How Can You Get Sober From Drugs?

How to Sober Up From Drugs

If you are addicted to illegal or prescription substances, you must know how to sober up from drugs.

That is the only way to get your life back on track and avoid severe or even fatal problems.

Even if you are not addicted, you may need help getter sober.

Why? Non-addicted drug abuse can also have a serious, negative effect on your life.

Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to sober up from drugs.

Professionals ranging from your personal doctor to addiction specialists have the knowledge needed to help.

With their guidance, you can regain your sobriety no matter how badly addiction affects you.

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Drug Use and Drug Problems

Tens of millions of Americans use potentially addictive prescription medications. Most of these people follow their prescriptions and avoid problems. However, more than 16 million Americans misuse their medications. You can misuse a medication by taking it too often or in excessive amounts. You also take part in prescription drug misuse if you do things such as:

  • Use someone else’s medication
  • Crush you medication or do other things to speed up its effects

You are at risk for serious problems if you take any amount of an addictive street drug. Marijuana is the most common of these substances, even though this drug is now often legal to use. Other widely used street drugs include cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin.

If you are addicted to a prescription drug or street drug, you have a substance use disorder, or SUD. There are subtypes of SUD for each major drug category. For example, people addicted to amphetamines, methamphetamine or cocaine have a stimulant use disorder.

You can also be diagnosed with an SUD if you are not addicted. How is this possible? Even non-addicted drug abuse can seriously interfere with your ability to function. For this reason, such life-altering abuse is included in the substance use disorder definition

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Can You Tell If You Need Help

Is it possible to tell when you need to start thinking about how to sober up from drugs? Very often, the answer to this question is yes. You should certainly think about your drug use if you misuse an addictive prescription medication. You should also be concerned if you are involved in the use of addictive street drugs.

When doctors diagnose an SUD, they look for signs of addiction such as:

  • Loss of control over how often you use drugs, or how much you take
  • Reduced sensitivity to the effects of any given amount of drugs
  • Withdrawal symptoms that start if you cut back on drugs or stop taking them
  • A lifestyle built around drug use or related activities
  • Not being able to quit taking drugs after multiple attempts to break free

Signs of serious drug abuse include:

  • Going through social or relationship problems as a result of your drug use
  • Using drugs multiple times while doing something dangerous like driving
  • Taking enough drugs to be unable to keep up with your major obligations

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How to Sober Up From Drugs: First Steps

If you are wondering how to sober up from drugs, a common first step is talking to your personal physician. Today, many of these primary doctors have been trained to give drug screenings. Screenings serve several main purposes, including:

  • Assessing your level and pattern of drug use
  • Helping to determine whether you have an SUD
  • Determining how bad your symptoms are if an SUD is present
  • Helping your doctor guide you to the right resources for treatment

If you do not already have an SUD, you doctor may give you a brief intervention. That is the term for a short educational session about the dangers of your drug misuse. This session is designed to help you change and avoid developing diagnosable problems.

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How to Sober Up From Drugs: Drug Detox

If you have an SUD, you may need to enroll in drug detox, or detoxification, in order to get sober. Why? Detox provides a secure environment for people affected by addiction to stop using drugs. It also provides the medical expertise needed to safely make it through drug withdrawal.

What happens during detox? That depends on the drug or medication you are addicted to. There are specific detoxification options for substances such as:

  • A stimulant such as methamphetamine or cocaine
  • An opioid medication or street drug
  • An addictive tranquilizer or sedative

Everyone enrolled in a detox program receives care designed to keep them as healthy as possible. Some people also receive medication while going through the detox process.

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How to Sober Up From Drugs: Active Treatment

Completion of detox will leave you drug-free. However, this initial sobriety is not enough. To have a realistic chance at lasting sobriety, you must continue on to active drug rehab. Rehab helps you stay sober while you are still enrolled in treatment. It also teaches you techniques to remain sober once treatment comes to an end. Medication may be used as part of your rehab plan. Even if you do not receive medication, you will get crucial help from therapy or counseling.

What kinds of therapy will help you learn how to get sober from drugs and stay sober? Many options are available, including:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Family Behavior Therapy
  • Community Reinforcement
  • Contingency Management
  • 12-Step Facilitation

Your treatment team will match your therapy to your particular form of SUD.

 

Joining a Mutual Self-Help Group

It is common to join a mutual self-help group while still enrolled in rehab. In fact, the purpose of 12-step facilitation is to prepare you to join this kind of group. Self-help groups are beneficial because they allow you to establish peer relationships with others in recovery. These relationships provide extensive support for your long-term commitment to sobriety.

 

How To Sober Up From Drugs: Continuing Care or Aftercare

In detox and active treatment, you learn how to sober up from drugs. But this is not the end of your battle. You must also take appropriate steps to remain sober. A mutual self-help group will be a big plus. However, experts also recommend some form of continuing care or aftercare. This is the name for a follow-up program that gives you continued access to professional treatment. Continuing care will help you cope with the ups and downs of everyday life without returning to drug use.

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Learn More About How To Sober Up From Drugs

Learning how to get sober from drugs can be a major turning point in your life. In contrast, if you do not learn how to do this, you may find yourself trapped in addiction’s powerful grip. If you suspect that your drug use has gotten out of hand, today is the day to get help. Together, your primary doctor and addiction specialists will help you recover from even severe drug-related problems.

Have questions about how to sober up from drugs? Just turn to the professionals at Pathfinders. Our experienced staff will help you sort out exactly what you need to do to get started. And if you need to enroll in a drug treatment program, Pathfinders is standing by. No matter what kind of substance you are addicted to, you will find what you need in our full range of treatment services.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States – Results From the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health; Pages 15 and 20

https://www.campusdrugprevention.gov/sites/default/files/2019%20NSDUH.pdf

U.S. National Library of Medicine – MedlinePlus: Prescription Drug Misuse

https://medlineplus.gov/prescriptiondrugmisuse.html

American Psychiatric Association: What Is a Substance Use Disorder?

https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/addiction/what-is-addiction

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: A Guide to Substance Abuse Services for Primary Care Clinicians – Chapter 2: Screening for Substance Use Disorders

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64820/

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: A Guide to Substance Abuse Services for Primary Care Clinicians – Chapter 3: Brief Intervention

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64821/

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment – Physical Detoxification Services for Withdrawal From Specific Substances

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64116/#A85631

National Institute on Drug Abuse: Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment – A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition); Pages 39 -65

https://www.drugabuse.gov/sites/default/files/podat_1.pdf

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64116/#A85631

Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment: Continuing Care – What We’ve Learned and Where We’re Going

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2670779/

How Can You Get Sober From Alcohol?

How to Become Sober

If you think that you have been drinking too much alcohol, you may wonder how to become sober.

This is a crucial question to ask since many heavy drinkers are either addicted or in danger of becoming addicted.

Even without being addicted to alcohol, your drinking may cause you serious harm.

In fact, over 14 million Americans have diagnosable alcohol abuse problems.

If you fit into this category, you are far from alone.

If your drinking is out of control, you may feel down about the chances of ever getting sober.

But, with expert advice and help, you can achieve this crucial goal.

Just keep reading to learn more about how to become sober if you have drinking problems.

How Can You Get Sober from Alcohol? - Pathfinders Recovery Center - A woman is questioning, "How can you get sober from alcohol?" as she sits at her counter with another glass of wine.

Alcohol Use and Alcohol Problems

In the typical month, slightly more than half of all Americans over the age of 12 drink alcohol. You have the highest chances of being a drinker if you are between the ages of 18 and 25. However, alcohol use is widespread across age groups.

Most people do not drink in ways that endanger their health. Still, millions of Americans either:

  • Binge on alcohol and end up drunk in a maximum of two hours’ time
  • Engage in a dangerous pattern of heavy drinking

Young adults are the most likely to binge drink. Adults over the age of 25 are the most likely to drink heavily. Both binging and heavy drinking boost your chances of developing alcohol use disorder, or AUD. This is the official name for an illness that includes both alcoholism and damaging, non-addicted alcohol abuse. Other things that can increase your risks for this disorder include:

  • Starting to drink when you are 14 or younger
  • The presence of mental illness
  • Having a history of any kind of serious trauma
  • Belonging to a family with a history of alcoholism or alcohol abuse

You can avoid developing AUD by reducing your alcohol use or quitting altogether. You can also recover from this illness if you are already affected.

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Determining If You Need Help

Can you tell on your own if the question of how to become sober applies to you? In many cases, yes. For example, it is relatively easy to tell if you are a binge drinker. If you have a pattern of getting drunk in no more than two hours, you fit this definition. It usually takes men five alcohol servings, or drinks, to reach this threshold. For the average woman, it takes just four drinks.

You can also tell if you have a pattern of drinking heavily. Men do this whenever they consume at least four alcohol servings, or drinks, in a single day. Women do this whenever they consume at least three alcohol servings in a single day.

If you are already affected by alcoholism, you may have symptoms that include:

  • An inability to control when and how much you drink
  • The need to drink in increasing amounts before you feel alcohol’s effects
  • Creating a routine that puts a priority on drinking or drinking-related activities
  • Having a history of unsuccessful attempts to quit using alcohol
  • Going through alcohol withdrawal if you stop drinking

If you are already affected by non-addicted abuse, you may be affected by things such as:

  • Work, home, or school problems related to your drinking
  • A level of drinking that damages your ability to maintain relationships
  • A habit of driving while drinking or doing similarly risky things

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How to Become Sober: First Steps

When thinking about how to become sober, one important question is where to begin. Experts recommend starting by speaking with your primary care physician. While not addiction specialists, these doctors are excellent initial resources. Specific things your primary doctor can do include:

  • Assessing your general health
  • Seeing if your current drinking behaviors place you at risk for alcohol problems
  • Giving you a brief intervention that helps you change your risky drinking
  • Checking to see if you already have diagnosable AUD symptoms
  • Helping you understand your options if you do have AUD
  • Directing you toward suitable treatment resources if you need help

How to Become Sober: Alcohol Detox

If you are addicted to alcohol, you will need to go through detox when your recovery begins. During this time, you stop drinking and withdraw from the alcohol still in your system. Alcohol withdrawal is potentially risky and has side effects ranging from minor to severe or life-threatening. For this reason, you should always go through detox under the guidance of medical professionals.

Many people in alcohol detox receive some kind of medication to make the process easier. All people in detox receive supportive care. That’s the name for comfort- and safety-enhancing actions such as:

  • Making sure your vital signs are stable
  • Helping you stay hydrated
  • Feeding you a nutritionally sound diet
  • Using supplements to offset any major nutritional deficiencies
  • Helping to ensure that you rest and sleep

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How to Become Sober: Active Treatment

The quest for stable sobriety goes far beyond detox. Once alcohol is out of your system, you must enter an active treatment program. People in high-quality alcohol rehab receive two main forms of help while in treatment. First, they receive medication designed to:

  • Make it easier to avoid a relapse back into drinking
  • Diminish the appeal of taking a drink
  • Undo some the damage that alcohol has done to your system

Modern alcohol rehab also includes some form of behavioral counseling or therapy. Several different therapy approaches are known to help during alcohol recovery, including:

  • CBT, or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Family counseling
  • Marriage counseling
  • Motivational Enhancement Therapy

How Can You Get Sober from Alcohol? - Pathfinders Recovery Center - A group of individuals in residential rehab for alcoholism is discussing topics, such as: "How can you get sober from alcohol?"

Mutual Self-Help Groups

During and after treatment, enrollment in a mutual self-help group will also help you stay sober. The most famous drinking-related group is Alcoholics Anonymous. However, other options also exist. All self-help groups use a peer system to provide support and reinforce your commitment to sobriety.

How to Become Sober: Aftercare

When you complete treatment, you may no longer be asking how to get sober from alcohol. Instead, the pressing question becomes: How you can remain sober? For most people, a major factor in avoiding drinking is aftercare or continuing care. Aftercare programs keep you in touch with knowledgeable addiction specialists. In fact, help is often provided in a lower level of formal alcohol treatment. You can also support your efforts remotely with the help of smartphones, or computer sobriety apps.

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Learn More About How To Get Sober From Alcohol

If you suspect you have a drinking problem, you very well may be right. Or maybe someone else notices that you may have a problem. In either case, the best thing you can possibly do is seek help as soon as you can. Unless you take this critical step, you may be setting yourself up for major, damaging changes in your everyday life. No one should go through this kind of turmoil when professional help available.

A visit to your primary doctor will help determine if you are using alcohol in dangerous ways. It will also help determine if you currently have a diagnosable case of alcohol use disorder. If you do not have AUD, your doctor will help you avoid future problems. If you do have AUD, your doctor will help you get your recovery underway. Your path to sobriety will likely include detox, active treatment, and aftercare.

Have questions about how to become sober? The experts at Pathfinders will help you find the answers. Every day, we direct concerned drinkers toward resources that promote healthy change.

Pathfinders is also a top provider of treatment services for people with alcohol use disorder. Regardless of the seriousness of your AUD symptoms, our in-house programs will support your recovery. From detox to aftercare, we feature evidence-backed options for any situation.