What is Sobriety? 10 Tips to Stay Sober

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What is sobriety” is a question that means different things to different people.

One meaning of sobriety is the state of abstaining from the use of alcohol and drugs. A broader sobriety definition involves an individual making a conscious decision to break free from the cycle of addiction and embrace a substance-free lifestyle.

Today, you will discover:

  • What does sobriety mean?
  • What is the AA definition of sobriety?
  • How to cope with being sober if you are reluctant about committing to recovery.
  • What is the best way to get sober?
  • How to become sober in Ohio.

Sobriety Defined: Textbook vs. AA Definitions

The definition of sobriety can vary depending on the context in which it is used. What is considered sober from a textbook perspective is the absence of alcohol or drug use and maintaining a substance-free lifestyle. This definition of sobriety focuses on abstinence as the primary goal and emphasizes the physical and physiological aspects of recovery and sobriety.

AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) is a widely recognized mutual support group for those struggling with alcohol addiction which offers its own unique definition of alcohol sobriety. In AA, being sober from alcohol (and drugs) is not limited to abstinence, but encompasses a holistic approach to recovery. AA defines sobriety as refraining from alcohol use while also actively working on personal growth, embracing spiritual principles, and participating in a supportive fellowship. It places a strong emphasis on the twelve steps, a set of guiding principles to help individuals achieve and maintain sobriety.

Both definitions share the common goal of achieving a substance-free life but approach it from different perspectives. The textbook definition focuses on the physical aspect, while AA’s definition includes a broader spiritual and behavioral transformation.

Ultimately, the choice of how to define and pursue alcohol or drug sobriety is a personal one. It’s essential to find a definition and approach that resonates with you and supports your long-term recovery goals. Seeking guidance from addiction professionals and exploring different recovery paths can help you find the right definition and strategies that work best for you as you strive to become sober.

A group of sober people with their arms around each other to represent getting sober and staying sober in Ohio recovery centers.

10 Tips for Getting Sober from Drugs & Alcohol

Achieving sobriety from drugs and alcohol is a transformative journey that requires commitment, support, and effective strategies. Here are ten tips to help you if you want to know how to get sober again and how to thrive in sobriety:

  • Make a firm commitment to sobriety: Dedicate yourself to the decision of getting sober and prioritize your well-being above all else. Remind yourself of the reasons why you want to quit and the positive changes you envision for your life.
  • Engage with professional help: Reach out to addiction treatment professionals who can provide guidance and support together with evidence-based therapies tailored to your specific needs. Professional assistance significantly increases your chances of successful recovery.
  • Build a sober support system: Surround yourself with friends, family members, and support groups who are supportive of your journey to sobriety and can provide encouragement and accountability.
  • Create a sober environment: Remove triggers and temptations from your surroundings. Get rid of any drugs, alcohol, or paraphernalia in your home, and avoid environments or social circles that promote substance use.
  • Create healthy coping mechanisms: Develop healthy coping mechanisms that can help you manage stress, cravings, and triggers. This might include engaging in hobbies, practicing mindfulness or meditation, exercising, or seeking therapy.
  • Practice self-care: Prioritize self-care activities that promote physical, mental, and emotional well-being. This can involve getting enough sleep, maintaining a nutritious diet, engaging in regular exercise, and engaging in activities that bring you joy and fulfillment.
  • Set realistic goals: If you are unsure how to enjoy sobriety, set small, manageable goals for yourself. Celebrate small wins as they reinforce your progress and boost your motivation.
  • Stay engaged in recovery activities: Stay actively involved in your recovery by attending support group meetings, therapy sessions, or participating in aftercare programs. Engaging with others who are on a similar path can provide inspiration and valuable insights.
  • Embrace relapse prevention strategies: Learn about relapse prevention techniques and implement them into your daily life. These may include recognizing triggers, developing an emergency plan, seeking help during difficult times, and learning from past mistakes.
  • Celebrate milestones: Acknowledge and celebrate milestones in your recovery journey. Each day, week, or month of sobriety is an accomplishment worth recognizing. Reward yourself with meaningful rewards that do not involve substance use.

Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Addiction

When seeking help for drug and alcohol addiction, there are various treatment options available to address your specific needs. Treatment can be provided in both inpatient and outpatient settings, depending on the severity of your addiction and individual circumstances.

  • Inpatient treatment: Inpatient or residential treatment involves staying at a specialized facility for 30 to 90 days or more. This type of treatment offers a highly structured and supportive environment, with round-the-clock care and supervision. Inpatient programs provide a comprehensive range of services, including medical detoxification, individual and group therapy, counseling, and holistic treatments. Residential rehab is especially beneficial for those with severe addictions, co-occurring mental health disorders, or indviduals who require a more intensive level of care.
  • Outpatient treatment: Outpatient treatment allows individuals to receive addiction treatment while living at home and maintaining their daily routines. This option provides greater flexibility, making it suitable for those with milder addictions or specific personal or professional commitments. Outpatient programs may include individual therapy sessions, group counseling, psychoeducation, and other evidence-based therapies. The frequency and duration of outpatient sessions vary depending on the treatment plan and progress. PHPs (partial hospitalization programs) and IOPs (intensive outpatient programs) offer more intensive and immersive outpatient treatment.
  • MAT (medication-assisted treatment): MAT is an evidence-based approach used to treat opioid and alcohol addiction. It combines FDA-approved medications, such as methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone, with counseling and behavioral therapies. MAT helps manage withdrawal symptoms, reduces cravings, and stabilizes brain chemistry, increasing the chances of successful recovery. It is often provided in outpatient settings, where healthcare professionals closely monitor medication usage and provide ongoing support.
  • Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy, informally known as talk therapy, is a vital component of addiction treatment. It involves working with a licensed therapist to explore and address the underlying factors contributing to addiction. Different types of psychotherapy, such as CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy), DBT (dialectical behavior therapy), and motivational interviewing may be employed to help individuals develop coping strategies, change negative thought patterns, and develop healthier behaviors.
  • Counseling – individual and group: Individual counseling provides a safe and confidential space to address personal challenges, explore emotional issues, and work on specific treatment goals. Group counseling brings individuals with similar struggles together in a supportive setting, fostering a sense of community and shared experiences. Both forms of counseling offer opportunities for personal growth, peer support, and the development of essential skills for recovery.
  • Holistic treatments: In addition to traditional therapies, holistic treatments are gaining recognition in addiction treatment. These approaches recognize the interconnectedness of mind, body, and spirit and aim to promote overall well-being in sobriety. Holistic treatments may include mindfulness and meditation practices, yoga, art therapy, acupuncture, nutrition counseling, exercise, and other complementary therapies. These practices can help individuals reduce stress, manage cravings, improve self-awareness, and enhance overall physical and mental health.

Remember, the most effective treatment plans are tailored to individual needs and may combine different approaches to address the complex nature of addiction. Consult with addiction professionals to determine the most suitable treatment options for your unique situation.

a woman looks out at a sunset to represent achieving sobriety at Ohio Recovery Centers.

Get Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Addiction at Ohio Recovery Centers

In your pursuit of sustained addiction recovery, Ohio Recovery Centers is here to provide personalized addiction treatment programs tailored to your specific needs. Whether you are struggling with addiction to illicit drugs, alcohol, or prescription medications, we have comprehensive solutions to help you with getting sober.

Extensive research indicates that intensive outpatient treatment can be just as effective as residential rehab for mild to moderate addictions. At Ohio Recovery Centers, we offer flexible and affordable outpatient treatment options without compromising the quality of care you receive. Our programs are designed to fit your schedule and lifestyle while ensuring that you receive the necessary support and resources for successful recovery.

Choose from our range of programs at our Cincinnati treatment facility, including IOPs (intensive outpatient programs), PHPs (partial hospitalization programs), and specialized dual diagnosis treatment programs for addictions with co-occurring mental health conditions. We understand that each individual’s journey is unique, and our treatment plans are tailored to address your specific challenges and goals.

Our integrated approach combines pharmacological, behavioral, and holistic therapies to provide a science-backed foundation for your recovery. You will receive comprehensive care that equips you with the necessary tools and strategies to prevent relapse, cope with triggers, and maintain long-term sobriety. Additionally, if ongoing therapy is required, we provide access to continued support and resources to ensure your well-being beyond the treatment program.

Take the first step towards a healthier and more fulfilling life by contacting our admissions team today at 877-679-2132. Let Ohio Recovery Centers be your partner on the path to lasting recovery from drug and alcohol addiction.

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Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been working in the addiction industry for half a decade and has been writing about addiction and substance abuse treatment during that time. He has experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.
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Christopher Glover CDCA

My name is Christopher Glover, and I am from Cincinnati, Ohio. I am currently in school and working to grow in competence to better support our community. As a recovering individual I know the struggles that you or a loved one can go through and that there is help for anything you may be struggling with.

The hardest part is asking for help and we are here as a team to best support you and your decision to start your journey towards a better future. Connect with Chris on LinkedIn

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Amanda Kuchenberg PRS CDCA

I recently joined Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers as a Clinical Case Manager. I am originally from Wisconsin but settled in the Cincinnati area in my early 20s.  My career started in the fashion industry but quickly changed as I searched to find my drive and passion through helping others who struggle with addiction. 

As someone who is also in recovery, I wanted to provide hope, share lived experience, and support others on their journey.  I currently have my Peer Recovery Support Supervision Certification along with my CDCA and plan to continue my education with University of Cincinnati so I can continue to aid in the battle against substance addiction. Connect with Amanda on LinkedIn.

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Patrick McCamley LCDC III

 Patrick McCamley (Clinical Therapist) is a Cincinnati native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2019. Patrick received his bachelors degree in psychology from University of Cincinnati in 2021 and received his LCDC III (Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2022. Patrick has worked in Clinical Operations, Clinical Case Management, and Clinical Therapy throughout his career.

Patrick has tremendous empathy and compassion for the recovery community, being in recovery himself since 2018. Patrick is uniquely qualified to be helpful because of the specific combination of his academic background and his own experience in recovery.

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Bill Zimmerman CDCA

Bill Zimmerman is a Greater Cincinnati Area native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2018. Bill received his (Chemical Dependency Counselor Assistant) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2020.

Bill has worked in Clinical Operations in both support and supervision, and Program facilitating and 12 step recovery support during his career. Bill has a passion for the recovery community, having been in recovery himself since 1982. Connect with Bill on LinkedIn

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Taylor Lilley CDCA, PRS

Growing up in Louisiana with addiction running rampant on both sides of my family. A life away from drugs and alcohol seemed impossible for someone like me. I remember what it was like sitting across from someone thinking there is no way they could ever understand what I was going through.

Sharing my experience offers a credibility and a certain type of trust with clients that only someone who has walked down this road can illustrate. To immerse myself further into the field of addiction, I am currently studying at Cincinnati State for Human and Social Services.  I hope I never forget where I came from, if I can do it, so can you!

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Thomas Hunter LSW

Hello my name is Thomas Hunter. I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. I am a licensed social worker.In my scope of practice I have worked in the areas of mental health and recovery for thirty years. The clients I have worked with in my career have ranged in age from seven to seventy.

I strive each day to serve my purpose of helping those in need and I believe I do so by utilizing all of my experiences to accomplish my goal of supporting those who desire to establish their sobriety and maintain it in their recovery. Connect with Thomas on LinkedIn.

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Mary D.Porter,LICDC

 My name is Mary D. Porter. I received my Masters of Social Work in 2008 from The University of Cincinnati. I received My Licensed Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor Licensure in 2001. I retired from The Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center on April 14, 2014. Currently, I am the Associate Clinical Director for The Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers in Cincinnati.. Due to the fourth wave of the Opioid Epidemic in 2019,  I decided to enter back into the workforce to assist the addicted population.

The overdoses were astounding and I wanted to help.  I consider myself  to be an advocate for the addicted population. My compassion, resilience, empathy, wisdom, knowledge, experience and  love I have for this forgotten population goes beyond words. I consider what I do for the addicted population as a calling versus a “career,” because I too was once an “addict and alcoholic.” Today I am 45.5 years alcohol and substance free.

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Ben Lemmon LCDC III

Hello, my name is Ben Lemmon, and I’m the Vice President and Clinical Director at Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers. I’ve been working in the addiction and mental health field since 2013 and decided to enter the field after overcoming my own challenges with addiction.

When I first meet a client, I always explain to them that the reason we are meeting is because they are not capable of obtaining or maintaining sobriety, and my goal is to create a person that can maintain sobriety. I believe a person’s personality is made up of their thoughts, feelings and actions and my job is to help clients identify the thoughts, feelings and actions that have them disconnected from recovery and provide them with the tools to live a healthy and happy life. Connect with Ben on LinkedIn