Getting Clean and Sober
chemically dependent person, the first step toward
recovery is recognizing that there's a problem. The
second step is to quit using the chemical, whether it's
alcohol or another drug. Unless the chemicals are gotten
out of the way, the chemically dependent person never can
know which problems in life are drug-related and which
are not. Getting sober involves the body and the mind.
Learning about the process can help make it easier to
start and maintain.
Getting sober starts with the body. If you've been dependent on alcohol or drugs, your body has gotten used to that substance, and will take some time to adjust to being drug-free. It's best to have professional helpeither from a treatment center or a doctor experienced in chemical dependency issues.
You can help your body adjust to sobriety by exercising, eating nutritious foods and getting plenty of rest. Exercise is generally healthful, and also produces endorphins, a natural body chemical that helps relieve anxiety and increase positive feelings.
It's best to build up a regular exercise program, starting small, and gradually increasing the amount you do. Be moderate. It's possible to become obsessive about exercise or injure yourself by exercising too much.
Good nutrition for sobriety requires lots of fresh vegetables, fruits and complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains. Processed foods, additives, refined sugar, caffeine and high-fat foods should be avoided. Caffeine and sugar, in particular, may tend to increase cravings for drugs or alcohol.
Getting plenty of rest is also important, as sleep helps you adjust psychologically to living a sober life. You may have trouble sleeping at first. If so, try getting more exercise.
Becoming sober involves breaking old habits that contribute to chemical dependency, learning to solve problems that chemicals allow you to ignore, and learning chemical-free ways to manage stress. We recommend the following:
It's Your Life
In chemical dependency, your drug controls a big piece of your life. In sobriety, you get your life back, and can begin the process of making it into the life you want.