How to Begin the Process of Getting Sober
If you’re thinking about getting sober, think about this: More than 70,000 Americans died from a drug overdose in 2019.
Are you sure you want your family and friends to go through your death? Even worse, do you want to take them on your journey through addiction to rock bottom and beyond?
Instead of asking questions like that, why not ask how to get sober fast, or how long does it take to get sober?
Instead of wondering how to get sober quick, it’s important to think more about the long-term.
Are you ready to dive in? Keep reading to see if you have what it takes to do the right thing.
Are You Having a Hard Time Admitting Addiction?
Most people don’t admit to having a problem with substance abuse or having an addiction. There are symptoms and events in life that together provide clear signs.
Things such as:
- Frequent, powerful, and quick mood swings
- Disrupted sleep patterns
- Unexplained weight loss or gain cycles
- Being secretive with loved ones and friends
- Fiscally irresponsible decisions
- Radical changes in social circles
- Repeated unexplained outings, often with a sense of urgency
- Equipment and tools for weighing or taking a substance
- Excessive and above-average tolerance to a substance
- Experience withdrawal symptoms when separated from a substance for a prolonged period
You’re probably wondering if you can change how things are. You also might be wondering if people can forgive you and if you can forgive yourself.
Fortunately, the answer is yes. You can forgive yourself and so can they.
How to Get Help
There are five good ways to ask for help:
- Reach out to a doctor or addiction specialist
- Write a letter or an email about what you need and your feelings about sobriety
- Reach out by phone or chat to a helpline, chatroom, or rehab center
- Look for those who’ve overcome what you’ll have to overcome
- Talk to someone you trust — not someone you take part in substance abuse with
It’s important to start with honesty and keep that through the whole process. Likely, honesty has been running a little low in your relationships to this point. It’s important to re-establish that trust.
Have a plan for getting sober and staying sober. That means having a plan for triggers and getting the help you need from others to remain sober.
Choose the right time for the conversation that will start things off with your loved ones. They may be frustrated or disappointed, but choosing the right time will help them be on your side. Likely, they already know what you’ve been trying to hide and this could bring relief.
When you’re in this conversation, tell them your plan and be open to advice, suggestions, and even criticism. It’s easier said than done, but you should recognize that they probably have a lot of emotions and things to say about it too.
It’s an emotional time for everyone involved, not only yourself.
What Are Your Motivations for Getting Sober?
Getting sober requires motivation and priorities to be assessed and rearranged.
Ultimately, this won’t happen (for long) without a firm desire and decision on your part to be sober.
A structure must be built on a foundation. Getting and staying sober is no different. If your desire to become sober is strong, you can reach that milestone.
This is why having a good motivation to get sober is the first step, even before the decision.
Even if you have already decided to become and stay sober, there are some good questions to keep in front of you any time you decide to fall back into your old lifestyle.
Why do I want to be sober? What do I have in my life that I should live my best life for? For many people, these things include:
It may not necessarily be in that order, but many people have hope for a better life at the very least.
Most people want to have a better relationship with their family and friends, and better health. Still more want to have a good relationship with their creator through practicing their faith in good conscience.
How Long Does It Take to Get Sober
How long it takes to get sober depends on quite a few things. By no means comprehensive a list of things that can affect the time and outcome are:
- The type of drug(s) abused
- Drug history
- Length of time drugs were abused
- Your treatment history
- Medical issues
- Family history
- Current medications
Incidentally, these are things that are usually on intake forms for admission to a treatment facility.
Initial sobriety will take about 6-8 hours for alcohol, which is longer than you typically might be “drunk.” Withdrawal on the other hand has symptoms peaking from 24-72 hours after, and reduce from there.
The physical symptoms of withdrawals fade fairly quickly, whereas the emotional symptoms continue for quite some time. Some of the physical symptoms of withdrawal are:
- Extreme fatigue
- Shakiness and tremors
- Delirium tremens (DTs)
The time of a rehab program’s duration could be as long as 30 days, to 90 days, or even more. Because your brain is used to dealing with things a certain way, its pathways have been altered by the drug or alcohol over time. You need an extended period of training and observation to help you retrain your brain.
Triggers to Discover and Avoid
There are many triggers for substance abuse, but there are ways to avoid or manage the top five.
What are the top triggers? Generally, they are:
- Places and people associated with addictive behavior (including certain family members)
- Negative emotional states
- Tasting, feeling, seeing, or smelling the object of your addiction
- Moments of celebration
It could sound reasonable that sad or distressing moments would drive one back to addictive behavior. It may sound counter-intuitive that celebration could be a trigger, as a positive emotion.
The common factor is that we may be in such an exaggerated emotional state (good or bad) that we cannot rely on ourselves to make good decisions as we are used to.
Having a plan for moments like this will help you through it. Avoidance is not a long-term solution, but learning how to manage these times appropriately is.
Getting Sober: Challenge Accepted
Getting sober is hard to do, but possible with the right help.
There’s a variety of services that House of Freedom offers to help you deal with rehab and addiction.
House of Freedom can provide long-term assistance you need on your path to wellness. Our philosophy is that addiction is a primary illness of addiction. It’s a progressive and ongoing illness with a progressive and ongoing recovery process.
Our vision is one of a multifaceted therapy of prevention, intervention, and aftercare.
Want to know more? Contact us today to speak with us about your addiction, or to help someone you know.