Making Sense of Sobriety

What is sobriety? According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the definition of sobriety is simply not being intoxicated. Furthermore, the manual explains that sobriety is more about the absence of drinking problems, not about abstinence.

This distinction between abuse and abstinence is important in the field of addiction treatment. What it implies is that sobriety is an ongoing effort to overcome the problems associated with drinking. This goes beyond a simple self-mandate to stop drinking. Through treatment, individuals can manage the chronic disease that addiction is and maintain sobriety. Mere abstinence doesn’t get at the root causes of addiction, its triggers, and the often unhealthy coping mechanisms people use. Fortunately, Northern Illinois Recovery Center offers a wide range of treatment programs for substance use disorder. Whether someone is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, our therapeutic approach can help establish a recovery that lasts.

What is Sobriety?

Regardless of the clerical definition of sobriety, people often apply the concept in broad ways and powerful and effective ways. The point here is not to get the definition exactly right. What’s more at stake is understanding that sobriety is essential in recovery from addiction. Let’s dig a little deeper into possible ways to understand and apply sobriety with that in mind.

Living Sober: Having the Right Mindset

Addiction treatment addresses common mental health issues that are associated with addiction. Also, treatment specialists guide clients through holistic therapy to heal the mind, body, and soul.

Improving the mind on a clinical level helps produce a mindset that prepares you for long-term sobriety. Embracing wellness strategies such as fitness and nutrition promotes mental health as well as your therapy sessions. So, yes, sobriety is a state of mind.

Making a Lifelong Commitment to Your Well-Being

Your commitment to sobriety begins once you admit that you need help for addiction. If you are motivated to go through detox and rehab, your commitment strengthens with each passing day. Commitment involves action, integrity, and doing whatever it takes to stay sober.

This means taking tangible steps, including:

  • Take responsibility for your addiction and do something about it
  • Participate in therapy and be willing to listen and learn
  • Complete detox and rehab
  • Attend your support group or 12-step meetings
  • Put strategies into place that prevent a relapse 

Also, form a support network that includes friends, family, mentors, therapists, and support groups. Set yourself up for success through personal strategy and action that fits the needs of your definition of sobriety.

Turning All Areas of Your Life Around

For some people, the definition of sobriety includes changing your life – not just dealing with the addiction. Think about all of the circumstances that led you into addiction. They could have included depression, bad nutrition, stress, low-income family relationships, finances, lack of exercise, or exposing yourself to bad influences. Maybe you frequented the bars a bit too often.

If you are truly going to recover, you need to take a life inventory and change everything that led to the addiction. This may be leaving your job, getting new friends, joining the gym, or getting treatment for a mental disorder. However, sobriety doesn’t happen until you address all of the underlying factors that led to your addiction.

Addiction Recovery Through Northern Illinois Recovery

By understanding the difference between abstinence and sobriety, individuals and those who care about them can take the important first step to achieve it. Northern Illinois Recovery Center can help you every step of the way. We offer comprehensive detox for all types of addictions as well as an array of therapies to meet the specific needs of each individual. To find out more, call us today at 855.786.1978.