Sobriety is a Lifestyle Choice
Once an individual decides to get sober, many aspects of their life must change to achieve long-term abstinence. When a person becomes addicted to drugs, their daily routines change and their priorities shift. A person who had a job, loving family, money and responsibilities now white-knuckles through everyday life to maintain their addiction and stave off withdrawals. Addiction came about as a solution to some problem. Since the individual changed their lifestyle in becoming an addict, there are changes that once more need to occur to become sober.
People don’t usually choose to become addicts. At some point, a person is introduced to drugs or alcohol and find that the drug or alcohol produces a wanted result; increasing their self-confidence, making them feel stronger, giving them more energy so they are more productive, etc. The person then assigns high value to the drug or alcohol for the effect it has on them. A person begins to feel as though drugs are a panacea to their problems and they can no longer live without them. And, at the same time, the chemical impact of the drugs on their bodies compound the person’s growing dependency on the abused substances.
The Addictive Lifestyle
With addiction then comes lying, stealing, cheating, manipulating and victimizing others. The addict, again, feels as though drugs enrich their lives in a way nothing else can and they will do everything in their power to protect it. The addict actually defends his captor. Addicts will lie about and downplay their drug use and spend every dime they make for the small reprieve these substances provide while stripping them of their dignity and self-respect.
The addictive lifestyle is a large deviation from the life a person once lived. They may have had a great career, comfortable home and supportive family. Now, the addict finds themselves in a dangerous neighborhood at all hours of the day and night or held at gunpoint or occupying a seedy motel room or cheating on their spouses or giving up all of their worldly possessions and isolating themselves from their families and possibly losing everything. This is the lifestyle the addict chooses to live because it is conducive to perpetuating their destructive behavior.
In order to shift out of addiction, a person MUST change their entire lifestyle. The same is true for a person who is obese and wants to lose weight. If a person’s health is in jeopardy because of their food consumption, going on a mere diet may work temporarily yet it will not yield long-term results. If someone needs to lose weight, they must change their lifestyle. Instead of eating copious amounts of fast food, candy and being sedentary all day, they must adopt healthy eating habits, take vitamins, get checked out by a physician regularly and have a daily exercise regimen.
The same thing goes for sobriety. When a person is ready to kick drugs for good, they need to change their entire lifestyle.
First, a person needs to attend a rehabilitation program that will handle the underlying causes of their addiction. Remember, drugs are a solution to a problem. Following a comprehensive treatment program, the ex-addict needs to adopt a healthy lifestyle, incorporating exercise, vitamins, regular physician visits, good eating habits and disconnecting from destructive personalities. Unless a person adopts healthy life choices, relapse is just one bad day away. To make such healthy choices, the person must gain understandings about what are helpful or harmful choices. Changing environments may also be part of the solution as well. Many addicts come from precarious living situations where drugs and crime are rampant and which are not supportive of a drug-free life. In this case, finding a more suitable living environment is not only highly recommended, it is required. The geographical cure is NOT a cure in and of itself but it will definitely help to live in an environment supportive of a healthy lifestyle.
Becoming drug-free for good is possible. Once a person desires sobriety, many parts of their life need to change. From the people the addict surrounds themselves with, to their eating habits, exercise and living conditions, all aspects of their existence need to be overhauled to enhance and ensure their survival. Sobriety is not just a decision. It is a choice of lifestyle that one must constantly create to maintain it.