Close this search box.

I Can’t Get Sober, What Do I Do?

picture of Joe Gilmore
Medically Reviewed By: Diana Vo, LMFT

May 9, 2024

Table of Contents

Realizing you need to get sober is a big step, as it’s common for people with addiction to be in denial. But turning this realization into action can be tough. Why is sobriety so hard?

Being sober is more than just quitting drugs and alcohol – it’s a long-term promise to live without them. Being sober is hard, and staying sober is challenging due to the risk of relapse.

heart icon that is 2 hands holding

Need help getting addiction treatment?

Taking the first step can be the hardest. The idea of staying sober for a long time can seem scary, and the many steps to get there might feel overwhelming. People often ask themselves, “Why is being sober so hard?” Sadly, there’s no quick fix, but we can show you what works. Sobriety is a long journey that isn’t always straightforward but living a sober life can bring amazing rewards.

Why Can’t I Get Sober?

Sobriety is hard because of many obstacles. Knowing these difficulties can help you come up with ways to handle them. Here are some reasons why getting sober is tough and what can be done if you can’t get sober:

1) Physical dependence

Substance use can make your body depend on the substance to function normally. Withdrawal symptoms during detox can be uncomfortable, making it hard to get and stay sober.


Medical help during detox can provide the needed support to handle withdrawal symptoms. MAT (medication-assisted treatment) might be suggested to make this process easier.

2) Mental dependence

Aside from physical issues, people have a strong mental dependence on substances. Changing the thoughts or habits linked to drug or alcohol use can be very challenging.


Adding therapy and counseling to the treatment plan helps with the mental side of addiction. Support groups can also offer a community of people dealing with similar challenges.

3) Triggers and cravings

Things around you, stress, or emotions can cause strong cravings for substances, making it hard to resist the temptation to use them.


It’s important to learn coping skills to handle these triggers. This might mean learning stress-management techniques and building a supportive environment.

4) Social and peer pressure

Social events and pressure from friends can be big hurdles when trying to get sober. Going back to places where substance use is common can be risky.


Building a strong support network, talking openly with friends and family about recovery, and staying away from environments that may lead to substance use can be helpful.

5) Mental health issues

Other mental health problems can make sobriety even harder. It’s important to address these issues for a lasting recovery.


A good treatment plan should include care for mental health issues. Plans that involve both mental health professionals and addiction specialists work well.

Why is Sobriety So Difficult?

Why is it so hard to be sober? Sobriety is hard for many reasons. People in recovery need to find new ways to handle stress, sadness, and other emotions that they used to numb with drugs or alcohol. This means learning new skills to deal with problems in healthier ways.

Substance use can become a habit. Recovery is a process that involves changing routines and breaking free from old patterns. This can take time and effort.

Sometimes, people in recovery need to distance themselves from friends or environments where substance use is common. This can be difficult but finding new friends and supportive networks can make a big difference.

Staying sober can be hard, and setbacks can make people feel

Staying sober can be hard, and setbacks can make people feel low. Seeing progress and celebrating small wins can help build confidence.

Getting sober can be a long journey, but it’s possible with the right support, new skills, and a positive mindset. What can help you get sober, then?

Help Getting Sober

Finding what helps you get sober may involve:

1) Seek professional help

Professional treatment programs can make the recovery journey easier. Inpatient or outpatient programs provide a structured environment that supports successful recovery.

2) Use counseling and therapy

Counseling and therapy are important tools to understand the root causes of addiction, find new coping skills, and build a strong foundation for recovery.

3) Find strength in peer support

Being with others who share similar experiences can help you in your journey. Group therapy sessions and support groups remind you that you’re not alone.

4) Benefit from a structured environment

Recovery programs provide a safe space for healing. Inpatient and outpatient programs give structured support that helps you focus on your recovery without distractions.

5) Try holistic approaches

Holistic approaches like yoga and meditation can help your body, mind, and spirit. They work well with other treatment methods to improve your well-being.

6) Learn and build important skills

Knowledge is powerful in fighting addiction. Recovery programs often teach practical skills to help you stay away from drugs or alcohol.

7) Make a solid aftercare plan

Your journey doesn’t end when rehab ends. An aftercare plan with ongoing therapy, support groups, and check-ins can help you stay strong.

8) Consider dual diagnosis treatment

If you have both addiction and mental health problems, getting help for both at the same time is the best option. Treating both together gives better results than treating them separately.

9) Get help from your support network

Your family and friends can be a big help. Get your loved ones involved in family therapy to understand and rebuild relationships. A strong support system can help with lasting recovery.

10) Celebrate your progress

Sobriety is a journey of personal growth. Celebrate each milestone, big or small. Recognize your strength and be proud of the progress you’ve made.

Remember, your journey is unique. Use these resources, find strength within, and know that lasting sobriety is possible. When does sobriety get easier, though?

Does Sobriety Get Easier?

Sobriety gets easier as time goes on. The start is usually the hardest because your body and mind need time to adjust. With support and dedication, cravings lessen, and challenges become easier to handle. Over time, you’ll develop healthier habits and discover joy in life without drugs or alcohol, making sobriety easier and more enjoyable.

an image of clients who got sober at Renaissance Recovery

Get Sober at Renaissance Recovery

Addiction is a progressive condition that is treatable with evidence-based interventions. We can help you get sober and stay sober at Renaissance Recovery.

We treat all types of addictions in an outpatient setting at our rehab center in Huntington Beach, CA. This gives you a flexible, affordable path to sobriety while meeting your commitments at home, work, or school.

All Renaissance treatment programs offer targeted treatments that may include:

  • Talk therapies
  • Holistic therapies
  • Medications
  • Group therapy
  • One-to-one therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Aftercare

Call 866.330.9449 for immediate help.



At Renaissance Recovery our goal is to provide evidence-based treatment to as many individuals as possible. Give us a call today to verify your insurance coverage or to learn more about paying for addiction treatment.

Close this search box.

Joseph Gilmore has been in the addiction industry for three years with experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.

Text a Recovery Expert

Text our team to get the help you need ASAP.

Close this search box.

Use Our 24 Hour text line. You can ask questions about our program, the admissions process, and more.