What Does Getting Sober Mean?

In the world of addiction and recovery, many people hear the phrase “getting sober”. What does this phrase mean? To be sober means to have no trace of an intoxicating substance in your system. To get sober is a process. Every person’s process is unique. Some people decide to stop drinking on their own, while others may prefer professional addiction treatment. A person addicted to heroin may decide to quit cold turkey whereas someone else may enter detox.

 The most recognized process in getting sober and staying sober includes several stages. So when a person says they’re getting sober, chances are they are following these specific steps.

What Does Sober Mean?

Sober is a state of being without any physically intoxicating substance. If you are sober from alcohol, you do not currently have alcohol in your system. If you are sober from methamphetamine, you have no traces of meth in your body.

Sober can also be applied to other addictions that aren’t substance-related. For example, gambling addicts or sex addicts. By not gambling or engaging in sexual acts, they are considered sober.

What Does Getting Sober Mean? 

Getting sober means progressing towards being physically free of an addiction. The most effective way to get sober involves several phases.


Detox is often the first stage in getting sober for many. D The detox process works by eliminating all traces of the substance in the physical body. Detox is required if a person has recently used their drug of choice. If a person has already gone through substance withdrawal, detox is not required.

Depending on the length and the substance of abuse, detox can last from a few days to a month. Some people detox on their own while others detox within a professional facility. In some occasions, professional detox is highly recommended due to potential dangers of the process.

Practicing Abstinence

Practicing abstinence is the most fundamental element in getting sober. The abstinence model mandates complete abstinence from substance use. This means that the person getting sober can no longer use their drug of choice. In most cases, the abstinence model forbids the use of any intoxicating substances.

Since addiction is very powerful, abstinence can be very hard to maintain. Relapse is most likely during the early stages of abstinence. Depending on the addiction, there are several medications that can be administered to assist in this stage. Medications such as methadone, Suboxone, and Vivitrol are popular medications in fighting opioid cravings.

Identifying Triggers

Being able to identify and avoid triggers is important in getting sober. A trigger is defined as something that causes a reaction. Triggers can be anything from specific people, places, songs, or objects. If it causes a person to desire their drug of choice, it is considered a trigger.

By identifying these triggers, an individual will then be able to avoid them. This avoidance will help them not only get sober, but stay sober. After a while, an individual will have the strength to face triggers and reject them.

Achieving Emotional Sobriety

Emotional sobriety is defined as the ability to control negative feelings that cause discomfort or cravings. It is during the advanced stages of getting sober that emotional sobriety develops. An emotionally sober person is able to spot unhealthy thought patterns of the past and correct them.

Once a person is emotionally sober, abstinence will be easier to maintain and triggers won’t be as effective. While emotional relapse is still possible, the individual will be prepared to protect themselves against it. They will learn that they deserve better than a life of addiction. 

Treatment To Help You Get Sober

Getting sober can be a struggle, but you don’t have to do it alone. It’s a lot easier with support. There are many treatment options if you or a loved one is battling addiction. The level of treatment you require depends on the severity of the addiction. The following are common addiction treatment services:

  • Inpatient Residential Programs– These programs require clients to live within the facility where they are being treated. Inpatient programs eliminate all outside distraction and temptation, allowing clients to focus only on sobriety.  Clients will participate in various therapies and group sessions during this immersive treatment.
  • Outpatient Programs– Outpatient programs are suitable for individuals who have already completed some form of addiction treatment. These programs allow clients to transition back into daily life while still benefiting from scheduled treatment sessions. To ensure continued sobriety, clients must be residing within a sober living environment.
  • Continuum Care Planning– It is important that a client’s sobriety is supported even after completing an addiction treatment program. Continuum care planning programs provide continued support by facilitating recovery meetings and aftercare planning. Clients will feel secure knowing that they have continued access to a network that supports lifelong recovery.

If you or a loved one is ready to live the sober life you deserve, we are here for you. The professionals at our center are trained in addiction and eager to assist you on your journey. Don’t fight addiction alone. Call us today and take back your life.