What Happens to Your Body When Going Through A Drug Detox

The first step for people who want to become sober is often to go through a drug detox. For many dealing with substance use disorder, it’s scary to think about what is going to happen to their body during a drug detox. 

The reality of it is that a drug detox can be very stressful and painful to go through, but the outcome of a successful detox is a new chance at life. Substance use disorder is both a mental and physical disease, but a person is able to ease the physical effect that addiction has by going through a detox. 

When you regain more strength and control of your body, you are more likely to tackle the mental blocks that addiction causes. Going through a detox is the first step and it’s one you can take at Soba Recovery

What is Drug Detoxification?

Drug detoxification is the removal of toxic substances, such as drugs and alcohol, from a person’s body. When you decide that you want to become sober, your body does not immediately agree with your choices. 

You might experience withdrawal symptoms which can be painful and make you ill, and these might be too much for you to handle on your own. It’s not suggested that you try to detox alone. Many people who try to detox on their own do not succeed because the symptoms can be so bad. When you become ill from withdrawals, your cravings can be very intense and overpowering. It’s hard to say no to the thing you know will make you feel better when you are in that amount of pain. 

Drug detoxes are done in facilities with trained professionals who can assist you properly through the process to ensure that you are successful and safe. In a medical treatment facility their main concern is to help you through the stages of withdrawal so that you don’t relapse. 

Providers can monitor you during your detoxification and take note of how your body is reacting and what symptoms you are experiencing. Being monitored during this time period can be relieving for those who are nervous about how they will be affected. Knowing you are in good hands can make for the detox experience to feel a little less intimidating.

Medical Detoxification

Medically assisted detoxification is described by NIDA as a detox that safely manages the process and physical symptoms of withdrawal. When your detoxification process is being monitored by medical professionals, it’s considered to be medically assisted. This is the kind of detoxification that is encouraged, as it provides a safe space to experience the withdrawals as well as it ensures that you are doing it in a proper manner. 

There are medications that can be used during detoxification to help stabilize your body’s reactions to the absence of toxic substances, and this is most easily obtained when with trained professionals. There are a few things that happen when you go into a facility to receive a detox treatment so that they can ensure that you are getting the personalized care that you need in order to fight your addiction. 

Assessing Your Needs

When you first arrive at a treatment facility, patients must receive an evaluation that assesses what their specific needs are. Each individual is different, so the patient will need to give an honest description of their medical history and current addiction to the provider in order for the facility to come up with a successful treatment plan. It’s best to be open with your provider so that you can receive proper treatment. While detox is often the first step, it’s not the last. You want to start your path to recovery off with strong roots, so having a solid foundation with the start of your detoxification is essential. 

This is not the time to hide things from your provider. The reason you entered into a treatment facility is because you want to get better and you no longer want your life to be dictated by drugs. The point of an initial evaluation is for the provider to better understand what your needs are, potential barriers that might come up, what your background is, and what your future goals are for yourself and your recovery. 

Coping with Withdrawal

Your body and mind have become accustomed to having substances in your system. In order for your body to get rid of the harmful substances, you need to allow it to cleanse itself fully. The physical symptoms of drug withdrawal can be excruciating, and when tried to do alone, it can often lead a person back to using. 

Everyone’s body is going to react in a different way, so having a team of professionals there to get you through it and help you adapt to the new changes will be beneficial in your recovery process

There will be a team of professionals that are available to you throughout your detoxification. There are ways for you to be supported, whether that be with medication or extra psychological support. Detox centers often have teams of people with diverse backgrounds to help tend to you when in the stages of withdrawal. 

Both medical doctors and psychologists are a part of the process in order to best satisfy your needs. This process is already hard enough, the goal of a detoxification center is to give you a push towards making your life easier.

Creating a Treatment Plan

It’s important that once the drugs and alcohol have cleared from your system that you are given a comprehensive treatment plan in order to maintain sobriety. The support staff at your facility will focus to get your physical and mental health to a good place. The process does not end after the detoxification. Once you have gone through the detox, it’s important to discuss ways to maintain your current state, but it’s important to recognize that the physical issue was only half of it. 

There are many barriers to staying sober that can be presented when you don’t try to mend the mental health issues that come with substance use disorder. Your treatment plan should focus on both physical and mental health, but should really solidify your goal by committing to residential inpatient treatment and aftercare, including considering sober living. Often structure is needed to maintain sobriety, so finding places where you can do this can help to limit the chance of relapsing.

Along with planning on where you should go next, you should plan to have certain people in your life who you feel comfortable with to be listed as emergency contacts and used as support. Sometimes having this person be family or a close friend can be intimidating because you don’t want to feel judged by them or that they are embarrassed by you. 

It’s important to note that most of your loved ones want to help you and be a part of your recovery journey, but if this is the case for you, looking into getting a sponsor during your recovery process could be extremely beneficial. 

What Exactly Happens To Your Body During Detox 

For someone who is dealing with substance use disorder, their body and mind become addicted to the presence of that drug in their body. This results in a dependency to the drug that can create barriers when you are trying to become sober. During a detox your body will most likely go through withdrawal symptoms. 

These symptoms can include both mental and physical symptoms and you can experience a range of different symptoms throughout the process. Depending on the substance that you are detoxing from, you might experience different symptoms compared to other drug detoxes.

Some common physical examples of drug and alcohol withdrawal are:

  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Lethargy
  • Tearing eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle cramps, aches, and tension
  • Tremors
  • Increased appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Seizures

Some common mental examples of drug and alcohol withdrawal are:

  • Anxiety
  • Poor concentration and memory
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Mood swings
  • Agitation
  • Depression
  • Delirium
  • Seizures
  • Irritability
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations

Everyone experiences things differently. While the process can be daunting, it means that you are on the right path towards recovery. Due to the severity of some of these withdrawal symptoms, it’s suggested that you only attempt detox under medical attention. This will help to ensure your safety and success.

Drug Detox is Important for Withdrawal

A medically assisted drug and alcohol detox can be the safest way to come off of using. Some of the symptoms that you experience during withdrawal can be life-threatening and by being taken care of at a treatment facility or rehab program, you are more likely to get the proper treatment needed to ensure your safety. 

When you are not in a controlled environment, these symptoms of withdrawal can lead to serious complications and sometimes even death.

For people who are addicted to substances that can cause more of these life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, like heroin, methamphetamines, alcohol, or opioid withdrawal, you can lower the risk of an overdose by attending a detox facility. 

Relapse is common when attempting withdrawal alone, but if your body has already adapted to the lowered amount of substance running through your body, there is a possibility that if you relapse, you could overdose. When in a controlled environment, this is less likely to happen.

If you are attempting to become sober, then the last thing that you want is for you to harm yourself more. Visiting a detox center could be the thing that saves you. 

How Long Will a Detox Take?

Detoxification is different for everyone, and depending on the substance that you are trying to detox from, it could take anywhere from 3-10 days. When a detox is medically assisted, you can be assured that you will not relapse during your stay. This means that the process will take less time than if you were to try to attempt it alone. 

There will be people who will be watching you and taking care of you throughout the medical detox process, which will help to control any urges you might have. Staff at detox facilities are trained to assist you in both the physical withdrawals you’ll experience and the psychological effects. When your body has successfully gone through the detox process, that means you’ve completed the first phase of recovery from substance use disorder. There is a lifetime ahead of you to continue fighting for your sobriety, and you’ve only taken the first step.

Detoxification is only one part of the process. Though it won’t take you long to go through the process, maintaining sobriety is a different story. It is not over once you have detoxified from substances. You have to be willing to stay sober, which could be for the rest of your life. 

Different Medicines Used in Detox

For some substances, there is medication that can be administered to help the withdrawal symptoms so that the detoxification process can be less painful and so cravings can be reduced. Buprenorphine and naltrexone are FDA-approved medications used for treating addiction. 

  • Methadone: This medication is used to help reduce people’s use of heroin or other opiates. Methadone helps by changing how the brain and nervous system react to pain. 
  • Buprenorphine: This medication treats opioid use disorder and it produces effects such as euphoria at low to moderate doses. It’s weaker than an opioid but can help to minimize side effects to withdrawal symptoms. 
  • Naltrexone: This medication treats both alcohol and opioid use disorder. Naltrexone binds and blocks opioid receptors and reduces substance cravings.

There is also the possibility of being put on a tapering schedule which allows for the gradual reduction of drug use to minimize the withdrawal symptoms. This kind of detox program is almost always done under medical supervision so that the patient is taken care of. 

Tapering minimizes withdrawal symptoms by allowing for the individual to lower the dosage intake of the drug slowly, so that they don’t have extremely negative consequences from quitting. 

Where To Find a Detox Center

Here at Soba Recovery, we offer a multitude of services to help you or a loved one into recovery from substance use disorder. We have two different locations, one in San Antonio, Texas and the other in Mesa, Arizona. The individualized approach that Soba Recovery takes in our addiction treatment programs allows for the patient to quit using drugs and alcohol on their own terms. This approach also allows for a patient to test out different substance abuse treatment methods that work for them to begin their path to recovery.

Soba Recovery prides itself in incorporating a variety of methods into each individual’s recovery journey, with the hopes that the supportive environment will help the individual to process the stress that they are undergoing and to build confidence in their ability to achieve sobriety. We offer services such as nutritional culinary services, yoga, hiking, mindfulness, and wellness groups. There is something that can be found for everyone to enjoy. 

Not only do these locations offer a detox center, but they also provide residential inpatient, extensive outpatient, partial outpatient, outpatient and sober living services to individuals who are seeking sobriety. We know that detoxification is only the first step towards recovery, and that it’s not the only thing you need to do in order to recover from substance use disorder. 

Consider continuing on past detoxification with Soba Recovery’s offerings in order to ensure that you create a healthy sober life that you will be able to maintain.

In Summary

If you are still worried about what your body will go through during a drug detox, think about the damage your substance abuse disorder might have already caused to it and how much better off your body will be once you’ve become sober. 

The detoxification process can be scary and painful, but the end result is getting a chance to regain control of your life back. You will experience withdrawals, but after a week, you should be on the road to recovery. Visit our detoxification centers at Soba Recovery to start the first step towards sobriety—it will be worth it! 



Understanding Drug Abuse and Addiction: What Science Says | NIDA

What Is Methadone? | Psychiatric Research Institute (PRI)

Buprenorphine | SAMHSA

They Are What You Need: How to Find a Sponsor That is Right for You

After spending time in a rehabilitation facility or going through a drug detox, having someone who has gone through similar struggles to support you through your recovery is pivotal in making strides towards recovering from substance use disorder

A sponsor is someone who has lived experience and has been sober for at least a year, has completed the 12-step program, and acts as a mentor and guide during your recovery. There are many benefits to having a sponsor, and getting a sponsor early on in your recovery can improve your chances of being successful, so finding the right person is important. 

Attend Meetings

The easiest way to find a sponsor is to attend recovery support meetings in your local community. There you will find a group of people who all are striving towards living a happier and healthier life. You can probably get your hands on a list of people that are willing to become a sponsor by talking to the host of the meeting. 

Simply by talking to others at the meeting, you could meet someone who is willing to sponsor you. Connecting with others in your community helps to build a support system while you are working on yourself. It can feel intimidating to open up about your desire to find a sponsor, but the best thing you can do for yourself is speak up about it. Even if you mention it to just one person, words can travel fast. Plus, people want you to be successful, and if it’s mutually agreed upon that you will benefit from each other’s support, they want to see you recover. 

Find Someone Trustworthy

The point of having a sponsor is to feel comfortable enough opening up about your insecurities and fear surrounding the path to recovery. You might want to share intimate and serious thoughts with your sponsor, so comfort is essential. It can feel lonely and isolating to be alone with your thoughts, and a sponsor’s goal is to provide support to you without shame or judgement. 

You are supposed to feel comfortable confiding in your sponsor, so finding someone that you believe will maintain your confidentiality can be critical. If you don’t feel that something is working out between you and a sponsor, then trust your gut and find someone else. 

The comfort with each other should be mutually shared, so if one person feels that they are not benefiting, then the other won’t either. If you do believe that you need to find a new sponsor, it’s always best to meet with your current sponsor and end things in person and on good terms. 

Availability and Experience

If you are new to recovery, then you will want someone who is available to you most times during the day. Of course, around the clock support might not be possible, but someone who lets you call them up at 4:00 AM to share your inner turmoil in a voicemail with no questions asked is someone you want in your corner. 

It’s important to discuss with your potential sponsor if they have the time and space to take on a sponsee. If your potential sponsor has other people that they are sponsoring they might not have the time to take on an additional person. It’s especially important early on in your recovery to find someone with availability because you may not realize the amount of support you will need from them.

On the other hand, someone who is currently sponsoring people or has sponsored people in the past is someone who probably has the tools and experience to be beneficial in your recovery. It’s important that your sponsor has the experience to maintain a good mentor/mentee relationship. If you are new to things, you will want someone to guide you, rather than learning through your own trial and error. 

You want someone who understands accountability and maintains a confidential and beneficial partnership. If you are sponsored by someone who understands the process of recovery, and who has helped others like you, you can feel confident knowing that you are in good hands. 

Avoid Family and Romantic Partners

When finding a sponsor, there are certain people that you might want to avoid. While you might think that it would be easier for a family member or a romantic partner to be your sponsor, that’s not always the case. 

Just because you are with them all the time and feel comfortable with them, the comfort you feel with them is not the kind that you will receive from a sponsor. Because you will be sharing secrets and your inner thoughts with your sponsor, it might not be best to have a personal relationship with them. 

With family members, there might be things that you’d like to keep from them to preserve your relationship, so consider a sponsor who you did not know prior to your treatment or recovery. Similarly, being romantic or becoming romantic with your sponsor can make things complicated for your path to recovery. The main focus of the relationship you will have with a sponsor should be on recovering, and anything other than that will not benefit you. If you find yourself having feels for your sponsor, it might be time to find a new one, so that you can refocus on what’s actually important一your recovery.

Differences Can Be Good!

Sometimes someone who you have a lot in common with is not who you want to be your sponsor. When you find a sponsor who is not so similar to you, it’s easier to focus on your path to recovery. There are benefits to having a sponsor who has a different background than you. 

They offer a different perspective than what you’ve got, offering solutions you might not have thought of on your own. You want someone to be honest with you so that you can be as successful as possible in your recovery path. You want them to tell you how it is. A sponsor is meant to tell you things you don’t want to hear so that you can get better. 

Create a Plan and Stick To It!

Once you have found someone to be your sponsor, it’s time to come up with a plan that works for both of you, and stick to it! Being consistent will help you in your recovery. Planning to attend the same recovery meetings with your sponsor or finding a time for a weekly phone call to check-in with each other can be very helpful in maintaining communication with your sponsor. 

Consistency creates patterns, and these patterns can help you to focus on what works best for you in your recovery. If you feel that you need to change things up, talk to your sponsor to figure out what steps you can take to ensure your recovery.

In Summary

Finding the right sponsor can seem scary, but in the end, it’s completely worth it to find the person who is dedicated to helping you recover from your substance use disorder. You shouldn’t feel that you need to go through this challenge alone, and there are people who have been in the same situation as you that want to help. 

Make sure that you express to the people in your recovery meetings that you are in need of a sponsor because they will step up to help you. Find someone you can trust with your best interest in mind, someone who is available, and someone who knows what they are doing so that you are successful in your path to recovery.



Recovery and Recovery Support | SAMHSA 

12 Step Programs: 12 Steps to Recovery for Drug & Alcohol Treatment | American Addiction Centers

Substance Abuse and Intimate Relationships | AAMFT 

How to Help Your Addicted Spouse

Your love for your spouse does not dissipate when they are dealing with addiction. Substance Use Disorder (SUD) can affect anybody and those who are struggling with SUD need support from the ones that love them most. You may not understand what your spouse is going through when they are dealing with addiction, but there are ways that you can help them and keep yourself safe at the same time. 

Signs of Substance Use Disorder

Substance Use Disorder is a disease that affects the brain and causes the inability to control the use of substances, such as alcohol and opioids. There are signs that can show in your spouse who is dealing with substance use disorder. The symptoms of substance use disorder can be grouped into four categories:

  • Lack of Control: Seeing your partner go through strong urges and cravings with the inability to cut back on using the substance.
  • Social Problems: When your partner is no longer participating how they normally would in public settings. They can end up letting the substance use interfere with their work, home, and social life.
  • Riskiness: Your partner begins using substances in situations that are known to be dangerous, for example, drefusing to get out of a car when they are under the influence.
  • Drug Effects: Your partner may begin to need more of the substance to get the same effects, meaning that their tolerance to the substance goes up. Your spouse might also begin to show symptoms of withdrawals during periods where they have not used for more time than they are used to. Withdrawal symptoms can start within hours of not having had the substance.

There are other signs that your spouse might be dealing with addiction if:

  • Your spouse breaks promises to not drink when out with friends;
  • There is extensive partying that does not involve you;
  • Money has been going missing more frequently;
  • Your spouse has not been able to hold down a job; or
  • They are putting your children’s life at risk with extreme behaviors.

If you believe that your spouse might be dealing with addiction, there are ways to help and be supportive during this stressful time. There are also ways to protect yourself and your family from the harm that substance use disorder can bring. Again, loving your spouse through the struggle they are having is essential in their recovery, but you can love your spouse without enabling their addiction. 

Dealing With An Addicted Spouse

You might be wondering what the first steps are to beginning to deal with your spouse’s substance use. It’s a scary conversation to have, especially because many people with SUD are in denial about their addiction, and don’t trust that they can change their lives around. 

Some spouses might be defensive and reject any solutions you provide at the beginning, but by showing that you are there for them, you can help by showing them they are not alone. There are a few things you should do while dealing with your spouse’s addiction:

  • Learn as much as you can about substance use disorder and addiction. Knowing the signs and facts can help you support your spouse better.
  • Reach out to friends and family that you trust to support you. You don’t need to be alone when caring for your spouse! If you aren’t comfortable reaching out to friends and family quite yet, reaching out to your family doctor is the easiest way for confidential support and help. 
  • Take care of yourself and children (if you have them). Being with someone who is suffering from addiction can be exhausting, and it’s no help to them if you are neglecting taking care of yourself. 

It’s important to know that you are not alone and that there are plenty of people who are out there that want to help you while you help your spouse. 

Ways to Help

If you are reading this article, then you are already helping your spouse. You care enough to do the research and are willing to put in the work to help get your spouse back to the person you fell in love with, someone who is healthy, happy, and more importantly, no longer harming themselves and the ones they love. Here are a few ways you can help your spouse during their recovery:

  • One of the first steps is to help to get them into inpatient or outpatient treatment. Depending on your spouse’s substance use, being an inpatient may be more beneficial by taking them out of the environment that they aren’t thriving in and putting them somewhere where the focus is on recovery.
  • Support your spouse by attending recovery programs with them, such as a 12-Step Program, after they come out of their detox program. Showing your support by showing up to these meetings help to let your spouse know that you believe in them, and it also holds them to some sort of accountability. They can’t skip out on going if you are there with them.
  • Learn about enabling, and then make sure you don’t do it. Enabling someone with substance use disorder looks like making excuses for their behaviors or lying about their behaviour to others. You aren’t helping them by allowing them to neglect their responsibilities, and you definitely aren’t helping yourself by allowing them to continue to use.

Most of the substance use recovery process is on the person struggling with it, but it is extremely helpful when your spouse is supportive. 

Protecting Yourself

It’s essential that when helping your spouse with substance use disorder, you are still putting yourself first. Your health, mental stability, and safety should be maintained as your first concern. You can’t help your spouse if you find that you are losing yourself in the process. 

If your spouse becomes violent with you when you bring up their substance use disorder, or if they have a pattern of being violent while under the influence, then you need to recognize that your safety is more important than you staying in that situation. If there are children involved, you should also protect the children from experiencing the effects of substance use. 

If you find that the substance use your partner is experiencing is beginning to rub off on you, where you are using drugs or alcohol more to fit in and to ignore the damage and destruction that is being done, please seek out professional help. Confiding in family and friends can also help to ensure that you are safe. Having a place to go if you need to leave your spouse for periods of time is critical, and your loved ones want you to be safe.

Bringing Your Spouse to SOBA Recovery Centers

Here at Soba Recovery, we know that there’s no one-size-fits-all treatment for addiction. That’s why we tailor all of our programs to meet specific needs. We can help your spouse achieve the freedom they’ve always wanted. We offer both inpatient and outpatient services to find what’s best for your spouse and your family. 

Reach out to a member of our team today and ask about our individualized treatment plans. Take back your life with a rehabilitation center that truly cares about your recovery needs.



Drug Addiction (Substance Use Disorder) | Mayo Clinic

What Is Addiction? | American Psychiatry Association

Substance Abuse and Intimate Relationships | AAMFT

5 Tips to Stay Sober After Recovery Treatment

If you’re in recovery, congratulations. You of all people know how difficult it was to get to this point, and now that you’ve made it, it’s time to focus on staying sober. There are many things you can do to help you stay sober after leaving a rehabilitation facility, but consistency is key. Find what works for you and stick to it!

1. Stay Away From Triggers and Old Habits

If you want to stay committed to recovering from your substance use disorder, it’s important that you recognize your triggers and old habits. There might be moments where you find yourself in a place that you recognize and have bad memories in. You might see someone or hear someone’s name that you associate with your substance use and it might send you into a spiral. 

Learning what places, topics, and names trigger you can help you avoid them altogether to avoid the feelings that come with. Seeing people use, struggling financially, or having relationship issues can all be triggering while in recovery. It’s in your best bet to avoid being around those who use, and to find support from family and friends during turmoil.

You might recognize too that you have internal triggers that aren’t associated with places or things, but rather different thoughts and memories that you associate with your substance use. Often, stress can be a major trigger and there is a desire to use substances when under immense stress. 

Avoiding old habits, like hanging out with certain groups and going to certain places that you used to go to, can be helpful in staying sober. If you take yourself out of the spaces that used to harm you, you are giving yourself a better shot at staying sober in recovery. 

2. Build Healthy Relationships to Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

If you haven’t already, cutting off toxic relationships from the life you lived while using is one way to maintain the healthy lifestyle you strive for after recovery. In the process of cutting off toxic people, you should be putting effort into building healthy relationships with those around you that want to see you happy and healthy. Focus on rebuilding relationships with family and friends that you strayed from during your substance use to ensure that you have a network of support behind you throughout your recovery. 

When you build healthy relationships, you are proving that you want to stay sober. Your friends and family will see you trying your hardest to get better. You’ll feel better about your future knowing you have the support you’ll need. There are sober support groups for those who are struggling to find healthy relationships if those around you still use substances. Finding your people will help you to stay sober, because they will push you to maintain your sobriety goals.

3. Focus on Finances and Structure

Many people that are in recovery for substance use disorder have struggled or currently struggle with financial problems. Using substances means spending money, and it can be hard to recover from any debt you might be in, as well as learn ways to be financially independent and responsible. 

There are many aftercare programs that you can go to to help you build structure within your life. At these programs the focus is often on maintaining finances, coping skills, and social interaction. If you feel that you need more structure, an aftercare program might be extremely beneficial, as it holds you accountable and teaches you ways to stay sober and be consistent about it.

Before you began your sober life, you might have felt that you had no schedule and no real responsibilities. If you develop a schedule for yourself, you can reach your goals a bit easier. Knowing what your day to day looks like can help to avoid those moments where you are left doing nothing but thinking about substance use. Keeping yourself busy and motivated helps immensely in the recovery process. 

4. Heal From Past Mistakes

It’s hard to escape memories of you hurting those close to you due to your substance use, but not being able to learn from your mistakes will hold you back in your path to recovery. If you’re trying to stay sober, remember that no matter what you’ve done in the past, the only thing that you can control is your future. 

You have the ability to use your past as a catalyst for change. Many people experience shame and embarrassment when they reflect on their past experiences surrounding substance use, but if you’re able to heal from your mistakes, then that shame and embarrassment will manifest as a drive to be better. 

When you apologize and reconcile with you those that you’ve hurt in the past you’re showing them that you are changed. Holding yourself accountable is healing. People recognize the strength that it takes to say, “I’m sorry.” The more people you heal with, the more people that will be there to support you while you stay sober. 

5. Celebrate Your Recovery Success

It’s no small feat to commit to living a sober lifestyle and be successful at it. You deserve to feel accomplished for changing your life around. This lifestyle change is not easy, so don’t believe that your perseverance is anything less than worth celebrating. Becoming sober can feel like you are losing out, but soon you will realize that it’s the opposite. You will feel better by staying sober.

Whether it be 24 hours, two weeks, or three years, your ability to stay strong throughout the process and commit to being sober is something that should be acknowledged. Milestones are important when it comes to recovery. 

When you acknowledge these milestones, you are further motivating yourself to continue on in the process of recovery. For all the time that you spent beating yourself up about your substance use, you should be celebrating the moments in which you have taken back your life.

Success should not be taken lightly. Be proud of how far you have come, so that you are motivated to keep up the good work.

In Summary

Everyone deals with recovery from substance use in their own way. Every person must figure out what works and what doesn’t work for them, where they can go if they need support, and how to maintain sobriety on their own. It’s important to remain consistent in whatever you choose because as soon as you waiver, so does your motivation to stay sober. Make sure to avoid stressors that can lead to relapsing, and don’t be ashamed to reach out to someone you love for help. 

Taking back your life means also learning how to be a functional human in society, so taking control over your finances and creating a schedule can help to maintain sobriety. Being sober, you begin to feel more in control of your life. It’s not worth it to lose that control. Seek professional help if you believe that you need it. You know yourself best, so trust you gut, and live your life healthy and substance-free.



Drug Addiction (Substance Use Disorder) | Mayo Clinic

Recovery and Recovery Support | SAMHSA  

In Recovery | Start Your Recovery 

The Dos and Don’ts on Congratulating Individuals on Their Sobriety

Large golden balloon letters spelling out the word congrats

When someone you love has been focusing on becoming and staying sober, you might not know exactly what to say and what not to say when discussing their recovery. Acknowledging their strength in choosing to be sober is extremely important to your loved one. 

Your support means everything to them, and it makes it easier to continue on in their journey knowing they have people backing them. There are ways to approach congratulating your loved ones on their sobriety without feeling uncomfortable about it, and we are here to tell you how!

The Dos

There are things that you should think about when congratulating someone on their sobriety. No matter if it’s been one year, two weeks, or five months, being sober for any amount of time is something worth celebrating. It’s important that you know the right things to say to someone in order to prove that you are aware of their circumstances and fully support them. 

Learn Affirmations

What you say to someone who is in recovery and trying to stay sober can really impact them. You want to make sure that they know that they are supported by you and can feel comfortable in your presence. Often, people in recovery feel shameful of their past actions and their situation, and by showing them that you back them, you can help to alleviate that stress

Affirmations are sentences that express healthy support to someone who is in recovery. Some examples of affirmations are as follows:

  • I’m so proud of you: Letting them know you recognize their strength and praising them for it can be extremely helpful to hear. Knowing that someone is proud of you can be motivation to keep on fighting.
  • You deserve to be happy and healthy: A lot of times, people struggling with addiction and sobriety don’t believe that they deserve a life where they are not suffering. Telling someone that they do deserve to live a happy life can be uplifting and eye-opening. 
  • Keep up the amazing work: Recognizing the hard work that they have been putting in to stay sober is important. When people show up for their loved ones with this kind of support, it’s inspirational to continue to work towards staying sober.
  • Let me know if I can do anything to help you: Offering your physical, mental, and emotional support to someone who is working towards sobriety lets the person know that they are not alone in fighting for their life. Other people care about them, they just need to be able to see that.

Show Your Support With Action

While words can compel a person to work harder and push themselves to maintain sobriety, sometimes a physical push is what they need. There are ways to show up for your loved ones that aren’t just about motivational speaking:

  • Attend meetings with them: Sometimes it can be hard to get up and go to a meeting alone, so offering to attend meetings with your loved one can be helpful in pushing them to go. Even just offering rides to and from can eliminate a potential barrier for your loved ones. Making it as easy as possible for them to access the resources that they need can be helpful during recovery.
  • Refrain from using or discussing substances around them: Without knowing, you could trigger your loved one by discussing or using substances around them. To avoid any urge of relapse, it’s best to avoid the discussion or action completely. Instead, focus on other activities or topics that help to get their mind off of it. 
  • Answer their phone calls and text: It may seem small, but letting your loved one communicate with you through the tough times can be critical during recovery. Sometimes, people dealing with addiction who are trying to be sober feel like they are alone in the journey. Having someone they can rely on talking to them helps to show that you are serious about their recovery just as they are. 

The Don’ts

On the contrary, there are things you should not do when trying to congratulate your loved one on their sobriety. There are questions and language that should be avoided as it can turn your loved one off from trusting you completely, and even might trigger them into relapsing. 

Avoid Invasive Questions

There are many things that you should not ask someone who is recovering from substance use disorder. Some questions that might seem harmless actually carry a lot of weight. You want your loved one to trust you, so here are some things to avoid saying to them:

  • How long have you been sober?: For many people in recovery, this can be a tricky question. It’s not an easy path to sobriety and slip-ups do happen. What’s important to instead focus on is the progress they’ve made and the fact that they made the decision to better their life. 
  • Can’t you just stop using?: Some people don’t understand that addiction is not something that you can control. Assuming that someone is able to “just stop” is neglecting that addiction is a disease that needs to be treated. If people with substance use disorder could stop, they absolutely would. There’s a lot of work that goes into becoming sober. 
  • So, we can never share a drink/high together again?: Don’t center the subject around yourself. The decision that they are making to become sober is one that is very hard and probably took them a long time to come to. Instead, consider all of the things you’ll be able to do in the future with your loved one now that they have decided they want to be happy and healthy.
  • What would you consider your lowest point?: For some people, sharing their trauma can feel healing and help in their recovery, but you should never ask someone. Being put on the spot to recall a time that they most likely feel very poorly about can be triggering and upsetting. Instead of discussing the time that they weren’t sober, maybe focus on how they are feeling now that they are taking back their life.

Avoid Stigmatized Language

You might not realize it, but the language that you use when talking to your loved one about their sobriety can be problematic. There are certain words that you should avoid saying when trying to congratulate your friend on their sobriety:

  • “Addict” or “Junkie”: You want to focus on person-first language to show that a person is not their problem. These terms are outdated and bring along a negative connotation, so it’s better to use language such as, “a person in recovery”.
  • Using “Abuse” rather than “Use”: Similar to above, the word “abuse” has extremely negative connotations, and society views “abusers” as bad people. People who use substances are not bad people. Using language such as this can discourage your loved one from talking to you about their recovery process.
  • Referring to someone as “Clean” or “Dirty”: When discussing whether someone is currently using or not, you want to use accurate language to portray the status of their medical condition. Words that have negative associations tied to them alienate your loved one and show that you might not be able to be trusted when discussing confidential and taboo topics. 

In Summary

When it comes down to it, the language that you use when congratulating someone’s sobriety should always be considered so as not to make that person feel like you are judging them. 

Stigmatizing language can turn your loved one away from trusting you, so be mindful to positively affirm their success, show up for them when they need it, and use language that focuses on them as a person in recovery. 



Words Matter – Terms to Use and Avoid When Talking About Addiction | NIDA 

People First Language | ODR

Recovery and Recovery Support | SAMHSA   

Quitting is Hard! A Guide to Developing a Relapse Plan

Diverse women stacking hands on wooden table

Throughout your path to recovery from substance use disorder, you may find yourself looking back at the possibility of relapsing. This is a fear that many people in recovery deal with daily and there is no need to feel shame in allowing for the thought to slip in. 

The best way to prepare yourself for the possibility of a relapse is to fully equip yourself with all the right tools to battle it. It’s much easier to slip back into using than it is to stay sober, but preparing for the worst will help you stay successful in your recovery. Read on to learn more about developing a guide for a relapse plan. 

What is a Relapse Plan?

A relapse plan is a physical plan that you create to help you if you are in the stages of relapse. This plan can specify certain triggers, different ways to help ground you, and people to contact in case of emergencies. 

It’s helpful to share a relapse plan with the people you love and your treatment team because they are the ones who are most likely to notice if anything that you’ve included is starting to happen. The main point of a relapse plan is to help you learn when the behaviors that you are exhibiting could be taken into consideration as the beginning stages of relapse.

Stages of Relapse

Relapses don’t happen overnight. There are three stages of a relapse that you can become aware of to help prevent it from happening: emotional, mental, and physical. 

As each stage passes by without getting the proper treatment or doing the work to unload where your feelings are coming from, they are leading you to the same outcome. Luckily there are ways that you can begin to prevent your stages from evolving into the next.


An emotional relapse will lead you to feelings of sadness in regards to your progress, shame from your last relapse, and numbness to the reality of your situation. People who begin to experience emotional relapse don’t want to repeatedly relapse, but because they are dwelling on the past, they aren’t emotionally available to consciously think about staying sober.


People who are experiencing a mental relapse have constant turmoil inside of their minds. They want to use as much as they don’t want to use. They feel weak and like they aren’t fully in control of their actions. When you become addicted to a substance, it’s not like you can forget how it feels to use, so it takes a lot of mental energy to work on letting those feelings go when the memories arise.


A physical relapse is when someone has finally come to the point of using again. At this point, their mental turmoil has overcome them and they aren’t able to fight their urges. This can either be a moment of weakness where they work towards getting better afterwards, receiving the proper care, or it can become a full relapse where they begin to use in an uncontrolled manner.

How to Create a Relapse Plan

There are many formats to create your own relapse plan. Typically, you need to first recognize the signs of relapsing. Once you are aware of what they look like, you can notify those around you as well so they can look for them too. 

You want to make things as easy as possible for the future you who is probably not doing very well if they are referring to their relapse plan. When you lay out exactly how things should be done if you were to relapse, you’re making it easiest for those around you to ensure your safety by knowing how to properly take care of you.

Create a Step-by-Step Plan

You need to come up with a plan to divert your attention from relapsing. When there is something that triggers you into wanting to use, or you begin to have guilt and shame when you think about old memories, find things that you can supplement for a distraction other than using. 

In your plan, you should aim to lay out certain scenarios that you believe might trigger a relapse. If you come up with a plan on how to act if those issues arise, then you and your loved ones can feel better knowing that you have ways that you can cope. 

Determine Your Personal Signs of Relapse

There are different ways that the beginning stages of a relapse could show and it’s specific to each individual person. You know you best, so when you notice certain places or names begin to trigger you, take note of that so you can include it in your plan. 

You want to have a set of written triggers, so that others around you can be made aware of what not to do around you. People that love you will want to help you in any way they can, so this information is very helpful. Some people begin to act very differently before a relapse, as they are becoming overstimulated by triggers that they aren’t getting any assistance for. 

You should also consider what might’ve set off a prior relapse so that you can avoid it, as well as let others know to avoid certain words or actions when around you. You might want to avoid certain places, so letting your loved ones know in advance where you don’t want to go can be helpful when planning normal everyday outings. Being prepared is the best thing that you can be, and you don’t want triggers to be dictating your daily life.


A part of your relapse plan should be a bit about prevention methods that you believe would work for you in the case that you slip into a relapse. Feel free to have a running list of different management methods to help you stay sober, like:

  • Self Care: If you enjoy getting your nails done, get them! If you like to take a hot shower whenever you’re feeling stressed out, you should. Whatever it is that you enjoy doing, put it on your list to remind yourself to take care of your body and mind.
  • Deep Breathing: Sometimes you begin to feel a loss of control over yourself when you slip into a relapse. There are ways to ground yourself to try to gain that control back. Deep breathing is a great way to do this, and it can be done anywhere. 
  • Calling a Friend: If you feel that you need to talk to someone or else you might fall back into using, having someone who you know you can talk to is helpful to prevent relapses. Taking the weight off yourself and allowing for someone else to listen can be very rewarding in your recovery process.
  • Visit Soba Recovery: If you feel that you need treatment support, visit us here at Soba Recovery. We offer drug and alcohol addiction recovery treatment in both Mesa, AZ, and San Antonio, TX. Visit our website for more information or give us a call to learn more about our addiction treatment programs!

In Summary

It’s really hard to quit, but you don’t have to do it alone or without thought. Make a plan and stick to it. Let others in your life become aware of the plan so they can aid you in your recovery. You’ve come so far, don’t let a relapse set you back. 



Focus: Addiction: Relapse Prevention and the Five Rules of Recovery | NCBI

Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders | SAMHSA 

Relapse Prevention | Mayo Clinic

5 Great Sober Activities for Couples

Man and Woman Sitting on Bench Viewing a Mountain Range

When you or a loved one is in recovery from substance use disorder, finding things to do that don’t require going out to a bar and drinking with friends seem to be a lot harder to come up with. If that’s the life that you were once used to, it might be hard to find new things to share participating in with your partner. 

Luckily, we here at Soba Recovery have thought of this so you don’t have to. Read on to learn about five great sober activities that you can do with your partner.

Visit a Museum or Art Exhibit

There are so many different kinds of museums and exhibits that you can visit with your partner. Find something that you both find interesting, like history or contemporary art, and search where you can spend a day perusing around a collection dedicated to that thing! 

Visiting an art exhibit is a great sober activity to do with your partner because there is so much to look at and talk about. Art is meant to be expressive and sometimes surrounding yourself with art can lead to an exploration of your own creativity. 

Sometimes, exhibits and museums have gift shops attached to them that you can get lost in for a while. This can be an additional fun activity to do with your spouse—challenge them to find the oddest item in the gift shop and make a game of it! 

Enjoy the Outdoors

There are so many different activities that you can do with your partner outdoors. There is nothing better or more healing than fresh air, sun on your face, and nature. Depending on your level of comfortability with the natural elements, you can choose from a range of fun activities that involve getting outside. 

Take a Hike!

If you want to see trees and hear little critters scurrying around in the brush, taking some time out of your day to go for a hike is a perfect date idea. Being encompassed by nature is peaceful and healing, and allows for reflection and good conversation. If you’d like to spend time outside but at a more leisurely pace, there are often walking trails that avoid rough terrain so that people of all skill levels can enjoy the outdoors.  

Go for a Peaceful Bike Ride

If you are a couple that likes something a little more fast-paced, taking your bikes out for a spin can be relaxing and romantic. Plan out a destination and bring along some food, water, and sparkling juice to have yourselves a lovely picnic! 

Biking is a great sober activity because it’s good for your health! Your body can avoid cravings as it focuses your attention to your body and it’s movement, and away from thinking about using substances. 

Plan a Camping Trip

If you’re a couple that really enjoys the outdoors, it’s probably time for you to plan a camping trip. Camping is often cheaper than planning a full vacation, and you get to immerse yourself into nature. Having a nice getaway weekend up to your favorite campsite can help you to spend more one-on-one time with your partner without any distractions. 

Not only is the act of camping fun, but the planning of the trip can be fun too! Spend time with your partner planning out hiking trails to try out and secret swimming holes the two of you can venture off to. 

Plan a Vacation

If you’re a couple that would rather enjoy electricity and your own toilet, planning out a vacation may be more up your alley. There are tons of great destinations you can visit where you don’t have to stress about finding sober activities that you can participate in. 

There are a ton of steps that go into planning a vacation, so looking up nearby attractions you want to visit and find great food spots that you want to try out. Make this trip a really great memory that the two of you can share.

Spending time together on vacation means that you are creating new memories with your partner that you can positively reflect back on. It’s important to build new memories, and exploring new places is one of the best ways to do that. There are so many things you can do while on a vacation. Go relax by the pool, treat yourself with a trip to the spa, or be a tourist for the day! 

Make Each Other’s Favorite Meal

You don’t have to go out to have fun together. There is one thing that often people can come together for—and that’s food. Everyone has a favorite meal. Whether it be breakfast for dinner or their mother’s homemade spaghetti, most people are always down to enjoy their favorite dish with the person they love! Instead of going out to spaces where there will be substances, you can find comfort in spending time away from everyone, focused on your partner. 

Cooking with your partner is a great way to learn more about them. Certain foods hold sentimental values, and it’s easier to bond when sharing memories, while creating new ones. Once you’ve cooked all of your favorites, don’t be afraid to start branching out to try new recipes!

Learn a New Skill Together

Is there something that you and your partner have been thinking about trying out together? Now is the time to try it out! If you want to try to be more artistic with your partner, go out, pick up some paint and brushes from your local craft store and spend an evening indoors creating! Sometimes, even just setting aside some time together where you work on separate crafts can be really rewarding and fun to do. 

Maybe you aren’t a chef, but you want to learn. Learning how to cook or bake, using unique ingredients, and challenging your abilities can be great for bonding, and is overall really fun. You can keep track of the new dishes that you’ve made together, rating them based on how easy it was to prepare, how good it looked before eating, and how it tasted! 

Final Thoughts

You don’t have to go out and drink to have fun. You don’t need to be under the influence to enjoy the time you spend with your partner. There are plenty of activities to do that are fun, healing, and personalized. There is also something for everyone. 

If you enjoy the outdoors and outdoor activities, spend more time finding the perfect fit for you and your partner. If you like staying in, there are plenty of recipes to try and art to make. Find what makes you happiest and what helps you to focus on your sobriety. 

Sobering Up at Soba Recovery

If you’ve decided that it’s time to go sober, we can help at Soba Recovery. We offer drug and alcohol addiction recovery treatment in both Mesa, AZ, and San Antonio, TX. Visit our website for more information or give us a call to learn more about our addiction treatment programs!



Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders | SAMHSA 

Best trails in United States of America | All Trails 

10 Ways to Enjoy the Outdoors Without Going Far | Outward Bound