The Difference Between Being Clean and Sober

Engaging with alumni groups and peer-support groups like AA, NA, or SMART Recovery can help you maintain your hard-won sobriety. Looking back to the early nineteenth century, both drunkenness and substance use were viewed as moral failings and heavily stigmatized. There was no treatment offered for alcoholism or drug addiction, purely punitive actions like imprisonment.

does sober only refer to alcohol

By Buddy T

Buddy T is a writer and founding member of the Online Al-Anon Outreach Committee with decades of experience writing about alcoholism. Because he is a member of a support group that stresses the importance of anonymity at the public level, he does not use his photograph or his real name on sober house this website. If any area of your life is out of control, it will not help you maintain lasting sobriety. Although these new activities are healthy and productive, they can be a stumbling block to lasting recovery if they become a transfer addiction to fill the void left by the original addiction.

Become motivated to make positive change

According to this plan, men and women shouldn’t drink more than 3-4 days per week. Just like today, the olde version meant “in possession of one’s faculties.” Further back than that, the Latin word sobrius meant “without drunkenness.” But the word has come to mean a little bit more. Consider reaching out to a vocational rehabilitation counselor or career coach to help you update your resume, practice job interview skills, and locate jobs that match your skills and experience. Financial troubles and problems finding and keeping employment are major triggers for relapse, but it is possible to take baby steps and get your finances in order. The symptoms involved in PAWS can be a barrier to recovery if you’re not careful. In addition to being able to recognize them, it’s important to know when to seek help.

does sober only refer to alcohol

Sobriety as a mainstream concept is widely understood as totally refraining from a substance or behavior. The process described here is abstinence rather than sobriety, though. Sobriety per the textbook definition simply means not being intoxicated at any given point. Try to spend more time with people who you trust to respect your decision to reduce or eliminate drinking alcohol, rather than those who will judge or pressure you. If you’re questioning the role alcohol plays in your life, you might be curious about what it’s like to lead a “sober life” without alcohol.

Health benefits of sobriety

Bunmi is a recent graduate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a concentration in Human Services. She joined The Freedom Center team to provide counseling for substance use disorders and related mental health issues on an individual basis, facilitate group sessions, provide assessments, and provide support to the clinical staff. Bunmi is dedicated to helping her clients reach their full potential and build their toolkit of resources to support their long-term recovery. I began working in the treatment field for alcohol and drug addiction in January 2020, and it has provided me with a sense of purpose, as helping others has always been a passion of mine. I worked in construction prior to this field and needed a complete change in career as I was too suffering from substance addiction. I watch clients walk through the door, broken, and still remember when it was I who felt hopeless.

Sobriety is possible, but you have to want it more than anything in this world. You have to work on it every single day, and no matter what, you cannot pick back up. Learning to cope using healthy coping skills and getting professional help for any underlying mental health disorders are also very important steps to be completely sober. The main difference between abstinence and sobriety is that the latter includes a program for self-growth and actualization. These are both great ways to continue to learn about yourself and to get support from others who care about you.

The Difference Between Being Clean and Sober

There are also other ways to get involved in sobriety, such as searching for spirituality and learning how to meditate. Even simple things such as exercise and reading can help replace some of those negative habits with healthy new habits. Sobriety is about learning how to be a good friend, a loving son or daughter, and a real member of society. Sobriety is about learning how to deal with emotions like pain, embarrassment, disappointment and emerging stronger afterwards. Living life sober, we are given a new lease on life and we have the chance to dramatically change our path. If you are just abstaining from drugs/alcohol and are not actively living sobriety, you are missing out on the true rewards of recovery.

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