What are Some New Definitions to Describe a Sober Recovery?

Is being “sober” the same as sober recovery?  No, the term, “sober,” was used in the Old Millennium!  In the previous century, if a person was sober, it usually meant they hadn’t had a drink for 24 hours— not 24/7!  Looking back, it’s mind-boggling that people would celebrate anyone for not drinking for only a day.

Any New Millennium Sober Recovery Definitions & Methods?  

Yes! In this New Millennium, there are lots of modern-day research studies, focusing on substance abuse problems. The researchers have found, that quitting any substance, for barely one day—or even months, is not a full “clean & sober recovery.”  Most people will now agree that substance abuse problems cannot be solved by people just “abstaining’ for short periods. These days, the focus has shifted from mere abstinence.

The goal now is getting to the root of any problems that trigger substance abuse. Then clearing those triggers to find lasting sober recovery is possible. And, as the times have changed, the definitions of abstinence, sobriety, and sober recovery have changed.

How is Clean & Sober Recovery different than “Sobriety”?

Abstinence (aka “Sobriety”) means that a person is currently not using any drugs or alcohol.  Sobriety usually implies one has abstained for a longer time. Then there is a term “Sober Recovery,” which is defined by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):  which says “’Clean & Sober Recovery’ means all four main parts of life:  health, home, community, and purpose are well balanced.”  Please see SAMHSA’s links, if you want to see their working definitions of “Recovery,” including “Sober Recovery” and “Abstinence.”

What is the ‘Four-By-Four’ Approach to Achieve Sober Recovery?

This holistic lifestyle called ‘Clean & Sober Recovery’ happens by harmonizing one’s life with what we’ve coined the ‘four-by-four’ approach.  This four-by-four approach to Sober Recovery doesn’t mean to clobber someone over the head with a four-by-four!  This four-by-four approach to achieving Sober Recovery simply means balancing four aspects of life: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual—with another four main parts of life:  health, home, community, and purpose.

 Sober Recovery’s four-by-four approach doesn’t mean that everything in one’s life will be completely squared-away.  People who’ve achieved a Sober Recovery keep moving upward and onward—even if there are temporary setbacks.  

Balance is Key for a ‘Four-By-Four’ Sober Recovery Approach

Yes, usually, when the ‘four-by-four’ parts of living one’s life are balanced, one has a better chance to obtain a true, sober recovery.  The reasoning is when aspects of the four parts of life are out of balance—these can and will bleed into all other parts. So, if any aspect of one’s life is out of balance, then other parts usually spiral out of control, as well.  

Say that people are using drugs or alcohol, and they are enjoying the benefits, at first…. But, what happens, when this “fun part” of life starts taking priority over all the other parts of life? One starts missing work, neglecting chores, or missing school—sometimes, not getting out of bed.  You’d probably agree, this person’s life is out of balance—and this person dependent on drugs or alcohol needs help!  

So, does Total Abstinence equal a Sober Recovery?

We’ve all seen people who have stopped cold turkey—sudden “abstinence.”  Sometimes, but very rarely, does this method of quitting alcohol or drugs work for the long-term.  Many times, these people are known as “dry drunks,” and they might be the most miserable people on the planet!  These people may be sober in every sense of the word; they do not seem happy.  Yes, they are sober, all right, but they are not working towards a sober recovery.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Sometimes, these newly ‘sober’ people start preaching about how great they are doing, simply because they’ve abstained from using drugs or alcohol!  But their message falls on deaf ears.  Why is this?  Everyone can see that these people are still troubled.  Troubled by what, exactly? One is potentially tormented by anything—from physical ailments, mental illness, emotional traumas, to spiritual fears.  And, if everyone could find easy answers to overcome their fears, demons, “dark thoughts”, and bad habits—probably everyone would stop abusing substances and be on their way to a sober recovery.  

Does Holistic (Whole-istic) Living Help Achieve a Sober Recovery?

Yes, treating the whole person (holistically, meaning, all parts) will help one achieve “Clean & Sober Recovery”.  The holistic viewpoint is to improve and manage one’s life, by harmonizing the four-by-four parts of life.  So, if a person is living life in Sober Recovery, this can also be mean that a person is living a more healthy, holistic (whole-istic) way of life.  Sober recovery involves treating the whole person, not just treating outer symptoms—nor by ‘taking a break’ from drug and alcohol abuse.  

Does Healthier Living Speed up Sober Recovery?   

Yes, most likely healthy living will help speed up your sober recovery process. After you decide to employ wholesome & wholistic sober recovery methods (whether traditional or non-traditional) you might even begin to enjoy your new holistic lifestyle.  On the flip side, if you continue abusing any substances, then your chances in sober recovery diminish.  

If you continue to ingest or inhale toxins, it’s harder to keep a clean and sober recovery.  If you have been abusing drugs or alcohol for years, then a detox period can take longer.  And, drinking clean water, eating healthier foods, exercising, and breathing cleaner air would probably help you feel much better, much sooner!

Also, you may also need professional psychotherapy or treatment plans. That is if you have been abusing drugs or alcohol for a long time.  That’s why a good therapist can be useful to provide you with the plan that’s best for you. They help you get to the root of your traumas.  If you have been feeling depressed or anxious for a long time, you should get a proper diagnosis. They’ll prescribe the appropriate medications or psychotherapy, so you can finally get some relief. Even, if you detox, too quickly, you might feel worse for a while and need help, coping with this process. Therefore, it is best to find the right therapist, detox, or treatment centers: to help clear your mental, emotional, and spiritual feelings. This way, you can start your sober recovery—living life—not keep reliving the past.

Can Sober Recovery happen like Magic—without an Action Plan?

No, sober recovery does not happen like magic! Sober recovery requires your participation, even if you an excellent support team! Also, if you have a unique caregiver, who works hard to save you—if you’re hell-bent on abusing drugs, then your chances of a sober recovery are slim to none.  So, even if everyone else in the world wishes you the best and cater to your every need—if you don’t want a better life for yourself, then it is challenging for anyone else to help you.  What’s the bottom line? Actions speak louder than words. Once again, sober recovery does not happen like magic!

Thinking about sober recovery and wanting sober recovery are pleasant thoughts, but until you take action, they are just thoughts and dreams.  That means you have to stand up and make an effort! You need to take your first steps (even if they are baby steps) in your search for a better life of sober recovery.

Finding What Works For You 

Also, if one isn’t mentally or emotionally stable, then these issues may need to be addressed, before starting an addiction program—or vice versa.  Plus, if you find that you are angry most of the time, you might need to attend anger management classes—so you don’t hurt others or spend time in jail.

It is essential to do the right treatments in the proper order, to obtain a long-term sober recovery.  

Everyone is unique, so what works for one person, usually doesn’t work for another.  That’s why it can be quite a journey of self-discovery; it can become a life-long quest to find the best way to sober recovery.  That is the reason that there are inpatient facilities, sober living facilities—both short term and long term facilities. And, there are also sober living communities, which center around the idea that people need long-term facilities to stay sober.  However, always keep in mind that abstaining is only the first step to taking back your life—when starting on the path of sober recovery, and your new way of living life.

How does Physical Environment & Health Affect Sober Recovery?

The physical environment can easily affect one’s physical health.  (We are not just talking about cleaning the house or moving furniture around!)  If one isn’t in good physical condition, then it is difficult to keep a good mental attitude and maintain sober recovery.

Sometimes, addicts are “a product of their environment.”  Who could blame them, if they grew up in an abusive family? What if they’ve ever known were violent or mean people?  Sometimes, these people have turned to drugs and alcohol—even at a young age—to tune out insults and violence all around them.  Day in, and day out, maybe these people became addicts after watching their abusive parents, who’d modeled bad habits. Then, they repeated the same vicious cycle, by copying their parents’ bad behaviors.

Can Addicts Change Habits with the Proper Sober Recovery Plan?

Yes, definitely!  But, if anyone’s had to endure family members’ abusive behaviors for a lifetime, then it’s usually not easy to change the vicious cycle of substance abuse—to reach sober recovery.  It’s especially tricky, for people to modify these poor routines, which ironically, probably made them feel safe. It may take a long time, to improve mental and physical habits. However, many people have attained sober recovery with the right, long-term help by finding the proper treatment plans and support groups. However, there are many new treatments out there!  The latest, cutting-edge treatments may inspire people to ‘get the hang of living’ in sober recovery.

How does Mental & Emotional Health Affect Sober Recovery?

If you are in poor physical health—not to mention poor mental and emotional health—it will be difficult to think straight.  However, what happens if one cannot imagine logically, due to mental illness or drug abuse? But, sometimes, it is challenging to figure out which is the main problem, causing addiction or mental illness symptoms.  So, it is vital to make sure to find the right professionals, who will take their time and do a thorough intake analysis of any new patients. It would be terrible to waste precious time “fixing” the wrong problem—or one that doesn’t even exist!

How do Spiritual Beliefs & Faith Affect Sober Recovery?

If you have faith and you have hope—then you have a good chance of achieving a good life and sober recovery.  Miracles could happen! But, what if you’ve lost all confidence, and you feel that you’ve lost your way?  There are no easy answers to this question. But, once you get sober and find your support team, chances are you’ll be able to take your first steps on your faith-based journey—or start your 12-step program. Whatever you decide, they are your beliefs—not anyone else’s.  Your journey towards sober recovery is up to you—no one can determine what is best for you to ‘keep on believing’ in the long run.

In conclusion, one should get checked out by the best medical professionals, before deciding on any treatment program—even the most traditional ones.  Plus, everyone should do their homework, and check out any plan with a treatment specialist.  For example, you’ll want to double-check with an addiction specialist, to find out if your chosen program is a good idea—whether it’s unorthodox (way-out-there) treatment plans—or the tried-and-true, traditional methods.  

Whatever methods or treatment centers you choose, we are here for you!  Call us, if you need guidance to navigate the maze of treatment options that are out there.  We are here 24/7 for you!

Long-Term: Sober Recovery Plans

Do you need Elaborate, Long-Term Plans to Start Sober Recovery?

No, you don’t have to have a big, elaborate plan, to start turning your life around.  With the most straightforward action plan, you can start the ball rolling towards your sober recovery.  In fact, just calling a friend or a trusted facility could help you avoid years of unnecessary drama—even death.  However, making goals or also pasting pictures onto your vision board could help you visualize your future sober recovery—and make it a true reality!

Will manage my Emotions help to maintain my Sober Recovery?

Yes!  You might find it helpful to know there is a system that goes along with the Abraham-Hicks Emotional Chart.  So, after you find out what level your current emotional state is, then you can use their chart that targets potential remedies to boost your emotional state.  Maybe you’re feeling depressed. When you check that chart, you’ll find that it is among the lowest emotional feelings.  So, the theory is not to aim for too high of emotion rather than balance.  

It may be surprising to hear this idea?!  Believe it or not, a depressed person who starts feeling anger—even jealousy can feel better.  And, after you look at the “Abraham-Hicks Emotional Scale,” which you can use their chart to find remedies that you might find helpful!   

However, it may be good to know that if you are feeling “down”, then the chances of abusing drugs to feel better go way up.  Once you abuse the drugs or alcohol to “self-medicate”, then the cycle continues. The same webpage, “What is energetic Vibration & why does it matter?” gives tips on how to keep your emotional levels higher.


What are some Long-Term, “Tried & True” Sober Recovery Plans?

If you, your employer, family, friends, terms of probation, or insurance plan require the “tried and true” Sober Recovery route, then treatment is important.  To obtain long-term therapy, many will choose a 12-step program.

Other sober recovery plans may include a combination of group therapies, including exercise, hypnosis, psychiatric and detox therapy—or all of these.  Many times, one may find their ideal path to obtain Sober Recovery.  Whatever methods you use to get sober recovery, whether traditional or non-traditional ways, you might consider joining a support group.  That’s because people who keep attending group therapy, 12-step groups, prayer or faith-based groups, NA and AA groups, etc. usually maintain their sober recovery for more extended periods of time.  

What are Positive Reasons to Achieve & Maintain Sober Recovery?

There are many positive reasons, “why” one would want to work towards a sober recovery.  Most of these optimistic reasons encourage you to start sober recovery, so you can begin to enjoy life.  Perhaps you want to have better self-esteem—forming happier relationships—without the usual stress and drama?  Or, maybe you want to feel healthy, vibrant and full of life—and put the joy back into en-joy-ing your life!  What about the wish, to have more time to do the things you want—not chasing the next “fix”?  Wouldn’t you rather create a better future, by thinking better thoughts, so that you can finally reach your goals?  There are infinitely good reasons—too many, to list them all.

Start your Sober Recovery Today!