Just because you want to get sober doesn’t mean you know how to get sober. Even more importantly, just because you do something to further your sobriety today doesn’t necessarily mean your new-found sobriety will stick.
If you really want to quit your habit for good, you have to start by getting real about the extent and seriousness of your substance use disorder. While a strong will is important, addiction is a powerful thing, and most people need more than the desire to quit.
Whether you want to quit drinking on the weekends or you want to quit because you feel like you need alcohol to function, you will want to consider the tips on this list.
1. Open up to Others About Your Struggle
There are a lot of reasons why people choose not to open up to family members and friends. Opening up is even harder if you drink alcohol and suspect you may have a problem. However, it’s extremely important to share your struggle if you want to get and stay sober.
Support is a key role in how to get sober. If no one knows that you want to quit drinking, it will be extremely easy to pick up your drink of choice as soon as times get tough. If friends and family members know about your struggles and your goals, they can help keep you accountable so you can stay sober in the long term.
Choosing who you confide in is important. Choose people you trust and who truly care about your well-being. It doesn’t mean you have to tell everyone, either. It’s perfectly fine to fill just a few key people in and talk to them regularly about your recovery instead of telling everyone you know.
2. Discover and Avoid Your Triggers
Everyone has different triggers when it comes to alcohol abuse. Some may be tempted in social settings when friends are drinking while others may find that a stressful day at work drives them to drink.
A few common triggers among those who have a problem with alcohol include:
- Emotional distress, which could include anything from stress at work to the end of an important relationship.
- Peer pressure in situations when others are drinking.
- Testing boundaries to see if you can have just one drink without being tempted to drink more.
These general triggers are a good place to start, but the more specific you can get about the triggers that affect you, the better. For example, you may find that hanging around family who is drinking doesn’t make you want to drink, but the amount of alcohol you consume goes up exponentially when you hang out with your friends on Friday and Saturday night.
Once you have identified your triggers, put a plan in place to avoid them.
3. Sign up for an Intensive Outpatient Program
If you want to sober up quickly, and especially if you want to stay sober, you should consider signing up for an intensive outpatient program (IOP).
This type of program can provide you with a wide variety of resources that will help you get sober from the moment you enroll, all without the need to step away from your daily obligations.
Not only will you have access to addiction professionals and medically reviewed treatments that are proven to work, you will also participate in at least one support group. From skills-development groups that help you practice specific behaviors before trying them in the real world to relapse prevention groups that help you develop techniques to deal with high-risk situations, you’ll get support from others who understand your challenges better than anyone else.
Note, however, that IOPs may not be sufficient for people living with a severe alcohol use disorder. In those cases, inpatient treatment can be more useful because it provides 24/7 care. However, IOP may still provide essential care as a step down from a higher level of care.
4. Consider a Dual Diagnosis Program
A large part of how to get sober is to address underlying mental health issues. If you attempt to deal with your drinking problem without addressing mental health challenges that could be contributing to your problem, you’ll only find yourself sober in the short term.
Consider a dual diagnosis program if you’re also dealing with a co-occurring disorder like depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. A program like this involves:
- A psychiatric assessment
- Medication evaluation and management
- Group psychotherapy
- Family education
- Neuro-psychological testing and treatment
- Nutritional consultations
- Recreational therapy
- Illness education
- 12-step programs, like Alcoholics Anonymous
- Relapse prevention
- Links to community-based services
When you’re able to address the underlying mental health challenges that are contributing to your addiction, you’ll have a better chance of successfully tackling your drinking problem.
5. Get Crisis Care Services in an Emergency
If substance abuse and the chaos it causes have led to consider suicide, you should seek crisis care services. This level of care can provide you with a safe place when you feel desperate and it can provide you with time to process your emotions.
You’ll also receive around-the-clock care to monitor your symptoms. Group meetings, therapy sessions, and medication evaluations will help you work through your issues, while aftercare will ensure you have the resources you need to continue your sobriety journey after you are discharged from the center.
If you want to learn how to get sober, it’s about more than just wanting to sober up fast. A long-term approach and dedication are needed if you want your recovery to last for many years to come. Let Baton Rouge Behavior Hospital be there to help you. We offer a variety of programs to help you overcome your dependence on alcohol. Call 225-300-8470 or fill out our confidential contact form to ask about our outpatient and inpatient programs, as well as how they can be customized just for you.