Sober living

Abstinence Not Required: Expanding the Definition of Recovery from Alcohol Use Disorder PMC

The trust that was once lost can slowly start to be rebuilt, creating deeper and more meaningful connections. When you look at the definitions of sobriety and abstinence, they are pretty similar. However, they have specific differences, particularly from an emotional standpoint. Recovery means “getting back to a normal state of physical well-being, mind, or strength”.

What is abstinence in addiction recovery?

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difference between sobriety and abstinence

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Abstinence is a crucial step towards recovery, but it primarily revolves around avoiding substances. Sobriety, on the other hand, encourages individuals to build a healthier, more fulfilling lifestyle. This may include developing new hobbies, nurturing supportive relationships, practicing self-care, and fostering Sober House spiritual growth. Remaining abstinent from the use of addictive substances is the cornerstone of one’s progress in recovery, especially during the infancy of one’s journey. By making positive life changes and focusing on personal growth, individuals can create a solid foundation for their sobriety.

  • Sobriety is a state of mind that can be measured by how well we control our thoughts, actions, and behaviors around substances or behaviors that might lead us back down the path of addiction or relapse.
  • It involves addressing underlying issues that may have contributed to the addiction, making positive changes in one’s life, and working on mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
  • Mostly, it’s a decision not to engage in or avoid substance use or behavior.

Stages of Addiction Recovery

Abstinence is often the first step individuals take on their journey to recovery. By removing the substance or behavior from their lives, they begin to break free from the chains of addiction. This decision requires a great deal of determination, willpower, and support to maintain.

What Does It Mean to Be Sober Vs Abstinent?

difference between sobriety and abstinence

For many individuals, it is the first step they take towards regaining control over their lives. By focusing on these three pillars, individuals can establish a state of sobriety where they are not only drug-free but also engaged in personal growth and healthy coping mechanisms. Sobriety and abstinence are terms frequently encountered in discussions about addiction recovery and mental well-being. While often used interchangeably, each carries distinct implications that extend beyond the mere absence of substance use.

The Haven provides the perfect environment to recover safely with up-to-date technology and various recreational amenities. During recovery, patients will learn how to avoid situations that trigger their addiction cravings by learning to identify their internal experiences and external cues through behavioral therapy. Our residential treatment can help individuals learn how to cope with situations that trigger a relapse. However, it could be risky or impossible to keep depending on your physical, mental, and addiction background. Although abstinence is difficult to maintain, it might be the best choice for you and your loved ones if you have support and coping mechanisms.

Key Differences Between Abstinence and Sobriety