12 Signs You’re Ready to Get Sober
You are probably ready to get sober, but if you are on the fence about it, the following 12 signs should help you to make up your mind. When you are ready to take that step, a 12 step group is an invaluable resource. Call 800-653-7143 to connect with experts who can answer questions and guide you to appropriate 12 step programs.
1. You are completely isolated.
Initially, your friends and family probably fought to keep you from using. They may have spoken to you individually or even staged an intervention. Over time, they gave up and separated themselves from your life. It’s time to get sober and reconnect with the people that love you.
2. Your addiction has had legal consequences.
Drugs and alcohol are factors in roughly 80 percent of the offenses that lead to incarceration in America, according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, and almost 50 percent of inmates in prisons and jails are clinically addicted. Millions of people trapped in the cycle of incarceration and addiction have broken free and you can too.
3. You have harmed yourself or others.
Drug and alcohol use plays a prominent role in violent crimes, like child and spousal abuse, rape, assault, and murder. For example, according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, alcohol specifically is frequently a factor in violence where the victim and attacker know each other. Two thirds of victims who are assaulted by an intimate report alcohol is involved.
4. You have developed health problems because of your substance abuse.
Addiction comes with a host of related health complications, from constipation to stroke. As your addiction takes a greater hold of your life, you feel unwell more often than you don’t. When you go to the doctor, he or she may order test that indicate decreased liver function or dangerously high blood pressure. These are common health problems among addicts.
5. You have to get high to make it through the day.
When you are getting high by yourself or drinking alcohol in your morning shower, you aren’t doing it because it is fun. You are doing it because your body is so accustomed to intoxication that it can’t function without it. At this stage, you get withdrawals rather quickly and the symptoms are punishing.
6. You begin asking people how they got sober and looking at sobriety blogs.
When you are first experimenting with drug and/or alcohol use, you begin independently. During this time, recovery materials often seem preachy and you dismiss them. Later, when you are addicted, you reach a point where you find yourself longingly reading about scientific breakdowns of addiction that help you see it as a disease and not a personal failing. How did the people you read about get sober? They admitted they had a problem and they sought help.
7. You have tried to quit before.
People who are in recovery often relapse, but it doesn’t signal failure. The National Institute on Drug Abuse features a graph from the Journal of the American Medical Association and it shows that rates of relapse for drug addiction are statistically similar to those for type I diabetes, asthma, and hypertension. All your relapse shows is that it is time to adjust your routine and try again.
8. You are violating your morals to keep using.
Many of the legal complications caused by drug abuse hinge on activities that probably go against your values, like prostituting yourself for drugs. But other are simply violations without a legal consequence, like borrowing money under false pretenses and spending the funds on drugs. When you are turning into a person that you don’t like, it’s time to get sober.
9. You decide the quality of a day based on whether or not you get to use.
It doesn’t matter if the sun is shining and the birds are singing, all is not right with the world unless you get to use your drug of choice. This way of looking at life is blinding you to a million different pleasures and it’s time that you got to enjoy them again.
10. Your home is disgusting.
When you are actively finding ways to distract yourself so that you don’t have to deal with every dish and item of clothing being filthy and strewn about your living space, things are out of hand. Drugs are robbing you of the ability to do even the simplest of things to improve your life. Don’t let them.
11. You can’t tell one day from another.
When you plan your days around using, you fall into patterns and you don’t deviate from them. You deserve to have other activities—like success at work, a nice walk, or a good conversation—punctuate your day. Every day should be memorable for something other than getting high.
12. You are lying about your drug use.
The person you probably lie the most to is yourself. It’s time to be honest and admit that you need help. Call 800-653-7143 and speak to someone at 12Step.com/ We can help.