How to Get Sober: Your Step-by-step Guide to Finding Treatment and Staying Clean

For those who struggle with addiction, it can often seem like there’s no hope at all.

Being trapped in a self-destructive cycle takes its toll on the addicted individual, ruining lives and relationships for as long as the addiction continues.

There is help available for those who are wondering how to get sober.

The question is this: what steps must be taken to bring the addict or alcoholic back to their former selves? There’s a long road ahead of the afflicted individual, but read on, and we’ll show you how recovery becomes possible.

First Up: Detoxification

For those who used physically addictive drugs, the first few days present unique challenges. Heavy sedatives like alcohol and opioids cause physical withdrawal symptoms which range from uncomfortable to life-threatening depending on the person’s history.

For most people, that means a medically-assisted detoxification is in order before any further steps can be made.

For those who’ve never been addicted, it’s often a good metaphor to compare the need for an addict’s drug of choice to hunger. The person’s body begins to physically need the drug in order to function as normal.

Alcohol and benzodiazepines have the most dangerous withdrawal symptoms. There’s a serious potential for life-threatening withdrawal symptoms like seizures and cardiac arrest in those with a long history of addiction.

A medically-assisted detox is the first step for most addicts on the road to recovery. The improvements to a patient’s long-term recovery are incredible.

Stabilization and management of withdrawals are key to further success for the addict.

Then Comes Inpatient

There’s a problem with detox: many patients feel better after a couple of weeks, and that can lead to relapses.

Thus, it’s recommended that a patient steps into an inpatient rehabilitation facility as soon as they exit detox. This will help enforce sobriety over the long run and is a key component of many treatment plans.

Programs range from four weeks to six months, and there are tons of options available. While all of them are different, they’ll share the following common structures:

  • A tightly scheduled environment
  • Drug education courses
  • Individual counseling
  • Group therapy
  • Introduction to the 12 Steps

These help to form a foundation for the individual who has lost the ability to function as a normal human being.

The key for the addict is to take everything they can get here. It can be a tedious process, but it provides a stable and safe environment to begin regaining life skills.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking of a rehab program as a cure.

The real work for the addict begins once they leave a controlled environment. Returning to the world can be frightening, and with a lack of oversight, it’s quite possible for an addict to relapse soon after exiting the facility.

There are much better options for the motivated patient than simply returning to the environment they used or drank in.

Sober Living Environments and Aftercare

Sober living environments, or SLEs, are one of the foundations of aftercare.

Think of them as sort of a rehab-lite. You’ll be able to leave and go to work, although there is generally a curfew, and will be able to generally get back to life while maintaining some of the benefits of still being in treatment.

SLE programs are often tied to outpatient aftercare programs. These are group sessions which take place regularly, usually with people who are in the same boat that you’re in.

All of this put together allows for the foundation to be further strengthened. The patient begins to learn how to function in the “real world” as opposed to the tightly controlled environments that make up the initial portions of treatment.

Combined with an aftercare program to keep up with drug education and therapy, they make an essential step towards achieving sobriety in the long term.

At this point, most patients will also work with a counselor on both relapse prevention and possibly a plan in case the worst does happen. A prolonged relapse can lead to beginning the process all over again, with the added pressure of feeling defeated.

Keeping It Up With Support Groups

Twelve Step groups often form the first real social network an addict has that’s not related to their drug of choice.

It’s strongly recommended that an individual attend regular meetings. For those who are under the dual-diagnosis classification, it’s also essential to follow up with a mental health professional and follow their treatment plan as well.

Even after leaving a sober living facility, there is a lot of work to be done.

For long lasting sobriety to be achieved, the addict will have to be mindful and use the tools given to them throughout treatment.

It’s far from a guarantee, but by following through with all of the above, the patient stands a much higher chance of maintaining their sobriety in the long term.

An addict or alcoholic is looking at a lifelong battle. These compulsive urges don’t go away overnight, and a single slip later can often lead to completely throwing away the things gained back in sobriety.

Each individual will be different, but as time goes on, it does get easier. Just don’t let that be an excuse to become complacent.

As long as you put the work in, you stand a good chance of staying clean in the long run.

Trying to Figure Out How to Get Sober?

We specialize in connecting clients with the care that they need. If you’re trying to figure out how to get sober and haven’t been able to make progress, it’s time to give a serious treatment plan a shot.

If you’re in trouble and know it, then it’s time to make a call.

Contact us and let’s see if we can’t get you started on a journey to a better self, free from addiction.

Real Client Testimonials

  • Before coming to coastal I was hopeless, helpless, and my family wanted nothing to do with me. It wasn’t the first detox I’d ever been to, but it was the only one who showed me so much love and compassion. They gave me hope. It’s hard to put into words the amount of gratitude I have for this facility. The employees were my family when I had none. The staff went out of their way to make sure not only were my physical needs taken care of, but my emotional needs as well. From the first phone call prior to admission, to helping me set up continuing care, they never missed a beat. Even going as far as to help me with my legal issues via Zoom court. This isn’t just a detox, they are the family I never had. All of the techs, especially Karen, are phenomenal. They will take the time to listen to you, laugh, and cry(if needed) with you. If you are reading this and you or your loved one is suffering like I was, go to Coastal Detox. The level of care is more than I could ever put into a review. It wasn’t the first detox I’d been to, but it has been my last; I owe them everything I have today, including my life.

    Travis B. Avatar
    Travis B.
    12/07/2020
  • Had a really good experience at Coastal. The staff really went above and beyond in helping me get in and gave me the respect l, space and care I needed after I first got there. As I started to fell better they encouraged me to take part in groups which helped get me out of my head and bring positivity and health to my thinking. They had a great massage therapist, who came daily and it was evident the nursing staff genuinely cared. Got to know some of the staff as well and I’m grateful for the cooks Joe and Chris. Those guys literally made us sirloins and pork chops for dinner. Also I gotta thank Chris and Chris for helping me get in and setting me up with a transition plan. Real grateful for that help, I’m not sure if it’s management intention to hire guys named Chris but they got a good thing going there. Overall, I’m clean and sober today and walking it out. Coastal gave me a base that set me up for the success that I’m walking in today

    Brandon B. Avatar
    Brandon B.
    1/16/2020
  • My family is very thankful for Coastal Detox. They have went above and beyond for my son a few times. Unfortunately he has needed their help more than once and they have ever turned their back on him, even when he was at his worst. Jeannie and Chris have been amazing and kept me informed through the entire process. They truly care about the addict and want to help them especially when it would be easy to give up on them. I had many detox facilities be rude and uncaring to me when I was searching for help for my son, but Coastal never did that to us. I don't know the names of all the team members that have helped my son but I know their are many and y'all are angels!! One day we will be able to pay it forward and help someone as you have helped us. Thank you for all you do!!

    Brenda A. Avatar
    Brenda A.
    1/01/2020
  • Can not say enough nice things about Coastal Detox & staff. Family member was there, told me five stars for the facility & all whom she interacted with. Said the facilities, ambience..., cleanliness, grounds, food, (think their chef is five stars), were all top shelf. All I interacted with personally & on the phone were patient, professional, responsive & caring. Kudos to so many: Jeannie Jones, Clinical Director whom I spent the most face to face time with: great oversight, patience & follow thru. Raquel Barker, Therapist was so understanding & on spot with her assessments/care. Kris Garrigus Admissions Director, another Coastal professional whom I cannot say enough nice things about, always so patient & responsive to my probably too frequent inquires. Not to be forgotten is Judy Tucker, Director of Operations she too so patiently "put up with me"
    I highly recommend Coastal Detox

    Susan C. Avatar
    Susan C.
    11/13/2019
  • Can not say enough nice things about Coastal Detox & staff. Family member was there, told me five stars for the facility & all whom she interacted with. Said the facilities, ambience..., cleanliness, grounds, food, (think their chef is five stars), were all top shelf. All I interacted with personally & on the phone were patient, professional, responsive & caring. Kudos to so many: Jeannie Jones, Clinical Director whom I spent the most face to face time with: great oversight, patience & follow thru. Raquel Barker, Therapist was so understanding & on spot with her assessments/care. Kris Garrigus Admissions Director, another Coastal professional whom I cannot say enough nice things about, always so patient & responsive to my probably too frequent inquires. Not to be forgotten is Judy Tucker, Director of Operations she too so patiently "put up with me"
    I highly recommend Coastal Detox

    Susan C. Avatar
    Susan C.
    11/06/2019

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