What Is Sobriety Exactly & What Does it Mean?

Man choosing to say no to alcohol because he knows what is sobriety

Each month, in the United States, a little over 60 percent of people aged 12 and over report using alcohol or drugs. While not everyone who drinks alcohol abuses, more than 25 percent develop an alcohol abuse disorder. Around 20 million Americans struggle with a drug abuse disorder. 

A substance abuse disorder can affect a person’s entire life, from relationships with family to the ability to maintain employment and housing. A person struggling with a substance use disorder needs treatment to live a sober lifestyle and achieve sobriety. The first step to sobriety is almost always a rehab program

This guide examines the definition of sobriety and what it means for a person struggling with a substance abuse disorder.

What Is Sobriety?

In the strictest definition, sobriety is a state where a person doesn’t have any drugs or alcohol in their system. Sobriety is a temporary state that a person must choose to maintain over some time or their lifetime. 

Some people choose sobriety for religious reasons, while others simply don’t enjoy how alcohol and drugs make them feel. However, some people have a substance use disorder and need to choose sobriety to overcome their addiction. 

Some of the most commonly abused drugs that require a lifetime of sobriety to recover from include:

  • Alcohol
  • Cocaine
  • Opioids
  • Methamphetamines
  • Heroin
  • Steroids
  • Inhalants
  • Hallucinogens

Most, but not all, of these drugs are illegal in the United States. Using and holding these drugs can create legal problems for people struggling with addiction. A person who struggles with addiction and needs to choose sobriety might not realize that they’re struggling with addiction. 

Once a person hits a low where they want to live a more sober lifestyle, they’ll need to attend detox and rehab to build the skills to reach and maintain sobriety. There are many benefits for a person with a substance abuse problem once they achieve sobriety. 

What Are the Benefits of Achieving Sobriety?

For a person who struggles with a substance abuse disorder, the road to recovery and the goal is almost always sobriety. People who struggle with addiction fight the impulse to use their drug of choice for a lifetime, and they find themselves unable to partake in drugs or alcohol recreationally without relapsing into abuse. 

However, for people who achieve and maintain sobriety, there are many benefits, such as:

  • Rebuilding relationships with family and friends
  • Returning to hobbies and things they once enjoyed
  • Improved sleeping patterns
  • Better mental acuity and focus
  • Avoiding the risk of death due to an accidental overdose
  • The ability to maintain employment or attend school
  • Increase in disposable income (drugs and alcohol are expensive)
  • More energy
  • Avoiding future legal problems
  • Leading a healthier lifestyle
  • General health improvement
  • Fewer mental health issues

While sobriety isn’t always an easy state to reach for someone struggling with addiction, it comes with many benefits. A person abusing drugs and alcohol can focus on these benefits as they go through the necessary steps to achieve sobriety and maintain it for a lifetime. 

People in recovery can find long-term sobriety when they seek the support they need. Addiction treatment can help people find the support they need and buid their foundation of sobriety. Recovery from addiction is possible with the right tools and coping skills. 

Living in the Los Angeles area and needing a place to rest, recover, and be supported? Check out sober living offered by No Matter What Recovery! We provide gay-friendly rehab treatment for all of the LA area.

Why Sobriety Is the Best Option

Alcohol and drug addiction affect almost every aspect of a person’s life. While they might believe that they’re enjoying the temporary effects of alcohol or drugs more than they would sobriety, the truth is that sobriety is almost always the best and only option for a person struggling with substance abuse disorder. 

After achieving sobriety, the person can start rebuilding their life and improve their relationship with friends and family. The person is able to go back to work or school and begin to plan for their future. 

Depending on the drug and the length of addiction, they might experience long-term health issues, but many of these improve with sobriety. Also, without using the presence of drugs and alcohol in their systems, these people are no longer at risk for an accidental overdose. 

For a person who struggles with substance abuse disorder, sobriety is always the best choice. Continuing the usage of drugs or alcohol will only create new problems and issues. 

What to Expect in Treatment to Reach Sobriety

Treatment to reach sobriety almost always begins with a detox phase. During this phase of treatment, the patient stops using alcohol or their drug of choice. Most people stop the drug cold turkey, while some others might need medication to mitigate the worse of the withdrawal symptoms. 

Many people struggling with substance abuse disorder experience withdrawal symptoms during detox. The exact symptoms depend on the type of substance abused. Some symptoms are severe enough and life-threatening that the person must go to an in-patient program to be overseen by medical personnel during detox. 

Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Intense cravings
  • Shaking
  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Problems focusing
  • Hallucinations

After a person makes it through the worst of the withdrawal symptoms, the next phase of sobriety involves therapy that helps them build the skills they need to maintain sobriety. Treatment providers will develop treatment plans based on the needs of the specific person. This will help the person start on the right path to live a clean and sober life. 

This can be one-on-one therapy, family therapy, group therapy, or a host of other holistic approaches. During these sessions, the person struggling with addiction identifies their triggers and builds the tools necessary to remain sober. They also create a support system that helps them maintain their sobriety for a lifetime. 

Achieving Sobriety With No Matter What Recovery

No matter how long a person has struggled with a substance abuse disorder, sobriety is possible. The first step to gaining and maintaining sobriety is almost always detox and rehab. This helps the person struggling with a substance abuse disorder the chance to get the substance out of their system and begin to develop skills to avoid a relapse. There are many treatment programs to choose from. No Matter What recovery has a proven track record for supporting recovering addicts as they begin their sobriety journey. 

At No Matter What Recovery, we help patients take the steps necessary to reach sobriety and the tools to maintain it. Each member of our staff invests in our patient’s journey to sobriety with care and compassion. 

Contact us today to learn more about the options.