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Getting Sober for the First Time

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People get sober for many reasons. Maybe you were court-ordered to go to treatment or your family had an intervention and you were given ultimatums or maybe you have hit rock bottom and can’t go on living in a hell called addiction. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMSHA), Almost 22.5 million people reported the use of an illegal drug in the prior year. Over 20 million people have substance use disorders, and 12.5 million Americans reported misusing prescription pain relievers in the past year. Seventy-eight people die every day in the United States from an opioid overdose, and those numbers have nearly quadrupled since 1999. Even though we have treatments we know are effective, only one in five people who currently need treatment for opioid use disorders is receiving it. Unfortunately for many addicts, it takes more than one try to get sober. Mostly because it wasn’t their choice, it was forced, or they just weren’t ready to get sober. To be able to get sober and live a life of recovery is to have the willingness, want and drive to do whatever it takes and take suggestions from sober people who have more time than you.

What is the First Step to Getting Sober?

Well, the first step in getting sober is realizing that you have a problem with a substance and admitting that you are abusing it. This can be difficult if you rationalize every step of the way. Ask yourself:

  • Do you have the inability to control the amount, length, or frequency of substance use, or to stop use altogether?
  • Is the substance use interfering in personal responsibilities, relationships, and other activities?
  • Have you continued substance use despite physical or mental health problems or other consequences?
  • Do you have cravings for the substance or withdrawal symptoms if the substance use is stopped?

Getting Sober for the First Time

Asking for Help With Substance Abuse

Once you have admitted you have a problem and want to do something about it, its time to reach out. When you are in recovery, having support and a group of sober supports around you that you can go to is the key to this whole thing called sobriety. At first, it can be very scary to ask someone for help. Most people are self-sufficient and want to do things on their own. Not in this case. You need to ask for help no matter how scary it is. Some supports that may be able to help are:

  • Friends
  • Family
  • Therapist

When asking friends or family one has to be cautious especially if the ones you are asking have no experience in addiction. They may want to try to help you in the way they think are good. Helping can turn into enabling and then which fuels your addiction and keeps you from getting the help you need to get sober. Your best bet is to ask for help from someone who has experience with addiction and this can lead you to the next step in getting sober.

Finding the Right Treatment Program

Depending on the amount and frequency of the drug you were using, you may have to stay a few days in a detox facility to safely rid your body of drugs. While you are in detox, you most likely will see a therapist or counselor determine what your next step is when you leave the detox. There are many different types of treatment programs that provide different levels of substance abuse treatment. As described by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), no one treatment is effective for all people who are undergoing substance abuse treatment. Because of this, it’s important to make sure that a treatment program that fits the individual’s needs is found. There are multiple factors to consider in making this decision, including the qualifications of the program itself and the individual’s level of substance abuse and readiness to change. After being assessed it will be determined what is best for your situation. Some options for treatment may be:

  • Outpatient services
  • Intensive outpatient programs
  • Partial hospitalization programs
  • Residential programs

Depending on what program you go to, the length of time can vary. Some programs can go from 28 days to 90 days and longer. But when you get out of treatment and into the real world is where the challenge is.

Getting Out of the Addiction Bubble

You may have thought that being treatment was the worst thing ever but that was the easy part. Doing treatment homework, being chauffeured around to meetings and the grocery store or maybe you had a chef or food provided. The treatment bubble is just enough time to get rid of the drugs from your system and get your brain functioning as close to normal as possible. The real challenge is when you go back into the real world with real-life problems and living life on life’s terms. This is where you use the tools and coping skills you learned in treatment and put them to use when life shows up. When you are getting emotional and feeling all your feelings, this is where you need your sober supports to reach out to and talk to; to get through these times of uncertainty. Being sober isn’t easy. You have to work at it every single day. Have an open mind, keep talking and find what works for you.

We Can Help You in Getting Sober

At Evoke Wellness at Miramar, we can help you through your first days of getting sober. Evoke Wellness at Miramar is South Florida’s premier medical detox and residential facility dedicated to helping those working to overcome addiction. We offer a safe environment where clients are treated with respect and staff who work consistently to help build the foundation for long term sobriety. Our programs promote healing and stability in every aspect; physically, emotionally and mentally, and facilitate hope during a time in which many clients feel lost, angry, scared and alone. Fully accredited by the Joint Commission, Evoke Wellness at Miramar is staffed by licensed and experienced addiction recovery specialists waiting to help you regain control of your life.