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I Can’t Get Sober, What Do I Do?

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Medically Reviewed By: Diana Vo, LMFT

January 16, 2024

Table of Contents

If you’ve been trying to overcome an addiction and can’t get sober, it’s important that you get the tools you need to achieve recovery.

Recognizing the need for sobriety can be a significant achievement, as denial frequently accompanies substance abuse. That said, transitioning from acknowledgment to action is an entirely different challenge. Why is sobriety so difficult to initiate, then?

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Sobriety transcends the mere act of abstaining from drugs and alcohol. Rather, it is an ongoing commitment to a life free from substances. Being sober is hard, and maintaining sobriety is hard due to the relapsing nature of addiction.

The first step in this transformative journey is often the toughest. The prospect of achieving long-term sobriety can be daunting, and the number of steps involved may seem overwhelming. Many people start wondering, “Why can’t I get sober?” Regrettably, there is no instantaneous solution, although we can show you what helps you get sober. Sobriety represents an ongoing journey that may not always be linear, but sober life also promises incredible rewards.

This guide addresses the following issues:

  • I can’t get sober: what should I do next?
  • Why is it so hard to be sober?
  • Does sobriety get easier?
  • When does sobriety get easier?
  • How to get sober in California.

Why Sobriety Is Hard? (And What to Do)

Embracing sobriety can be extremely demanding due to a range of inherent challenges. Understanding these difficulties and developing an awareness of likely obstacles can pave the way for effective strategies. Here are some reasons why achieving sobriety is challenging and what can be done to navigate these potential pitfalls:

1) Physiological dependence

Substance use can lead to physiological dependence, making the body reliant on the substance for normal functioning. Withdrawal symptoms during detoxification can be intense, contributing to the difficulty of achieving and maintaining sobriety.

Solution: Seeking medical assistance during detoxification can provide the necessary support to manage withdrawal symptoms. MAT (medication-assisted treatment) may be recommended to ease the process.

2) Psychological dependence

Beyond the physical aspect, individuals may develop a strong psychological dependence on substances. Breaking the mental patterns and associations with drug or alcohol use can be demanding.

Solution: Incorporating behavioral therapy and counseling into the treatment plan helps address the psychological aspects of addiction. Support groups can provide a community of individuals facing similar challenges.

3) Triggers and cravings

Environmental cues, stress, or emotional triggers can evoke intense cravings for substances, making it challenging to resist the temptation to use drugs or alcohol.

Solution: Developing coping mechanisms and skills to navigate triggers may involve learning stress-management techniques and creating a supportive environment.

4) Social and peer influences

Social settings and peer pressure can disrupt recovery efforts. Returning to an environment where substance use is prevalent can pose a risk.

Solution: Establishing a strong support network, communicating openly with friends and family about the recovery journey, and avoiding environments that may trigger substance use can help prevent relapse derailing sobriety.

5) Underlying mental health issues

Co-occurring mental health disorders can complicate the path to sobriety. Addressing underlying mental health issues can maximize the likelihood of sustained recovery.

Solution: Comprehensive treatment should include simultaneous care for mental health conditions. Collaborative treatment plans involving mental health professionals and addiction specialists are effective.

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What Can Help You Get Sober?

Here are some actionable pointers to help you get sober.

1) Embrace professional treatment programs

Professional treatment programs can help streamline the entire recovery journey. Inpatient or outpatient treatment programs provide a structured and nurturing environment, fostering the essential elements for a successful recovery.

2) Unlock the power of counseling and therapy

Counseling and therapy are potent tools that help unlock the doors to self-discovery, enabling you to understand the root causes of addiction, develop coping mechanisms, and set a robust foundation for lasting recovery.

3) Benefit from the power of peer support

Envelop yourself in the warmth of peer support, where shared experiences become stepping stones toward a substance-free life. Group therapy sessions and support groups within recovery programs illuminate the path ahead, reminding you that you’re not alone in this journey.

4) Experience the healing power of a structured environment

Recovery programs offer more than just a setting – they provide a sanctuary for healing. Inpatient and outpatient programs create structured environments that shield you from triggers, allowing focused attention on your recovery without the distractions of daily life.

 5) Harness holistic approaches for overall well-being

Holistic approaches transcend the traditional, nurturing your mind, body, and soul. Engage in activities like yoga, meditation, and mindfulness to complement conventional treatment methods and promote comprehensive well-being.

 6) Educate yourself and build vital skills

Knowledge is a formidable ally in your fight against addiction. Recovery programs often include educational components, empowering you with insights into addiction’s nature, the recovery process, and practical skills crucial for navigating life beyond substances.

 7) Create a solid aftercare plan

Your journey doesn’t end with the completion of a program, but rather it evolves. A comprehensive aftercare plan, including continued therapy, support group participation, and regular check-ins, increases your resilience in the face of life’s challenges after you leave rehab.

 8) Opt for dual diagnosis treatment

If you’re facing both addiction and mental health challenges, dual diagnosis treatment is a transformative solution. Simultaneous care delivers more favorable treatment outcomes than treating either condition in isolation.

 9) Engage your support network, including family

Your support network is an invaluable asset. Engage your loved ones in the journey, promoting understanding and rebuilding relationships through family therapy. A united front could mean the difference between lasting recovery and relapse.

10) Celebrate personal growth and progress

Sobriety is a journey marked by personal growth and triumphs. Celebrate every milestone, whether big or small. Recognize the strength within you that propels you forward, and acknowledge the progress made on your way.

Help Getting Sober at a Recovery Program

Embarking on the journey to sobriety is a piovtal step, and recovery programs play a central role by providing the necessary support and structure for individuals seeking to overcome addiction. Here’s how recovery programs can assist in the process of getting sober:

  • Structured environment: Recovery programs, whether inpatient or outpatient, offer a structured and controlled environment that minimizes exposure to triggers and provides a dedicated space for healing. This environment is especially beneficial during the early stages of recovery.
  • Medical supervision: Inpatient recovery programs often involve medical supervision during the detoxification process. Healthcare professionals can monitor withdrawal symptoms and administer medications when necessary, ensuring a safer and more comfortable detox experience.
  • Individualized treatment plans: Recovery programs tailor treatment plans to the individual needs of participants. Comprehensive assessments help identify specific challenges and factors contributing to addiction, allowing for a personalized approach to recovery.
  • Counseling and therapy: Individual and group counseling sessions are integral components of recovery programs. Therapists help people explore the underlying causes of addiction, develop coping mechanisms, and build a foundation for sustainable recovery.
  • Peer support: Engaging with peers who are on a similar journey fosters a sense of camaraderie and understanding. Group therapy sessions and support groups within recovery programs provide a space for individuals to share experiences and support one another.
  • Education and skill-building: Recovery programs often include educational components that help people understand the nature of addiction, the process of recovery, and the skills needed to navigate life without substances. Skill-building workshops enhance practical tools for maintaining sobriety.
  • Holistic approaches: Many recovery programs incorporate holistic approaches to address overall well-being. Activities such as yoga, meditation, art therapy, and mindfulness contribute to physical, mental, and emotional balance.
  • Aftercare planning: Recovery programs prioritize aftercare planning to ensure a seamless transition back into daily life. This includes ongoing therapy, support group recommendations, and strategies for maintaining sobriety post-program.
  • Family involvement: Inclusive programs may involve family therapy sessions, providing an opportunity for loved ones to understand the recovery process, rebuild relationships, and contribute positively to the person’s support network.
  • Dual diagnosis treatment: For individuals with co-occurring mental health disorders, recovery programs may offer dual diagnosis treatment. Simultaneous care for both addiction and mental health issues is essential for comprehensive recovery.
  • Accountability and monitoring: Recovery programs establish a framework of accountability, with regular check-ins, progress assessments, and ongoing support to monitor and reinforce an individual’s commitment to sobriety.

Choosing a recovery program is a significant decision on the path to sobriety. The comprehensive support provided by these programs, coupled with the expertise of healthcare professionals, significantly increases the likelihood of successful recovery and long-term well-being. If you or someone you know is considering getting sober, reaching out to a reputable recovery program can be a crucial first step.

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Get Treatment for Addiction 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 California and Florida rehab centers. This provides you with a flexible, affordable route to sobriety, while also enabling you to fulfill your everyday commitments.

All Renaissance treatment programs offer an individualized blend of therapies that may include:

Call 866.330.9449 and let us help you achieve and maintain sobriety in Southern California.



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.

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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.

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