How to Get Sober: A Guide to Making the First Steps Towards Recovery

14.4 million adults had alcohol use disorder in 2018. Of these, only 7.9% received treatment. 

Without proper treatment, your alcohol use could impact your entire life. You could lose your job, antagonize friends and family members, or become one of the many people who die each year from alcohol poisoning.

Don’t take that chance. Instead, keep reading to learn how to get sober. With these tips, you can shove the booze aside and get back to your life. 

Learn how to get clean and stay clean to these crucial steps toward sobriety.

1. Recognize the Problem

The very first step you need to take toward sobriety is to recognize you have a problem. 

While this step sounds simple, it’s often the most difficult part of the process from people. Many people who suffer from alcoholism, alcohol use disorder, or another form of alcohol abuse don’t want to acknowledge their drinking is an issue. For these people, the process of getting sober seems too tedious. 

Other people don’t realize how much of an impact drinking can have on their life and relationships. 

Either way, you can ignore the pattern you’re creating. Alcohol use can cause you to alienate loved ones, lose all logic, and even lead to physical confrontations.

Try to approach the situation from an outside perspective. What if you had a friend or family member who was losing themselves to alcohol use? What would you say to them to help them realize their drinking is going too far?

Sometimes, it can help to attend an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting even if you’re not ready to admit you have a problem yet. Their outside perspectives can help you realize how destructive your drinking is to you and those around you. 

Once you recognize you have a problem, you can use the rest of these steps to learn how to get clean. 

Failing to recognize the issue, however, can set you on an unhealthy cycle. 

2. Ask for Help

You don’t have to learn how to get sober alone. In fact, getting outside help can ease the burden and ensure you maintain your sobriety.

In addition to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, there are also plenty of rehabilitation and treatment centers to choose from. You might need to consider different approaches based on the severity of your situation. 

If your alcoholism is severe, you might need medical help before you can fully detox.

Detoxing alone can become physically dangerous without medical supervision. Consider visiting a professional treatment center in order to detox under medical supervision. Doctors can also provide you with the medication you need to ease your detox symptoms. 

Medical supervision will ensure you’re safe throughout the detox.

Otherwise, cutting yourself off without assistance could cause dangerous withdrawal symptoms. These can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Shakes
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • High blood pressure
  • Fever
  • Heavy sweating
  • Confusion
  • Racing heart

There are also outpatient facilities available if you want assistance without needing to stay in a facility.

Asking for help from support groups, including Alcoholics Anonymous, can also provide you with the tools you need. A 12 step recovery program can teach you how to get sober and stay sober. You can attend these meetings without feeling judged for your situation.

3. Maintain Your Sobriety

Six people die every day from alcohol poisoning. Research also indicates that ongoing alcoholism is a factor in 30% of alcohol poisoning deaths. As you learn how to quit alcohol and drugs, you’ll also want to develop skills to maintain that sobriety.

Otherwise, all your hard work will end up for nothing. 

Struggling with addiction can feel like a lifelong battle. One of the steps you can take to avoid relapse is to cut negative influences from your life. That includes people you usually drink with as well as places like bars. 

Instead, develop new habits and form new friendships. Spend time with people who understand your desire to avoid substance abuse problems. Their support can keep you on the right track and help you avoid temptations.  

4. Find New Hobbies

Another way to learn how to get sober and maintain your sobriety is to discover new hobbies. 

Learning new skills keeps our minds busy. It also helps the brain form new neural pathways. These neural pathways are important after alcohol has negatively impacted you on a physical level. 

Without proper distractions, you might start to develop cravings. You could also develop other unhealthy habits to avoid your boredom and stress. 

Consider developing an exercise routine. 

Exercise encourages the body to release endorphins, which can improve your mood. 

Many people turn to alcohol to cope with stress. Stress can make it more difficult for you to sleep, which can impact your mood. By exercises, you can release the chemicals necessary to combat stress and avoid relapsing. 

5. Spiritual Guidance

Some people turn to spiritual guidance when they’re learning how to get clean. 

For example, consider taking up meditation. Daily meditation can help clear your mind, reduce your stress, and benefit the body as well. For others, however, spiritual guidance means religion, faith, or other practices. 

Set a little time aside each day to find the guidance you need. Taking a break from your stressors can help relax your mind, allowing you to focus on your body. 

6. Set Goals

As you discover how to get sober, it’s also important to set goals for yourself. Goals can help you focus on the path ahead instead of looking back.

However, don’t feel the need to set a huge, daunting goal. Instead, break that goal into smaller, easy-to-achieve segments. Creating milestones for yourself can keep you focused on moving forward. 

7. Look for Support

If your path to sobriety feels stressful or daunting, look for positive support systems around you. 

Everyone has bad, difficult days. That’s normal. Finding people you can trust to lift you up will help you get through those more times.

Then, you can focus on the positive days ahead!

How to Get Sober: 7 Steps for Getting & Staying Clean

With these seven steps on how to get sober, you can cut alcohol and addiction out of your life for good. Remember, you need to take your sobriety day by day. With these steps and a support system, you’re on your way.

Explore the Addiction section of the blog for more helpful tips for staying sober.