Types of Withdrawal Symptoms To Look Out For

When someone uses illicit drugs for a long period of time and develops physiological dependencies on them, they put themselves at a variety of risks.

A person struggling with substance use may not be thinking about what it will feel like to experience withdrawal symptoms, but when the time comes, it can be very difficult.

If you or a loved one are dealing with substance use disorder or addiction, going through the drug withdrawal stage is necessary to recover. But that doesn’t mean that it’s easy.

Withdrawal can feel like you are dying, and without proper support or supervision, withdrawal can sometimes lead to fatal consequences.

This doesn’t mean that you should continue to use to subdue the withdrawal symptoms, but rather you should look for professional help to guide you through the process. This will ensure your safety and help you understand what is happening to your body.

Withdrawal can be terrifying, but it’s often the first step towards taking back ownership of your life and decisions. If you or a loved one is struggling with substance use disorder, keep an eye out for the signs and symptoms of withdrawal. Understanding the symptoms may help you ease through the process and come out successful on the other side.

What Is Substance Use Disorder?

Substance use disorder (SUD) occurs when someone has recurring use of any type of drug that causes disruption in their everyday life and that they lack control over.

People with substance use disorder rarely have control over their actions and their substance use, making it very difficult for them to get better. Substance use can range from mild to severe, and no two people experience the same journey.

Many factors can lead to substance use disorder and drug addiction, including environmental impacts, societal pressures, and genetics. People who are struggling might have been predisposed to SUD, but without environmental and societal factors, they might not have developed the substance use disorder.

Peer pressure, being exposed to substances at a young age, and mental health all impact your choices with substances.

What Is Withdrawal?

Withdrawal occurs when you stop or limit your substance use. Withdrawal symptoms can vary across the different substances, but the symptoms can be debilitating. Without proper support, you could suffer intensely throughout the withdrawal process.

Withdrawal includes the physical, mental, and behavioral changes that you go through when you stop using a substance. For each individual, the withdrawal process could be unique; with different substances, you have different reactions. The symptoms of withdrawal during alcohol dependence can differ from the symptoms of withdrawal for a person with a different drug dependence.

When you use a substance daily, your body can develop a physical dependence on the drug. That means when you want to stop, your body has to reverie back to its old ways, which isn’t a smooth process, but a necessary one.

Why Does Withdrawal Occur?

Withdrawal occurs when your body goes from using a substance every day to not at all. Your body is not used to living life without the substance, so your body reacts negatively and angrily when you don’t use it. When you are regularly using, your brain and body adjust and over time and accept these feelings as normal.

The symptoms you will experience can vary greatly depending on what substance you used, for how long, and what other factors may be playing a role. If you are using substances frequently and in large quantities, you should expect withdrawal symptoms to occur if you are planning to quit.

What Are Common Symptoms of Withdrawal?

Depending on what substance you were abusing and for how long, your withdrawal symptoms will vary. Everyone experiences drug use differently, and because of this, the way they experience withdrawals is very similar. It can be difficult to know what to expect when it comes to withdrawal, but there are a few common symptoms that might come to light.

Knowing what to look out for can help you manage withdrawal symptoms in the safest way possible. Be sure to look out for some common signs of withdrawal:

  • Changes in mood
  • Changes in appetite and hunger
  • Tremors and shakiness
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Sweating profusely
  • Irritability and fatigue
  • Muscle pains
  • Difficulties with sleep

These symptoms listed above are only general signs to look out for, but each substance has its own symptoms of withdrawal.

Are There Different Types of Withdrawal?

Every substance you put into your body will have a different and varying effect on you.

Therefore you can assume that the withdrawal symptoms for different substances will also be different, like symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal versus opiate withdrawal symptoms.

Symptoms can range from mild to severe depending on your usage and how long you have been dependent on the substance.

Withdrawal symptoms can be very uncomfortable and painful, which is why it can be difficult to get through the process — especially in cases of severe withdrawal. Many people will fall back and use the substance to get over the withdrawal symptoms, knowing that it’s just what they need to feel no longer ill. Because of this, getting professional treatment and having solid support systems can ensure that you stay safe and successful during your detox.

The following sections highlight the symptoms of withdrawal from different substances so that you can have a better understanding of what to expect.


Withdrawing from alcohol can have a very serious and severe effect on a person.

Withdrawal symptoms may begin between 6 and 24 hours of heavy and prolonged drinking, and they come on strong. For several days after the start of symptoms, it’s likely these effects will get worse before getting better. It can be extremely painful and uncomfortable to go through detox during this time. Some symptoms of alcohol withdrawal are:

  • Irritability and restlessness
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Nightmares and insomnia
  • Intense sweating and hot flashes
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rapid heart rate and increased blood pressure
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations

Long-term effects of excessive alcohol can be very damaging to your body and even fatal. Heart disease, liver disease, depression, and cancer have all been associated with long-term drinking, so intervening as early as possible is essential.


Benzodiazepines are used to depress the central nervous system and are frequently prescribed for anxiety and panic disorders, as well as certain seizure disorders. Mixing these drugs with alcohol or opioids has the potential to lead to fatal overdoses.

The withdrawal effects from Benzodiazepines can appear anywhere from hours to days after stopping the use of short-acting benzodiazepines like Ativan. For long-acting benzodiazepines like Valium, withdrawal effects can appear several days to a week after stopping use.

Symptoms of withdrawal caused by short-acting benzodiazepines usually resolve within four to five days. However, with long-acting ones, the withdrawal symptoms might peak in the second week and resolve in the third or fourth week.

Others experience lingering effects of the withdrawal for up to eight weeks, making it a very difficult drug to quit using.

Symptoms you might experience are:

  • Agitation and irritability
  • Hallucinations and delirium
  • Rapid pulse and sweating
  • Loss of concentration and memory
  • Seizures and tremors
  • Anxiety and insomnia
  • Sensitivity to light, sounds, and smells

Though the recovery is long and hard, it’s well worth it when you come out in control of yourself once again.


Regardless of if you use medical marijuana or recreational marijuana, if you stop using after heavy, prolonged usage, you will experience withdrawal symptoms for several weeks. Marijuana is a drug that many people use frequently, so if you quit cold turkey, there will be side effects as your body gets used to sobriety.

Symptoms that you might experience are:

  • Nervousness and restlessness
  • Anger and irritability
  • Loss of appetite and abdominal pain
  • Nightmares and insomnia
  • Tremors and overall shakiness
  • Nausea and headaches
  • Depression and anxiety

People going through marijuana withdrawal will also experience intense cravings for marijuana, making it very difficult to stay sober.


Opioid withdrawal symptoms can be very difficult to go through, and though not always life-threatening, being assisted through them can make it easier to cope. Opioids include illicit drugs like heroin and prescription opioid painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin.

Symptoms associated with opioid withdrawal are:

  • Dysphoria
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Dilated pupils
  • Goosebumps
  • Runny nose and watery eyes
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Insomnia
  • Fever and sweating

Because you can be prescribed a certain kind of opioid, it makes it easier to misuse them. If you are having a hard time dealing with substance use, you can talk with your doctor about alternatives to opioid prescriptions for pain.


Stimulants are “upper” drugs that affect the central nervous system and can be prescribed to people with certain conditiions. Adderall and Ritalin are two examples of stimulants that are prescribed to those with conditions like ADHD, but these medications are still susceptible to misuse. Illicit stimulants like cocaine and crystal methamphetamine are also highly addictive when used.

Symptoms of stimulant withdrawal are:

  • Depression and dysphoria
  • Agitation and irritability
  • Increased appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia or excessive sleep
  • Aching muscles

People who are experiencing stimulant withdrawal are likely to feel intense cravings after stopping heavy usage pretty soon after. They might also experience suicidal thoughts and intense depressive states, so monitoring someone in this state is helpful to keep a close eye on their behaviors.

What Are Treatment Options for Withdrawal?

If you are looking to get yourself or a loved one into treatment for their substance use, you or your loved one will, unfortunately, need to go through the withdrawal process.

When you are going through a detoxification program, you are monitored throughout your detox so that you can be as comfortable as possible. The professionals a part of these programs are focused on keeping you safe and helping you get better.

During a detoxification process, you are equipped with both psychiatric and medical support to get you through the withdrawal. If you are eligible, you will be treated through a medically assisted treatment (MAT) program, during which doctors can administer Methadone or Buprenex to you. With a monitored detoxification process, you have access to medical professionals who can assist you when you need it.

What Are Tips To Cope With Withdrawal?

If you are experiencing withdrawal, being in a facility is your best option, but there are ways to help cope with the symptoms of withdrawal. Of course, asking for help can be difficult but it’s necessary. Other ways to cope with withdrawal include:

  • Drinking plenty of water. Many symptoms of withdrawal can lead to dehydration. It’s important that you are drinking water throughout the withdrawal period to try to reduce some of the symptoms like headaches and fatigue.
  • Eat nutritious meals. It might be difficult, but focusing on what you are eating can help to improve your mood. You might be irritable and tired, so eating fatty and sugary foods will only bring you down. Instead eat plenty of vegetables and fruits to keep your energy and water-take up.
  • Try to get out and exercise. Depending on how bad your symptoms are, you can try to get up and exercise a bit. Even if you are just stretching and doing some yoga, your body will thank you. If you can go out and walk around, that might be even better.
  • Don’t fight your sleep. You will likely be experiencing fatigue, so catching up on sleep can only help. Don’t feel bad about lounging around and just getting through it.
  • Spend time with people who care. Let people who love you watch over you. If you aren’t in a treatment facility, you can look for help from your friends. Asking for some accountability to be made can be difficult but well worth it.

Working on managing your stress and cravings is not an easy task. You can try different self-care acts like meditation, journaling, art, or reading to take your mind off of the withdrawal symptoms as well. Anything to get you focused on improving your life and avoiding substances!

Getting Help With Soba

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance use disorder and are seeking help, reach out to a representative at Soba Recovery Centers.

With two locations, one in Mesa, Arizona, and San Antonio, Texas, you can receive professional treatment whenever you need it. Having 24-hour professional monitoring can ensure that you recover as easily as possible.

Going through the withdrawal process on your own can be dangerous and very difficult. When you receive treatment at Soba, you don’t have to worry about going through withdrawal alone. Our detoxification process is fully monitored so that you can access assistance at any point. We understand the difficulties that surround withdrawal and don’t believe that you should be alone through the process.

Get help today and access a better future for yourself tomorrow.


Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders | SAMHSA

Drug & Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms & Treatment | DrugAbuse.com

Drinking Too Much Alcohol Can Harm Your Health. Learn The Facts | CDC

What Happens In Drug Rehab?

If you or a loved one are wondering about entering a drug rehab program, you likely are interested in how they function.

What do you do all day? What kind of programs are you able to participate in? Understanding your options can make the process less stressful and more impactful.

Getting help for a substance use disorder in a treatment facility means you receive around-the-clock addiction treatment and care from medically trained professionals. This kind of treatment is recommended for people who have been struggling with drug addiction long-term and can’t seem to get out of their substance abuse on their own.

When you get into drug rehab, they don’t just help you stop using drugs; they also help you understand why you might be turning to drugs and what you can do to overcome your substance use. Drug rehab facilities incorporate a variety of therapies to get down to the bottom of your addiction and help you make changes for the better.

What Is the Process of Drug Rehab?

Getting into a drug rehab process will look very similar regardless of what facility you are at. You’ll want to reach out to a representative and discuss their substance abuse treatment options before signing up. Finding a treatment center that will work with you to get you help is the ultimate goal.

Intake Form

When you first get to a drug or alcohol rehab center, you will go through an intake process.

During this process, the rehab center will be able to get an overall idea of your substance use, medical history, family history, and social background. This information gives the facility a better understanding of you as a person and what kind of treatment program you are looking for.


Once you have undergone the intake process, your doctors and nurses at the facility will decide what treatment methods are best for you. Likely, they will want you to go through the detoxification process.

If you are using substances actively, the detoxification process will clean out the substances from your body. Unfortunately, this detoxification process brings along withdrawal symptoms and cravings that can be very uncomfortable.

When you go through the detoxification process in drug rehab, you are able to stay monitored and have continuing healthcare for your safety. Having 24-hour monitoring means you can get help when you need it. There is always a doctor or nurse on call who can assist you at any time, and they want to!

Treatment: Inpatient or Outpatient

Once you have finished the detoxification process, which could be anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks, the staff at the drug rehab will work with you to make a treatment plan. Depending on the severity of your substance use, your doctors might recommend inpatient or outpatient programs.

Inpatient programs will keep you on 24-hour monitoring. If you are able to take time off to go into inpatient treatment, it can be very helpful in recovery. Inpatient programs involve healthcare experts who will work with you on a strict timeline to get you back on track and focused on recovery.

Outpatient rehab programs require you to come to the treatment facility but allow you to go home afterward. This is great for people who can’t take time off of work, who have families that they need to be there for, or who who simply may not need an inpatient program to overcome their struggles. Outpatient rehab allows you to have a space for a community outside of your family with people who are going through similar struggles while still allowing you to follow your normal routines to an extent.

What Is a Typical Day in Inpatient Rehab?

When you are in an inpatient program, you will have a strict schedule to follow. The day might look like this:

7:00 AM: Wake up, have breakfast, and take any medication needed

8:00 AM: Take showers, get ready for the day

9:00 AM: Morning group therapy session

10:30 AM: Personal time

11:00 AM: Individual therapy session

12:00 AM: Lunchtime

1:00 PM: Afternoon activities – exercise, art, games

3:00 PM: Afternoon group therapy session

4:30 PM: Personal time

5:00 PM: Dinner

7:00 PM: 12-step meetings

8:00 PM: Evening group therapy session

9:00 PM: Personal time

11:00 PM: Bedtime

While in inpatient care, you will go through several different therapy sessions, both group and individual. This will allow you to get to the bottom of your own issues one-on-one with a therapist, as well as gain a sense of community with other individuals who are struggling with similar issues.

Inpatient therapy is a great time for you to focus on yourself with no guilt. This is a time for you to get better, so make the most of it!

The amount of time you spend inpatient will vary depending on the severity of your substance use. You and your providers will know when it’s time for you to transfer to outpatient treatment.

What Is a Typical Day in Outpatient Rehab?

When you are a part of an outpatient program, you have a bit more freedom to come and go, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a schedule you need to follow. Outpatient programs can vary in their start times, but mid-morning will likely be your first group therapy session.

A day in outpatient might look something like this:

10:00 AM: You arrive to the facility for your group therapy session

12:00 PM: You break for lunch

2:00 PM: Individual therapy sessions

And then you are sent off for the day! Outpatient programs might not take up as much of your day, but they can take a bit longer because you will need to split your treatment up.

With intensive outpatient programs, you are able to keep somewhat of your outside life normal, being able to go to work and take care of your family while undergoing treatment. This gives you the best of both worlds.

Getting Help with Soba

If you or a loved one are interested in entering a drug rehab facility, consider calling a representative from Soba Recovery Centers.

With two separate locations, Mesa, AZ, and San Antonio, TX, you can get addiction help when you need it and however best it will work for you. You can discuss with our staff what kind of treatment might be best for you before making any decisions.

After you go through the intake process, we will have a better understanding of what your needs are. We can craft a treatment plan with you catered to your individual needs so that you have the best shot of recovery.

Throughout your treatment, you will have our support and resources available to you at all times. With insightful group therapy, meaningful individual therapy, medically-assisted therapy (MAT), and full detoxification, Soba Recovery can help you achieve and maintain the life you deserve.

Addiction recovery can be a long and scary journey, but it doesn’t have to be lonely. You can find help from people who are trained to assist you and want to see you thrive. With help from Soba Recovery Centers, you can get your life back into your control.


NIMH » Substance Use and Co-Occurring Mental Disorders | NIMH

Pharmacological Strategies For Detoxification | NCBI

Benefits Of Peer Support Groups In The Treatment Of Addiction | NCBI

What Is Inpatient Rehab and How Will It Help With Addiction?

Asking for help is the first step towards recovery. There are several methods that you could attempt to get help and battle your addiction, with inpatient rehab being one of them. Inpatient rehab offers onsite addiction treatment that is catered to your every need so that you can focus solely on your recovery. 

Whether it be for a few days or several weeks, inpatient care is designed to provide you with constant care that will help you get to where you need to be. 

If you think inpatient rehab might be the next step for you, consider joining us at Soba Recovery Centers to get a jumpstart on the rest of your life! 

What Is Inpatient Rehab?

The first thing is understanding what it means when talking about inpatient rehab. Inpatient treatment typically focuses on various methods that will work together and assist you in your recovery. During inpatient treatment, you will live on the premises of the recovery center and work with staff who are available 24/7. 

This kind of around-the-clock care helps by monitoring your progress, being available for assistance in the case of an emergency, and providing you with personalized services that are catered to your specific needs

This supportive environment is where many people who struggle with addiction flourish. Knowing that the people around you have your back and want nothing more than for your recovery can be encouraging and refreshing for someone who is struggling!

When you enter an inpatient rehab treatment program, you show that you are 100 percent committed to your recovery. We take inpatient care seriously, and so should you!

What Do You Do in Inpatient?

There are many components to inpatient therapy that make it work so well. The approach that is taken is all-encompassing. Inpatient rehab centers focus on all parts of your addiction so that they can get to the bottom of your problems. 

Through detoxification, individual and group therapy, and even medically-assisted treatment, inpatient rehab offers everything you’ll need to get your life back on track. 

The main thing that you do in an inpatient is get better. Every activity and group therapy session that you participate in is meant to get you further in your path to recovery. We understand that being away from your friends and loved ones can be difficult, but we can assure you that you are making them proud by taking your health seriously. The main benefit of inpatient treatment is the professional care you are given. You can’t get this kind of intense care just anywhere!


When you enter an inpatient treatment center, you are most likely going through a detoxification process. Going through detox alone can be extremely scary, dangerous, and even fatal. Having medically trained professionals monitoring you at all times through your detox can ensure that you stay safe throughout the process. 

Trying to detox on your own can lead you to relapse because it can be difficult to manage the side effects and properly do it by yourself. Having a safe environment with help nearby can ensure that you persevere through the intensity of withdrawals to make it out on the other side. Withdrawal is extremely harrowing to endure alone, but with inpatient, you are comforted knowing that there are people around you prepared to coach you through it. 

Therapy Sessions

There are two different kinds of therapy sessions that you could participate in at Soba Recovery Centers. We offer both individual therapy sessions and group sessions. 

The benefit of having the ability to participate in both is that you can either work through your needs privately with a trained therapist or with a community of people who are struggling just like you. The community that you find in inpatient can help uplift you and work towards your goals knowing others are right there with you.

Treating your addiction is not just about being sober, avoiding alcohol or drugs, and taking medication to stop any pain from the side effects of using. It also relies on your dedication to unraveling issues of your own that might be contributing to your addiction. 

When you struggle with addiction, you most likely carry trauma that can trigger a relapse, but with therapy, the goal is to find healthy ways to cope when they come about. 

Medical Treatment

When you come into inpatient treatment for addiction, you will likely need medical treatment for various things. You might be malnourished or sick, or you might have neglected your health for some time during your struggles. Inpatient rehab is here to help you in any way that it can, and getting you to a healthy state is just one of the many ways it works. 

In addition to getting you healthy, inpatient rehab will offer medically-assisted treatments (MAT) that are meant to ease your withdrawal symptoms and cravings. You can’t always easily get on your own, but within inpatient, we offer the services for those who struggle with alcohol and opioid addictions.

Benefits of Inpatient Rehab

When it comes to choosing a treatment plan, it’s easiest to pick when you understand all that they have to offer. Inpatient rehab has many benefits that can help you along in your recovery, some that we have already touched upon! 

24/7 Care

The most obvious benefit of inpatient care is that you are provided with 24/7 care and monitoring. If you need help, you will receive it. We understand that going through withdrawal, having intrusive thoughts, and intense cravings are difficult to deal with on your own. One of the purposes of being an inpatient is to know that you are surrounded by people who are capable of helping you. 


Another benefit of inpatient care is the structure that it brings. The structure can help break old cycles and focus on other things in your life. The rehab programs are going to be structured, with most hours of the day scheduled out. This helps to promote a healthier lifestyle that makes it easier to integrate back into society once you leave treatment.


While in inpatient, you are not isolated. You are surrounded by a community of individuals like yourself, who are all trying to become healthier individuals and overcome their addiction. Sometimes when you are struggling, you can feel alone if those around you don’t share the same struggles and can’t relate to you. 

With inpatient, you meet people who will support you yet understand all of the hardships recovery will cause you to face. 

What’s the Difference Between Inpatient and Outpatient?

The main difference between inpatient and outpatient is where the recovery process is taking place physically. Often, many of the activities that are completed while in recovery happen in both inpatient and outpatient. 

You undergo assessments and take part in group therapy when you are undergoing addiction recovery treatment, but some people feel they could use the additional benefits that inpatient services offer.

When you are someone who feels like you aren’t able to control yourself when you are alone or are at the end of your rope, inpatient rehab provides the 24/7 monitoring you might need. Having a built-in support system is one of the many benefits that inpatient provides. 

Inpatient typically ends up being a more intense program because every hour of your day is accounted for, but that doesn’t mean that you receive better or worse care when in either. Choosing which program you go to is completely about the level of needs you require to recover.

Inpatient Rehab at Soba Recovery Center

Your health should be your first priority. With inpatient care, you are putting yourself first in every way. Inpatient care lends you that extra helping hand that you need. It’s no shame at all to get help for something that is so hard to control. Your addiction does not define you and does not make you less worthy of a healthy life. 

There is no better time than today to make this change. If you want to get started on your path to recovery, reach out to a representative at Soba Recovery Centers so that we can best understand your needs. Our team of medically trained professionals is awaiting your arrival!



Principles Of Effective Treatment | NIDA

Medication-Assisted Treatment (Mat) For Opioid Addiction: Introduction To The Special Issue | NCBI

Benefits Of Peer Support Groups In The Treatment Of Addiction | NCBI

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 

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 

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