August 24, 2023

What Is Sobriety?

Group of friends celebrate representing What is sobriety

What is sobriety? To define sobriety refers to the state of being sober, indicating the absence of influence from drugs or alcohol. Achieving drug sobriety or alcohol sobriety involves having no traces of these substances in your system and represents the natural state we are born in. Read on to discover more about the following issues:

  • What is sobriety?
  • What does sober mean?
  • What is emotional sobriety?
  • What is a sobriety checkpoint?
  • Making a commitment to sobriety: how to engage with evidence-based addiction treatment in Southern California.

What Is the Best Definition of Sobriety?

What is the definition of sobriety, then? In the context of addiction recovery, the best sobriety meaning is defined as the state of complete abstinence from the use of addictive substances that have been causing physical, psychological, or social harm. It signifies a commitment to refraining from the addictive behaviors and substances that had been negatively impacting life, with the aim of achieving improved physical health, mental clarity, emotional stability, and overall well-being. 

Sobriety in recovery – sometimes referred to as emotional sobriety – involves a comprehensive and ongoing process of personal growth, therapy, support networks, and lifestyle changes to maintain a substance-free life and prevent relapse. By achieving emotional sobriety, individuals no longer resort to drugs or alcohol as a means to escape their emotions. This transformation stems from the cultivation of a profound inner strength, enabling them to address both challenging circumstances and emotions. Emotional sobriety is not just about feeling good all the time. Rather, it is about learning to experience a full range of emotions without being overwhelmed or driven to negative coping mechanisms.  Through emotional sobriety, individuals acquire the ability to:

  • Stay present in the moment
  • Acknowledge their feelings
  • Respond to them in a healthier manner

This journey towards emotional sobriety entails introspection, dedication, support, resources, and personal growth. By developing emotional sobriety, individuals can experience a profound transformation that empowers them to face life’s challenges with resilience and maintain long-term sobriety.

Sobriety vs. Recovery

The terms “sobriety” and “recovery” are frequently used interchangeably, but these terms hold distinct meanings, each representing a different facet of the journey towards freedom from substance use.

Sobriety: A prerequisite for recovery

Sobriety primarily refers to the act of abstaining from alcohol and other substances. When someone is sober, they have chosen to eliminate the use of substances that alter their mental and physical state. This decision marks a crucial initial step towards a healthier life. That said, achieving sobriety alone does not necessarily equate to comprehensive recovery.

Recovery: A holistic healing journey

Recovery, on the other hand, embodies a more extensive and transformative process. While sobriety focuses on eliminating substance use, recovery involves addressing the root causes of addiction and fostering holistic healing. Recovery encompasses mental, emotional, and physical well-being, aiming to achieve a balanced and fulfilling life. It involves personal growth, improved relationships, and the development of coping mechanisms to navigate life’s challenges without relying on substances.

From sobriety to recovery

Sobriety serves as a foundation upon which recovery can be built. Achieving sobriety opens the door to embark on the journey of recovery, which involves addressing underlying issues, developing new perspectives, and learning healthier ways to navigate life. Embracing recovery means not merely abstaining from substances but actively pursuing a more fulfilled and purposeful existence

A friend group celebrates what is sobriety

How Can I Get Sober?

Getting sober is a transformative journey that requires commitment, support, and effort. If you are ready to take the steps toward a substance-free life, there are several strategies and resources that can help you on this path.

  • Recognize the need for change: The first step in getting sober is acknowledging that there is a problem with substance use. Denial can be a common response, but facing the reality of the situation is crucial for moving forward.
  • Seek professional help: Getting support from healthcare professionals is essential. Start by consulting your healthcare provider who can guide you toward appropriate treatment options. They may refer you to a local drug treatment service or recommend inpatient or outpatient treatment. If your addiction is severe, residential or outpatient rehabilitation programs might be necessary. These programs provide structured support and therapies to help you overcome addiction.
  • Build a support network: Surround yourself with supportive friends and family members who understand your journey and are willing to provide encouragement. Consider attending support groups like AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) or NA (Narcotics Anonymous) for additional peer support.
  • Address underlying issues: Substance use is often linked to underlying emotional or psychological issues. Therapy or counseling can help you identify and address these issues, which are crucial for long-term recovery.
  • Develop coping strategies: Learn healthy ways to cope with stress, triggers, and cravings. Mindfulness techniques, meditation, exercise, and hobbies can all be effective ways to manage difficult moments.
  • Set realistic goals: Setting achievable goals can boost your confidence and motivation. Celebrate small victories along the way to keep yourself motivated.
  • Stay active: Engaging in physical activity can help alleviate stress and improve your overall well-being. Regular exercise can also provide a healthy outlet for any negative emotions.
  • Avoid triggers: Identify people, places, or situations that trigger your cravings and try to avoid them whenever possible. This can help prevent relapse.
  • Stay connected: Maintain communication with your support network, whether it’s through friends, family, sponsors, or support groups. Regular interaction can help you stay accountable and motivated.
  • Educate yourself: Learn about addiction, relapse triggers, and coping strategies. Knowledge empowers you to make informed decisions and take control of your recovery.
  • Practice self-care: Prioritize self-care by getting enough sleep, eating nutritious meals, and engaging in activities that bring you joy and relaxation.

Remember, the journey to sobriety is unique for each individual. There might be setbacks along the way, but with determination, support, and a willingness to change, you can achieve and maintain a sober life. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help when you need it, as recovery is a continuous process that requires ongoing effort and commitment.


​​What is a sobriety chip?

A sobriety chip is a small token or medallion given to individuals in recovery to mark milestones of continuous sobriety, often associated with 12-step programs.

What is double-digit sobriety?

Double-digit sobriety refers to having achieved ten years of sobriety without using any addictive substances.

What is the difference between recovery and sobriety?

Recovery focuses on the holistic process of overcoming addiction and addressing underlying issues, while sobriety specifically refers to abstaining from the use of substances.

What should I do if I lose my sobriety?

If you lose your sobriety, reach out for support immediately, such as contacting a sponsor, attending meetings, and seeking guidance to regain your path to recovery.

Can someone who relapsed get sober again?

Yes, someone who has relapsed can achieve sobriety again by acknowledging the relapse, seeking help, and recommitting to recovery efforts.

an image of Gratitude Lodge's commitment to sobriety

Get Treatment for Long-Term Sobriety at Gratitude Lodge

Situated in Southern California, Gratitude Lodge is here to help those seeking sobriety. Our specialized approach includes rehab centers that are pet-friendly and conveniently located in both Newport Beach and Long Beach, CA.

Our team ensures a supervised medical detox program that prioritizes your safety and comfort as you navigate the detoxification process. Once your body is cleansed of addictive substances, a seamless transition awaits you into our comprehensive 30-day inpatient program.

Our treatment programs blend a variety of impactful interventions that include:

To facilitate the transition from active addiction to a lasting state of recovery, put your trust in Gratitude Lodge. To learn more, you can contact our admissions team at 888-861-1658.

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Joe Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been working in the addiction industry for half a decade and has been writing about addiction and substance abuse treatment during that time. He has experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.
Jenni Bussi

Jenni Busse MS, LPCC

Jenni Busse MS, LPSS is the Clinical Director at Gratitude Lodge. Jenni oversees the clinical program and the clinical team at Gratitude Lodge as a whole. Jenni has worked in treatment for almost 14 years. Her background as a licensed therapist and her passion for helping others intersected with addiction recovery when she started working primarily in detox residential treatment.

Drug detox can vary according to the patient’s addiction factors, including the substance abused, how long the addiction has lasted, the patient’s medical condition, if any other disorders are present, and more. Our skilled and credentialed team at Gratitude Lodge work closely with every patient going through drug detox, facilitating the beginnings of a successful recovery at our rehab addiction centers in Orange County, CA.

Drug detox can vary according to the patient’s addiction factors, including the substance abused, how long the addiction has lasted, the patient’s medical condition, if any other disorders are present, and more. Our skilled and credentialed team at Gratitude Lodge work closely with every patient going through drug detox.

Many patients don’t realize the toxicity of prolonged alcohol abuse and how it affects the body. Alcohol detox at the luxurious rehab addiction centers at Gratitude Lodge leeches your body of these toxins in preparation for successful treatment for drugs and alcohol abuse. Alcohol detox may not take as long or produce severe withdrawal symptoms, but it is still an essential beginning to your recovery.

Many patients don’t realize the toxicity of prolonged alcohol abuse and how it affects the body. Alcohol detox at the luxurious rehab addiction centers at Gratitude Lodge leeches your body of these toxins in preparation for successful treatment for drugs and alcohol abuse.

Holistic Therapy

Our holistic therapy treatments offer a full-scope approach to recovery, addressing your mind, body, and emotions as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. This therapy is designed to help address underlying issues and integrate alternative therapies to promote overall health and well-being.
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An essential part of your treatment experience, we offer individual (CBT and DBT talk therapy) and group addiction treatment counseling to help you explore and address the emotional component of addiction, providing you with the tools, self-awareness, and empowerment you need to maintain recovery.

Dual Diagnosis

Dual Diagnosis is a highly effective addiction treatment that addresses substance use and mental health disorders simultaneously. Often co-occurring, these disorders are best managed when treated together with specific and targeted therapy.
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Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Medication-Assisted Treatment provides you with FDA-approved medications to help ease the symptoms of withdrawal while you’re in treatment. This makes the detox process easier and safer, as well as increasing the chances of a successful recovery.

Sober Living

Sober living provides a supportive and substance-free living environment for your ongoing recovery. We partner with a number of upscale and carefully vetted sober living homes that are available to our clients after inpatient alcohol and drug addiction treatment.
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Outpatient Treatment

Once detox and inpatient are complete, we provide an easy transition to outpatient care through our hand-selected partners. This program offers a more flexible approach, allowing you to ease back in to daily life while still receiving frequent & effective care.
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Inpatient treatment provides an intensive and comprehensive addiction treatment program in a structured environment. You will receive 24/7 expert care, therapy, and support as you build your foundation for long-term recovery.

Drug & Alcohol Detox

A crucial first step in the recovery process, our detox program provides a comfortable, medically supervised environment that addresses the physical aspect of addiction and eliminates substances from your body.

Use Our 24 Hour text line. You can ask questions about our program, the admissions process, and more.