a chance at this better life that they are hoping for. Abstinence can really promote the emergence of a dry drunk rather than someone who trying to better their life in sobriety. Although the two words are similar in definition, the actions you take are different.

  • Read more to clarify the differences between the two terms to help you make the right decision.
  • He also used the breath alcohol ignition interlock device for vehicular travel.
  • Whether you take the recommendations of others or not, or whether you choose the road of complete abstinence, you must make peace with your own definition of sobriety.
  • This would probably reduce the risk of negative effects while still offering the positive support experienced by the majority of the clients in the study.
  • Some individuals may find success and fulfillment through abstinence, while others may thrive in a sobriety-focused lifestyle.
  • Joseph Gilmore has been in the addiction industry for three years with experience working for facilities all across the country.

For many people who get serious about recovery, recovery means sobriety, period. This is to say that recovery, for them, means complete abstinence from alcohol. For some people, it may also mean avoiding alcohol altogether, such as not attending parties or limiting time with loved ones who drink regularly. There is literally so many different ways to phrase being sober but not in sobriety.

Levels of Care in Drug and Alcohol Rehab Programs

Committing to being completely abstinent removes all doubts about what sobriety means to you and others. When you are in recovery, there can be no question that you are committed to a complete lifestyle, not just avoiding substances. No matter what anyone says, your version of sobriety is yours to define. There are plenty of people who have been through addiction, treatment, and have been sober or abstinent for years who can share their experiences with you and make recommendations. The Surgeon General can continue to issue warnings, and your doctor will tell you that smoking is dangerous for your health.

Is sobriety a gift?

Instead of missing connections, you become more vulnerable and present to your life. In this way, sobriety teaches you to be present and thankful for the moment: a true gift, indeed.

There is a feeling of freedom that results from this commitment where one does not feel hopeless or without choices. Combined with a consistent and aggressive disputing of urges to use, most find their messages to use either decrease to nothing or become infrequent and easily handled. It may not be easy to see now, but your life can be restored to where you are in control, your addiction and the urges will recede to an unpleasant memory. You don’t have to live in a constant battle with these painful, nagging urges. You have experienced enough consequences in your life that no one needs to tell you that you are fed up with your addictive behavior.

Health on a planet in crisis

Instead, it sentences them to think of themselves as addicts, people who can never be allowed—never allow themselves—to have any psychoactive substance again. Possibly, but one will benefit from being on guard for them, as they can reappear years later. Be ever vigilant, but ever hopeful and know that you can control your outcome; the choice is yours. If you are seeking advice on how to better your sobriety, we can help.

Ask yourself what were the excuses you gave yourself to use and dispute them. If you do slip, the outcome does not have to be an experience without worth, it can be a powerful learning experience. Forgive yourself, learn from it and remember that a commitment applies to what we plan for the future. First of all, as mentioned earlier, don’t make a commitment until you are firm in your path to sobriety. Second, realize a commitment to sobriety is not a commitment to be forever perfect.

Moderation or Abstinence?

Being able to separate the two will perhaps motivate individuals struggling with addiction to get sober and prepare them for possible treatment. One of the best and most effective ways to maintain sobriety and optimize recovery is to have the help of a recovery coach. Encinitas men who need assistance with staying sober can get the help they need at Casa Pacifica. Our services include coaching, sober companionship, and mentorship for those who are recovering from addiction to alcohol and other drugs. Abstaining from liquor or psychoactive substances is a physical action.

Such findings underscore the possibility that an interaction of CRF and neuroimmune systems is important in AUDs. To the extent that amygdala TLR4 and MCP-1 regulate anxiety of withdrawal or nonwithdrawal states, perhaps there is a link between behavioral and neurobiological mechanisms of alcohol seeking. In this regard Valenta and Gonzales (2016) reported that chronic ICV MCP-1 administration led to a persistent increase in operant self-administration of alcohol in rats.

Become motivated to make positive change

If alcohol is playing a central role in your life, you might find more success exploring sobriety. A key component of goal setting is also identifying what feels achievable. You know yourself and your drinking habits better than anyone, and putting thought into the decision can reveal powerful insights. It’s also important to remember that it’s not a permanent line between “moderate drinkers” and “abstainers.” You can always reevaluate your relationship with alcohol and revisit your goals. For the general population, the term sobriety often refers to not drinking any alcohol or consuming drugs. However, in the world of addiction recovery, sobriety has a much deeper meaning.