Why Abstinence Is So Important During Recovery

Individuals who have a history of abuse and addiction should stay away from drugs and alcohol altogether. Trying to moderate how much is “too much” can be difficult for individuals to do. As they attempt to lessen the amount they consume, individuals might accidentally consume too much and relapse. Moderation can also make individuals feel as though they can control their substance use, giving them a false sense of wellness.

What are 2 meanings of sobriety?

Sobriety is the state of being sober, which can mean either not intoxicated or being solemn.

Further, describing recovery as a process also implies paying attention to contributing factors outside the treatment context, such as the importance of work, family and friends. Abstinence refers to a conscious decision and commitment to completely refrain from the use of addictive substances. It is a foundational concept in addiction recovery, typically employed within 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA). Individuals practicing abstinence completely eliminate alcohol or drugs from their lives, striving to remain clean and sober on a long-term basis.

Achieving Sobriety Is Necessary to Get Successful Life

However, when someone starts on a journey of sobriety, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are committing to a lifetime of abstinence. They may have adopted a sobriety challenge, such as Sober September or Dry January in order to gain the space to re-evaluate their relationship with alcohol. They might practice sobriety regularly with interspersed episodes of moderation. Or, they may have decided on sobriety as a permanent change in their lifestyle. The dry drunk syndrome occurs when an addict stops using alcohol or drugs but still behaves as if they are struggling with addiction.

  • Various measures have been put to place to control this including rehab centers, counseling, and even addiction prescription medicines.
  • Abstinence, on the other hand, allows the brain to reset itself, which gives individuals a fair chance at making a full recovery.
  • A single errant dose of heroin after attempted sobriety can be the difference between life and death; over 70,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2017, while the number of deaths from alcohol poisoning is 2,200.

It often means living a life that is free from using drugs and alcohol while repairing your life physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Recovery means healing the parts of you that crave the drugs or alcohol to cope with life’s stressors. The main difference between abstinence and sobriety is that the latter includes a program for self-growth and actualization. These are both great ways to continue to learn about yourself and to get support from others who care about you.

Summary of Abstinence vs. Sobriety

Unlike abstinence, which primarily focuses on abstaining from substances, sobriety encompasses a comprehensive approach to recovery. It entails addressing underlying emotional, psychological, and behavioral issues that contribute to addiction. Sobriety often involves seeking professional counseling, participating in relational therapy, adopting healthier coping mechanisms, and embracing positive lifestyle changes. Sobriety or abstinence is simply the act of not using drugs or alcohol.

sobriety vs abstinence

Researchers conclude that the available evidence does not support abstinence as the exclusive strategy for treating alcohol use disorders. Where an abstinence-oriented approach is not appropriate, controlled drinking looks to be a viable choice, mainly if supported by specialist psychotherapy. Here at Renaissance, we also have connections with sober living homes and other treatment programs https://stylevanity.com/2023/07/top-5-questions-to-ask-yourself-when-choosing-sober-house.html around the county that can provide you or your loved one with invaluable help to conquer addiction or co-occurring disorders. For many scholars and health professionals, heterogeneity is a key to successful community health outcomes when talking about treating alcohol use disorders. Heterogeneity means a wide range of programs are available for people with different levels of need.

Stress and Alcohol Drinking

Sobriety is a process in which you improve your health and move forward to achieve your life goals. Christopher Johnston, MD, ABAM, is the Chief Medical Officer for Pinnacle Treatment Centers, a leading drug and alcohol addiction treatment provider. He is double boarded in both Addiction Medicine and Family Medicine. Dr. Johnston attended UMDNJ — New Jersey Medical School in Newark and completed his residency at Virtua Health in Camden County, NJ, where he was in private practice for 25 years. In recovery, the word Sobriety means so much more than being abstinent from alcohol and drugs. Abstinence is something that can be forced on a person through circumstances and by others, as well.

Of these, 40 were reinterviewed (71 per cent), usually over the telephone (34/40). The majority of those not interviewed were impossible to reach via the contact information available (the five-year-old telephone number did not work, and no number was found in internet searches). Clients who have completed our PHP offering or similar can transition into our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) in Massachusetts, our second-highest level of care. As clients experience more autonomy and independence, they also benefit from continuity in care and staff.

Alcohol recovery is a dynamic process characterized by behavioral, social, and psychological changes in a person’s life. Recovery is not a one-time event that ends in abstinence but a series of steps and milestones that occur over time. People may achieve sobriety at different levels or remain relapsing for years or even decades.

Sobriety and abstinence are different terms for recovering addicts. Abstinence is the process of reducing drinking, and sobriety is the process of complete abstinence from alcohol or drugs. The treatment approaches just summarized are only a few examples of the wide range of treatment options available. Because a large number of substance-abusing women have multiple problems, there is a need to provide broad and comprehensive services for women.