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What’s the Difference Between Being Sober & Being in Recovery?

What’s the Difference Between Being Sober & Being in Recovery?

As a student or young adult in the later stages of treatment for substance misuse, you may find yourself wondering if you are still “in recovery,” or whether you consider yourself “sober”. Though it may seem there’s no fine line between these two terms, they are actually quite different. Here are a few of the most important distinctions.

The Difference between Being Sober and Being in Recovery

What Does it Mean to Be Sober?

When one is “sober” during times of alcohol or drug misuse, the duration of a period of sobriety may vary. A student or young adult may decide to refrain from drinking or drug use for a short time (a few hours, days or weeks) and is called “sober” regardless of whether he or she has addressed the underlying issues and triggers that led to substance misuse. This person may rely on sheer willpower to stave off drug and alcohol use temporarily.

Unfortunately, temporary sobriety may not enhance one’s relationships or improve one’s health in the way they might hope. Men and women who “get sober” without embarking on a transformational journey to wellness may begin to:

  • Replace the misuse of drugs or alcohol with the misuse of food, video games, gambling, or online shopping.
  • Develop a mental health or behavioral disorder as they struggle to deal with the root of addictive behaviors.
  • Feel jealous and frustrated that others are still drinking or using drugs.

At Life of Purpose, we believe that simply avoiding substance use is not a complete substitute for participating in a transformative, intensive program that encourages a personal investment in the recovery process.

What Is Recovery?

Our team of multi-disciplinary professionals encourages clients to come to terms with being in “lifelong recovery.” This phrase is a reminder that substance misuse disorder can be managed in positive emotional, physical, behavioral, and spiritual ways. According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), recovery is a “process of sustained action that addresses the biological, psychological, social and spiritual disturbances inherent in addiction.”

In our recovery community, a person utilizes therapeutic strategies, holistic treatments, and self-reflection to find balance in their life without drugs and alcohol. With the help of an evidence-based continuum of care, young men and women achieve a state of wellness that allows them to:

  • Identify behaviors indicative of substance misuse disorder
  • Engage in the consistent pursuit of abstinence
  • Manage & resist common cravings
  • Enjoy an improved quality of life
  • Recognize relationship problems related to substance use
  • Cope with emotional responses in a healthier way
  • Find peace in the absence of drugs & alcohol

Helping Young Adults Succeed in Life & Academics

The state of wellness enjoyed during recovery is best achieved with the help of recovery specialists and medical experts that help you understand substance use disorder and grow confidently in your personal and educational pursuits. If you, a loved one, or a college roommate is in need of support for an alcohol or drug use disorder, Life of Purpose can help you do more than just “get sober.” With our help, you have the opportunity to enter active recovery without abandoning your goals of academic and professional success.

Call 888.787.7673 (PURPOSE) 24 hours a day, or submit a confidential online request and a member of our accredited staff will be in touch promptly.

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