Even though both groups of drinkers have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, problem drinkers and alcoholics aren’t the same.Continue reading
Even though drinking is one of the most accepted social activities in America, alcohol remains one of the world’s most addictive substances. In 2019, 14.5 million Americans over the age of 12 had an alcohol use disorder. Grappling with alcohol addiction challenges can make you feel like you’ll never be able to permanently stop drinking. Your brain, which has become accustomed to alcohol as a primary source of pleasure, tricks you into thinking that you need to drink in order to feel and function well. That’s not true. You don’t need alcohol to overcome pain, deal with stress, and feel good. In fact, you don’t need alcohol at all. Alcoholism is a treatable condition and long-term sobriety is possible. With the help of recovery centers like Soba, you can even stop drinking permanently.
Practical Ways to Give Up Alcohol For Good
Addiction damages areas of the brain that help regulate your choices. Luckily, the brain is plastic, meaning it is capable of changing and developing new habits. Here are a few practical tips that can help you give up alcohol forever.
1. Understand Your Relationship with Alcohol
Knowing why you drink is an essential part of treating alcohol addiction. Oftentimes, stress, relationship problems, trauma, insomnia, anxiety, boredom, and mental health issues are some of the most common reasons individuals drink. Luckily, enrolling in a rehabilitation program and undergoing behavioral therapy can help you understand your relationship with alcohol, avoid triggers, and find healthier ways to address those issues.
2. Make Your Intentions Known
Tell family members, friends, and even coworkers that you’re giving up alcohol permanently and explain why. If they understand why you’ve decided to stop drinking, they can help support your sobriety and hold you accountable. Reminding yourself and people close to you of the reasons why you want to quit alcohol can help you stay sober.
3. Avoid Temptations
If you’re serious about giving up alcohol, you’re going to need to avoid situations where you may be tempted to drink, especially during the earlier stages of your recovery. You may need to avoid pubs and go to restaurants that don’t sell alcohol. You should also identify times of the day when you would usually drink and fill that part of the day with a healthier activity instead.
4. Practice Meditation and Mindfulness
Meditating and practicing mindfulness can help rewire the parts of the brain negatively impacted by addiction. Meditation can increase the neural density and functionality of the prefrontal cortex, the brain’s happiness center, retraining the brain to experience pleasure without alcohol. Meditation and mindfulness can also make you less vulnerable to stress and help you “urge surf,” or better resist waves of alcohol cravings.
5. Reward Your Progress
Rewarding yourself for not drinking can help you stay motivated and maintain positive change. Begin by rewarding yourself for alcohol-free weeks. You can take a road trip or treat yourself to some new clothes and gadgets with the money you’re saving on alcohol. As you become more comfortable with your sobriety, you can reward yourself for an alcohol-free month and so on.
Helping You Change Your Life for The Better
At Soba Recovery, we care about your recovery. Our multiphase addiction treatment program combines evidence-based therapies with additional wellness treatments like yoga, meditation, chiropractic care, nutrition, and acupuncture. Alcohol doesn’t have to dictate your life. You can stop drinking permanently and we can help you get there. Contact us today if you or a loved one have an addiction to alcohol.
Recovery can often necessitate meeting new people, as you may realize some of your friendships revolve around the substances you are working to avoid. But meeting new friends is hard, especially in sobriety when you may be more focused on your recovery than meeting new people. Because friendships can impact not only your happiness but also your health and overall well-being, it is important to build a community and make friends in sobriety.
Sober friends are essential to recovery not only because they can help you avoid drugs or alcohol by replacing activities that involve these substances with enjoyable sober activities, but also because they can encourage you on your path to recovery through support and helping you heal emotionally and spiritually. At Soba Recovery, we hope all of our clients can build a sober support system post treatment.
What Are Sober Friends?
Friendships in addiction may center around drugs or alcohol. These types of relationships unsurprisingly tend to fall apart if one friend decides to become sober. Friendships rooted in addiction may even be damaging to your psychological well-being if you are trying to get sober. Healthy friendships are an important part of recovery, which is why a crucial component to sober living is often finding new sober friends. Sober friends are friends who are supportive of your sobriety, which often means they are also sober. Sober friendships aren’t rooted in the consumption of drugs or alcohol, instead, they revolve around enjoyable sober activities.
How to Meet Sober Friends
Meeting new friends can be intimidating and meeting sober friends can be especially intimidating if you don’t know where to look. However, there are countless ways to connect with sober friends.
Support groups and sober communities
One of the most sure-fire ways to meet sober friends is to join a support group, because everyone in attendance is pursuing similar goals of sobriety. The traditional Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous have helped countless people because they offer great resources and help build a community of support. However, these groups aren’t for everyone and there are a number of other sobriety support groups that may be the right fit for you.
Some alternative sober communities to the traditional AA include:
- SMART Recovery, which is open to both substance addictions and activity addictions and focuses on mutual-support and self-reliance
- secular support groups like LifeRing or Secular Organizations for Sobriety
- the Phoenix, which integrates physical activity into recovery
- women-led communities like Women for Sobriety
- LGBT-friendly communities like Gay and Lesbians in Alcoholics Anonymous
One great way to meet sober friends is to attend events where addictive substances aren’t involved. These events could range from activities that don’t normally involve substances, like fitness classes, hikes or free museum days. There are also substance-free events that deliberately remove alcohol and drugs to create specifically sober events like pop-up non-alcoholic bars or alcohol-free early morning dance parties, such as those put on by Daybreaker in cities all around the world.
Sober communities or even mission-focused groups that revolve around a shared hobby can be difficult to find locally if you don’t know where to look. In the digital age, online groups through Facebook Groups are a growing resource for connecting people over a shared interest. There are Facebook Groups for an assortment of hobbies and you can find a local group and attend events put on by the group. Meetup is another online forum that connects people—you can look for groups in your local area with sober-centric interests or use search terms like “sober” or “sobriety” to find a sober meetup.
Tips to Maintain Sobriety
Sober friendships are beneficial to the maintenance of sobriety. Not only do sober friendships help you avoid substances by partaking in sober-centric activities, sober friends are an invaluable support to recovery through encouragement. In addition to meeting sober friends and building healthy relationships, here are some other tips for maintaining sobriety:
- Take sobriety one day at a time.
- Identify your personal triggers and create plans to prepare for and avoid them.
- Practice healthy living with regular exercise, getting ample quality sleep, and eating regular well-balanced meals.
- Develop hobbies and make time for them. Hobbies improve mental wellbeing and prevent boredom.
- Take advantage of aftercare. Whether it’s local recovery support groups, AA meetings, online forums, or aftercare offered by a rehabilitation facility.
- Celebrate milestones in your recovery. Sobriety is hard work and it is important to acknowledge and celebrate that work to continue to stay motivated.
Don’t Be Afraid to Reach Out
Reaching out to people and building new relationships can be daunting, especially when you are navigating meeting new people while working on your recovery. But healthy relationships are fundamental to addiction recovery and building sober friendships will be worth putting yourself out there. At Soba Recovery, we are committed to your long-term recovery and we know sober communities are a part of building a healthy sober lifestyle. We integrate social interaction into our custom treatment to help build socialization skills and remind you that you are not alone in your journey to sobriety. Reach out to us today to take the first step on your road to recovery.
As you know, there is no magic pill to “cure” withdrawal symptoms during detox, the only way is to go through it. The same concept can be applied to recovery. Recovery is a lifelong process. That’s why aftercare is very important when it comes to the prevention of relapse and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Wherever you are in the process of getting sober, Soba Recovery would like to extend a heartfelt congratulation to you. Your bravery is admirable. We believe in your long-term addiction recovery process. We believe that you have what it takes to be successful in this lifelong journey. So, welcome to the next chapter of your life!
Substance Abuse Recovery Process
We understand that the addiction recovery process has not been easy, but it is worth it. From now on, it will take discipline and practice to maintain your sobriety. Just like everyone else’s, life is not easy. There will be bumps and hiccups. The most important part is to learn how to manage the recovery process. From day one at Soba Recovery, we incorporate psycho-behavioral therapy into your addiction treatment strategy. We don’t believe in a “one-size-fits-all” treatment approach because we understand that each individual is unique. We offer a wide range of psychological therapies such as behavioral therapy, parental support, conflict resolution, anxiety, and depression therapy, just to name a few. These treatment modalities are to prepare you to be successful after completing treatment at our facility. Here are some tips to stay on track with your sobriety.
Tips to Maintain the Addiction Recovery Process
- Know your “why”: Everyone has their own “why”. Some people’s “why” might be their families, their relationships, some might have done it because of their careers. Someone might’ve just decided to get sober for a better life they know they deserve. This “why” was the motivation that kept you going through the darkest hours where everything seems to be impossible. So, remember your “why” and keep it close to your heart. With life’s ups and downs, sometimes, we all need a reminder of why we do what we do.
- Stability is the key: At Soba Recovery, we provide you with all the necessary tools and resources to be independent and maintain a life of sobriety. All of our clients are strongly encouraged to pursue a new career or return to their previous job. We firmly believe that stability plays a major role in long-term sobriety. Since recovery is a lifelong process, having a job will provide a steady source of income that will allow you to take care of yourself and your family. Have you ever thought about your passion or life calling? If you don’t have the answer for that yet, maybe this is the time to do some soul searching. Having a career that you love will make you feel fulfilled and purposeful. That feeling of fulfillment will get you through life when obstacles present. Another important part of maintaining stability is going to support groups and finding a sponsor (if you pursue AA or NA). Accountability is important, but more than that, life-long friendship can be found here.
- Stress management: Stress is one of the major triggers for addiction and relapse. That’s why Soba Recovery focuses on stress management, anxiety and depression therapy from day one. Therapy is highly recommended after you finish with our treatment program. Incorporating yoga, meditation into your daily routine is one of the stress management methods. Free resources of these practices are available online, feel free to check it out and pick a program that is best for your needs and comfort level. Taking care of your body is another aspect of stress management. Remember, mental and physical health go hand in hand. Planning your weekly meals not only saves you money on grocery shopping, but it also ensures that you will always have nutritious, healthy food on hand. Along with diet, getting adequate sleep is also essential. According to the sleep foundation, younger adults (18-25 years of age) and adults (26-64 years of age)’s recommended sleep time is 7-9 hours. Make sleep your priority!
- Love yourself: As human beings, we all make mistakes, so don’t be too harsh on yourself. You have made it this far, be proud of yourself! Self-care is a form of self-love, but don’t forget about others who have been there for you throughout this journey. Make time to reach out to your friends and family. You’d be surprised at how much it means to them and how good it’d make you feel.
Get Help With Your Substance Abuse Recovery Process
Soba Recovery commits to be there for you every step of the way during your addiction recovery process. Do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have any concerns. Our aftercare program is catered to all of your needs post-treatment. You will not be alone. Again, we believe in your long-term recovery! Call us today if you or someone you know is struggling with addiction.
You feel like you’re at the end of the road. You’re tired, broke, and honestly annoyed at life. You’ve been using the same drug over and over again, and finally, want to stop. You want the freedom during the day to do whatever you want instead of thinking about how you’ll score more drugs. Congratulations, you’re ready to get sober.
During your journey in sobriety, you may experience cravings from time to time. This is a common part of recovery so don’t be scared if you feel one. Cravings are completely manageable with the right tools and coping skills.
What are Drug Cravings?
A craving is the term used to describe the urge to use alcohol or drugs once someone is sober. For certain people, the most severe cravings take place during the detox process. During detox, addicts will go through withdrawals. The symptoms of withdrawal will vary slightly from person to person as addiction impacts everyone differently, but common symptoms include fevers, shaking, chills, emotional lability, and discomfort. The urge to use drugs or alcohol to make these symptoms go away is a craving.
Once you’ve detoxed, the withdrawal symptoms are not going to be as severe but you are still at risk to feel the urge to use drugs or drink alcohol from time to time. Withdrawals will go away after the toxins leave your body but you can still experience cravings. Just because you feel a craving doesn’t mean you won’t stay sober, it’s a matter of how you react to the craving.
How to Handle a Craving
If you feel a craving coming on, there are a few steps you can take to combat the craving. Taking the proper steps will help keep you sober.
- Be aware: Before you can shake off a craving, you’ll have to know you’re experiencing one. Cravings can feel different for everyone but some common craving symptoms are irritability, feeling like you have an imaginary itch you can’t scratch, and frequent thoughts of using drugs or alcohol. If you experience these feelings it’s important to check in with yourself and identify the root of them. Maybe you haven’t attended a 12-step meeting all week and now it’s Friday, or maybe you’ve been around friends lately who drink and do drugs. After you identify the root cause, you’ll realize you’re having a craving.
- Ways to cope: Once the feeling is recognized, the next step is to find a way to cope. How you cope with cravings is totally up to you. There isn’t necessarily a right or wrong answer. Some people find it helpful to call a friend or sober companion and talk about the feeling. Other people find it helpful to meditate. Shifting your focus to something else like exercising or writing can be helpful as well. Just be careful to not distract yourself too much from the feeling because you may end up brushing it under the rug, instead of dealing with it.
- Seek support: One of the most effective ways to handle a craving is by seeking support from others. A huge component of drug and alcohol treatment is various types of therapies. If you’ve completed any form of treatment, you probably engaged in group therapy, individual therapy, and support groups types of therapy. Therapy and support groups shouldn’t just be isolated to treatment as recovery is a lifelong battle. Completing a comprehensive aftercare program post-treatment will help immensely with cravings.
Let Us Help!
At Soba Recovery, we are one of the top drug and alcohol treatment programs based in the San Antonio, TX and Mesa, AZ regions. Our detox and inpatient treatment programs help clients overcome addiction and take back control of their lives. Our premier luxury program that combines traditional addiction treatment with modern therapies to help our participants in overcoming substance abuse for good. If you are interested in finding out more about how our team can help you overcome addiction, please contact us!
Everyone is familiar with the saying “Everything is bigger in Texas”, so we are sure that you will be pleasantly surprised to find out that applies to even our tourist spots. There is quite a lot to see and do inside the Alamo City no matter what time of day it is. Whether you are visiting their lovely zoo with more than 750+ species within 56 acres or moseying through the many historic sights and attractions, there are definitely many sights to see and explore while sober. Being under the influence isn’t the only way you can enjoy yourself. Albeit, finding activities or entertainment that doesn’t revolve around being under the influence can be difficult if you don’t know where to look, and to make your search easier we have compiled a list of entertainment below.
Visit the Farmers Market at the Pearl
- Think of the farmers market at pearl as a Boston creme donut enticing and inviting on the outside, but absolutely amazing on the inside. With almost 20 friendly merchants and dealers selling things like hot food for on the go-to standard jewelry, there is undoubtedly something for everybody inside. The pearl district is not lacking in picturesque beauty in the landscape and design so you can never get bored with the layout while you explore. This community gathering is actually dog-friendly, kid-friendly, and fun for the entire family without being horribly expensive. Feel free to wake up and start your day there, coffee in your hand, and central downtown just a few blocks away if you would enjoy more solidarity. There is something for all kinds of people in this market.
See a Rodeo
- You don’t have to be a farm-raised cowboy to enjoy a rodeo and some good ole’ fashioned roughhousing. Make your way over to the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo during the month of February and March, or perhaps the Teja Rodeo which is from the spring to the end of fall; to enjoy bull-riding, barrel racing, and calf roping. Live music is also happily included with the admission price, along with the chance to ride an infamous mechanical bull or you could get your shoes shined if you aren’t one for roughhousing. There are still activities available for those who aren’t seeking a quick thrill and prefer to relax in their downtime, like the hayrides or an armadillo race.
Visit The Esquire Tavern
- The Esquire Taverns is just as mysterious and mystical as the name suggests. They distribute alcohol of course but there is still plenty to do for those who don’t drink! There is delectable food waiting for you at the pub, so don’t be hesitant when it comes to grabbing a seat! Food and drinks aren’t the only things that await you at the pub either, be sure to catch a fantastic musical act for the night before heading home. Whether you are here accompanied by your loved ones or for business, you are undoubtedly going to enjoy your visit to The Esquire Tavern.
Get your game on with Knight Watch Games
- San Antonio is happy to cater to all tastes and if your tastes happen to be competitive cards/board games such as Dungeons And Dragons or Game Of Thrones in a hall that could make the most professional of game designers jealous-Then Knight Watch is definitely down your alley. With an amazing combo of a gaming hall for you to play to your heart’s content, a game shop for you to purchase your own games to play in the future, and a clothing shop to dress the part of any renaissance role you see fit-Knight Watch is a personal getaway for anyone who enjoys thoughtful games and trials that kicks the brain into motion. Knight Watch accepts all visitors with open arms whether you come by yourself or with friends.
Explore your artistic side with ArtPace
- Are you on the artistic side? Find yourself marveling at art? Then the ArtPace is the place for you! The museum is definitely an acquired taste, full to the brim with contemporary art. Nine artists are invited to live there and work throughout the year, three from different parts of Texas-and others from different parts of the United States and the world. One of their most recent partnerships was with Austin Eastciders in “Cider Sessions” where they distributed free cider and visitors were invited to see just how artists were able to create their pieces. ArtPace does not charge any admission money and prides itself on being open to all parts of the public. All in all, if you lean more on the creative side ArtPace will be a memorable trip to take.
San Antonio is primarily known for the Alamo, however, that does not mean that there aren’t other fun things to do when moseying through town besides drinking. It is also the home to many amusement parks such as Six flags, the wet and wild SeaWorld, as well as the famous river walk. Addiction recovery can be difficult, but we are more than willing to show you the best of the best in San Antonio; So you can reward yourself and take the vacation that you deserve while maintaining your sobriety.
Other Ways to Have Sober Fun in Texas
One of the biggest challenges that people are going to face on this journey is figuring out how to have fun. Let’s face it: drugs and alcohol are often used at parties to facilitate fun. The good news is that there are plenty of other ways to have fun in sobriety.
The area around San Antonio, TX is filled with great ways to have fun. Now that people are sober, this is a time to take risks appropriately, having fun without breaking the rules. This is very different (but fulfilling!) from the type of fun people have while drunk or under the influence of drugs.
San Antonio is known for its natural beauty. You can go hiking for the first time and explore the great outdoors. If you’re an adrenaline ‘junkie’, take a trip skydiving in the local area. Why not also take a risk and try to meet new people? One of the most important things people have to accomplish when they attain sobriety is finding new relationships that are going to help them maintain that sobriety. Meeting new people is a great way to do exactly that.
In general, people can have fun in sobriety by doing the things that “normal” people do. While “normal” is just a social construct, we’re talking about the stuff you probably wouldn’t have done while you were getting high, like riding a bike. You probably weren’t going to the movies either with friends while you were using but it’s actually very fun. You’ll be surprised at the joy that ensues while picking out candy and popcorn.
Try Picking Up an Old Hobby
There are plenty of people who still wish they could do something from their days as a child. This might mean an old sport, playing a musical instrument, or learning a second language. These are all great sober hobbies that you can do with your new free time that’s no longer being monopolized by addiction. It’s also important to reconnect with hobbies that remind you of what you were like before you started using drugs or alcohol.
Why Having Fun in Sobriety Matters
The journey to sobriety is challenging. Tears, anger, and hurdles to overcome are usually involved but it’s worth it. People in recovery work extremely hard for their sobriety and deserve to have fun. Happy and healthy individuals are less likely to relapse as well.
Let Us Help You Find Fun in Sobriety!
At Soba Texas, we’re a drug abuse and alcohol treatment program located in San Antonio, TX. We provide a wide variety of detox and inpatient treatment options for substance abuse. We also offer a unique luxury program that combines traditional treatment and modern therapies to assist clients on the path to addiction recovery and sobriety. Please contact us today if you would like to learn more about our service!
Making the decision to stop using drugs or alcohol is a huge step in the right direction. But it also comes with challenges. Maybe you’re wondering how to put your life back together, and where to go for addiction treatment. Maybe you’re worried about the possibility of relapse. Making healthy lifestyle adjustments and seeking support will go a long way toward helping you get and stay sober. Here are some tips to guide you in your recovery.
Take One Day at a Time
If you’re new to recovery or are discouraged because of a relapse, the idea of long-term sobriety can seem overwhelming. Take your new life one day at a time. Decide each day that for the next 24 hours, you’re going to commit to staying clean and sober.
Setting short-term and long-term goals can make it easier to give up addictive habits. Having something to work toward can give you a sense of meaning and purpose. When you’re struggling to stay on track, your goals can serve as a reminder of why you committed to recovery in the first place.
Structure Your Days
Establishing a schedule of meaningful activities can help you set and work toward your goals. Having regular activities to look forward to each day will also reduce boredom, a common relapse trigger. When you’re new to recovery, rehab-related activities will likely take up much of your time.
Once you’ve completed rehab, it’s especially vital to keep your days structured. Consider going back to school, volunteering in the community, or getting a job. Taking up a hobby can also be rewarding and help you keep your mind off drinking and drugs.
Adopt Healthy Habits
Using drugs and alcohol takes quite a toll on your body, and self-care tends to fall by the wayside. Adopting healthy habits in recovery can help you reverse the effects of long-term substance abuse.
- Exercise. Physical activity is especially beneficial for people in recovery. Exercise releases endorphins, the “feel-good” hormones that can help you fend off cravings. Going to the gym or even taking a brisk walk in nature reduces stress, making relapse less likely and enhancing your overall sense of well-being.
- Diet. Substance overuse makes it difficult for your body to absorb any nutrients it gets, so making healthy meal choices is especially important when you’re sober. Be sure to get plenty of protein and vitamins from vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. When you feel better, it’s easier to maintain a positive outlook and stay away from drugs and alcohol.
- Quit Smoking. If smoking is one of the habits you enjoyed along with drugs or alcohol, now is a good time to quit. By refraining from using harmful substances, you’ll be able to reap maximum benefits from your other healthy lifestyle choices.
- Embrace Self-Care. Making all of these changes can be stressful, so it’s important to make self-care a priority. Be kind to yourself. Speak words of encouragement over yourself and reward yourself occasionally for coming as far as you have. Do your best to take responsibility for your past actions, but let go of the guilt and shame that can become stumbling blocks for many in recovery. Learn effective stress-management techniques so you can find healthy ways to decompress.
- Avoid Triggers. If you spend time with the friends you were surrounded by in your addiction or frequent the same stomping grounds you did in the old days, you’re not likely to remain sober for long. Find new friends who are committed to sobriety, and avoid people and places that may serve as triggers.
Learn All You Can About Addiction and Relapse
Too often, people in recovery are just told to stay away from drugs and alcohol and go to meetings. While this may be enough for some, most people need more in the way of addiction treatment. Finding resources to help you commit to sobriety and learning more about addiction and possible triggers can help you discover what works best for you when it comes to staying clean. After all, recovery looks a little different for each person.
While you shouldn’t live in constant fear of relapse, be aware of the warning signs so you can get help before you go back to old habits. Withdrawing from the recovery community and loved ones and feeling less committed to sobriety are indicators that you’re vulnerable to relapse.
Healthy relationships are key to helping you stay on track. Finding support groups and friends and family members who will cheer you on are critical as you build your new life.
Recovery is a lifelong journey. Congratulations on taking the first steps. At SOBA Recovery Center, we provide intensive addiction treatment. Contact us to learn more about how we can help.