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Can You Get Sober Without Going to Treatment?

a woman struggles to get sober without going to treatment and her friend suggests it is time to try getting professional help

When a person needs and wants to get sober, the more help they receive, the better their chances of succeeding. Many attempts to get sober on their own, but unfortunately, most of those people do fail eventually and return to drinking, drugging, or addictive behavior. The question as to whether or not someone can get sober without going to treatment is yes, but remaining sober is not likely. Instead, it almost always ends in relapse without professional help.

The solution to helping a person who needs to get sober is to help them enter a program for recovery that they are interested in and encouraged by. Pushing a person to a treatment program where they do not like the format, the location, or the rules (such as no smoking, visits, or cellphones) will not help them stay focused on stopping their drug and alcohol addiction. The decision to accept help comes only after a person fully realizes that they are in trouble and that their addiction is ruining their life. Evoke Wellness at Miramar can help. Please reach out to us at 866.931.9312 for more information about our addiction treatment programs.

Can You Get Sober Without Going to Treatment?

Addiction is complicated. Many people who do not understand addiction think that if someone has gone to jail, become unhealthy, or financially broke, they would stop using drugs or drinking. Most people who struggle with substance use disorder, also referred to as addiction, are aware of the consequences that their drug or alcohol use has caused. These individuals do not like it, and they do want to stop. The necessary willpower to stay ‘stopped’ is why they can’t. Willpower will not keep someone sober or clean. It might help get them clean and sober, but it will not sustain their recovery.

That is because addiction is a disease, not simply a choice, and it needs to be treated with support and care just like any other disease. The best and safest way to begin your recovery journey is in an accredited addiction treatment facility. Any unpleasant or dangerous withdrawal symptoms will be monitored and managed by professionals during detox, and you will receive therapy in treatment. Individuals who complete an addiction treatment program have a higher success rate when it comes to recovery and maintaining sobriety long-term.

Addiction and Willpower

The reason willpower is not enough to keep a person clean and sober long-term is that the disease of addiction stems from multiple influencers that affect a person’s emotional and mental well-being. People who use drugs and alcohol are attempting to feel better because of either environmental influences they experienced as children (drinking or drugging in the home), abuse, neglect, a family history of addiction, or an emotional or mental health diagnosis. Many people with addiction have all or any of these influencers in their life history. Therefore, the idea of being strong enough to get through life without drugs or alcohol after you have depended on them to help you cope, relax, or escape is impossible.

There are also neurobiological reasons that quitting drugs and alcohol is difficult without professional treatment. Once a person uses a substance addictively, their brains adjust to the presence of the substance. Eventually, what happens is that it is difficult for this person to experience joy or pleasure from things that are not substances. For example, a person who is now addicted to heroin may remember when they used to love watching sunsets. After years of heroin use, when they go to watch a sunset, they are bored and do not understand why they do not think it is remarkable. What has occurred to this individual is what is known as neuroadaptation. Neuroadaptation occurs when a person repeatedly exposes their brain to a substance or behavior that releases enormous amounts of brain chemicals that cause euphoria and pleasure. In time this individual’s brain will work to create a healthy balance of brain chemicals and counter the effects of the substances to keep the person alive. The brain’s efforts to remain healthy then cause drug and alcohol tolerance. The brain must repeatedly slow down the euphoric brain chemicals regardless of how much the individual uses. Therefore, in time an addict or alcoholic will repeatedly attempt to use more and more of a substance and develop a tolerance.

At the end of the day, nothing gets them high. Since addiction affects the brain in such a significant way, the idea of willpower without help from a treatment program that includes medication-assisted treatment methods when needed, as well as counseling and guidance from others who have succeeded in recovery, is unrealistic.

The Benefits of Getting Professional Treatment for Addiction

It is not advised that anyone attempt to break an addiction on their own, largely due to the risks of withdrawal and relapse. Professional care and support increase the success rate of recovery, and an addiction treatment facility provides you with a safe, judgment-free place to begin to heal.

The five most significant benefits of getting professional help for addiction treatment include the following:

  1. Unpleasant or dangerous withdrawal symptoms are monitored by professionals and sometimes managed with medications during the detoxification process, keeping you as safe and comfortable as possible as substances leave your system.
  2. In treatment, there are no distractions from healing, and there is no access to any substances, so relapse is not possible for the duration of your stay.
  3. Access to therapies, holistic treatment options, and educational resources allows you to customize your treatment plan to suit your wants and needs.
  4. In treatment, you will discover the root cause of your addiction and address any trauma or co-occurring mental health issues that contribute to it.
  5. The support doesn’t stop once you leave treatment; aftercare programs like peer support groups, 12-step programs, and alumni programs will keep you connected to the sober community you’ve come to count on.

The first step is the hardest, but once you’ve decided to reach out for help, it’s all uphill from there. Professional addiction treatment will help you take your life back into your own hands.

Get Professional and Effective Addiction Treatment at Evoke Wellness at Miramar

To learn about the treatment programs at Evoke Wellness at Miramar, please connect with one of our treatment specialists. We have decades of experience helping men, women, and families overcome the disease of addiction, and we can help you too. Reach us by calling 866.931.9312 or filling out our online form.