Why Can’t I Maintain Sobriety?

Detoxification and achieving sobriety is a strong step toward overcoming addiction, but it is only one piece of the puzzle. The real work begins when we leave treatment and reenter the world. Many people in recovery share similar stories of achieving sobriety, only to relapse shortly after treatment or after a brief period of sobriety. If we are to be successful, we must develop all the tools necessary to maintain our sobriety each and every day.
Successful treatment of addiction and alcoholism requires more than just detoxification. Priscilla W. Mackay and G. Alan Marlatt, in a 2009 International Journal of the Addictions article entitled Maintaining Sobriety: Stopping is Starting, explain, “Treatment of alcohol problems typically focuses on the cessation of drinking. Although cessation is necessary and important to achieving sobriety, this article suggests that maintenance of sobriety is a crucial, but oft ignored, component of effective treatment.” One of the major traps that people attempting to recover fall into is that they falsely believe they have been “cured” of their addiction and alcoholism. Simply put, we remove all traces of drugs and alcohol from our systems and begin to feel better. We take this as a sign that the problem has been removed. However, without a long-term recovery program in place, we are unlikely to maintain our sobriety.
Sticking to a daily recovery program may seem like a tall order, but eventually it become second nature. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime explains, “Learning to stay sober is like learning to ride a bicycle. We necessarily need to learn cycling from someone who knows cycling. However good the person is in teaching us, we too have to put in our efforts to learn the skill. For the first few days, we may falter, lose balance and fall down a couple of times. Once we have learnt the skill well enough, it becomes our second nature. It becomes automatic. Finally, however good a cyclist we are, we have to be careful each time we are on a bicycle.” In recovery, we may falter, but we will eventually find that our recovery practices are second nature. However, this does not mean we can rest on our laurels. Each day is a day when we must do everything possible to ensure that we will be happy, joyous, and free in our sobriety.

Your story can be one of hope and redemption. You can make the courageous decision to seek help now and begin building a happy and fulfilling life, free from drugs and alcohol. Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment center in the heart of beautiful Laguna Beach, was founded with the goal of providing the best care and service possible, at an affordable price, and in a location where men & women would want to get well. For information about individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777