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The Key to Being Sober

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Last Updated on September 13, 2022 by Carol Gillette

Alternative to Meds Editorial Team

A lot of folks are looking for the key to being sober. There are thousands of drug and alcohol treatment programs that promise their approach is the best way to achieve long-term sobriety. Whether its a 12-step addiction recovery, a medication management program, or for Opioid addicts, a suboxone maintenance program; none of these are a key to sobriety.

A stimulant addict getting sober through 12-step, drinking coffee all day long, is bound for relapse.

An Opioid addict who becomes dependent on Suboxone for years is still addicted to a substance, and unchecked addictive patterns will almost always end up in a bad result.

An alcoholic who quits drinking, only to leave their behavioral issues untouched, or their sugar addiction unchanged, is bound to slip up.

The thing is, rehabs know a percentage of their patients will slip up. The majority of rehabs will take clients over and over, relapse after relapse, promising them their way is the key to recovery. The treatment center will never admit that it’s their approach that is incomplete. They will almost always say it’s the addict’s fault or a disease of addiction or even blame triggers, or family members. It’s like a revolving door, and addicts are the victim. So, for a person who really wants to change, and get sober, what’s the solution?

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Your Health — The Key to Being Sober, and to Recovery from Drugs and Alcohol

Our brains work in a mysterious way. Addictive patterns in our brains are similar whether using cocaine, eating processed sugar, or taking Adderall. The most proven and surefire way to get sober is to take your health more seriously. Pay attention to reactions in your body. If a Monster energy drink always makes you have anxiety, stop drinking it. If eating McDonald’s makes you depressed over your weight, eat healthy. If taking suboxone becomes addictive, or you find yourself taking more than prescribed, look into an alternative. For the thousands of clients coached and helped by Alternative to Meds Center, adopting a healthy lifestyle is the key to being sober that they were missing. There are other important keys to sobriety.

Why Do People Get High?

Many people wonder about this. Is it an addiction, genetics, a disease, a disorder, a cop-out, a coping mechanism?


Getting high is simply our brain’s way of helping us feel better. A way to provide a surge of a neurotransmitter, such as dopamine, to alleviate our troubles, if even for a moment. The problem is, once the brain finds out it can get this support immediately, through a substance, it becomes hooked, and it needs more. A person’s life circumstances or consequences of drug use become irrelevant as the brain goes on autopilot seeking a way to feel better, or provide the desired feelings.

Claim Your Sobriety — Change Your Lifestyle

key to being soberIn understanding that our brains and bodies become dependent on substances as a means to provide certain feelings or moods, we can also begin to see how a change in lifestyle, or change in daily routine, could be the catalyst needed to begin a creating a new and healthier version of oneself. At Alternative to Meds Center we understand that addictive biochemistry plays a major role not only in drug addiction but in mental health as well. For clients who attend our Inpatient Holistic Treatment Center, we provide the tools needed to achieve a balance in one’s moods, through ensuring a healthy lifestyle, proper nutrient intake, as well as avoiding addicting toxins or substances. What many individuals do not know, is environmental toxins, or even household products can cause disruptive symptoms that lead to a need to self medicate. A simple example could be household cleaning products that are not toxin-free. Individuals that use drugs are often sensitive to their surroundings, and use drugs, alcohol, or even abuse medications, as a means to push down their uncomfortable feelings. We have seen many cases in which sensitivity to a heavy metal toxin in an everyday household product, can cause feelings of anxiety or depression, which lead to an individual feeling the need to self medicate. Self-medicating could be as simple as taking a Tylenol, or as severe as binge drinking or severe medication abuse. For many people, the desire to feel better in the moment outweighs any long-term consequences such as becoming addicted to alcohol, hooked on heroin, or even dependent on psychiatric medications. Nobody likes feeling miserable every day, and sometimes, taking the matter into our own hands and trying to cure ourselves, can lead to a nasty path of addiction and drug dependency.

The best way to snap yourself out of the cycle of destructive or addictive behavior is to look at the patterns in your behavior or things in your life that do not serve you and change them. For most people, looking at oneself can be very difficult and hard to do on their own. Alternative to Meds Center offers a toll-free hotline in order to help those that are suffering in making a plan to better themselves, or even make a plan to attend the holistic program in order to get licensed care and support. Here are some of the major lifestyle choices we find our patients suffer from, and some ideas on how to change them for the better. Lifestyle choices are another key to being sober and staying sober.

Factors in Staying Sober

There are three factors in staying sober:

1. What is your diet like?
factors in staying soberDo you find yourself drinking energy drinks, eating a lot of sugar, drinking too much coffee, or eating too much fast food? If so, taking a look at your diet could be a quick and easy way to make it easier to stay sober. Many unhealthy and addictive foods that contain large quantities of processed sugar, or caffeine, will affect our brain chemistry similarly to illegal and addictive drugs. If you are addicted to Oreos, the way your brain responds to the tasty sugar-filled treat is almost identical to the way the brain would respond to crack-cocaine. If you find that you can’t live without a certain drink or food, chances are the addictive biochemistry is to blame, and making some changes to your diet could lead to a much more balanced and peaceful life. At Alternative to Meds Center, we find that the best way to avoid food cravings or addiction is to eat an all-organic diet of whole foods, fruits, and vegetables, and limit the intake of caffeine and processed sugar. To learn more about how your diet affects mental health and addiction, this video offers a great explanation of the benefits of a healthy diet. There is much to learn about how powerful diet can be, and how effective it is as a key to being sober and staying sober.

2. Do you spend too much time on the TV, social media, or video game consoles?
key to being soberLife is better when a person is physically active and avoiding the use of electronic devices. Not only can electronics-use affect our sleep, and cause unwanted behaviors such as gambling, pornography, or gaming addiction, electronics use also is a major way people avoid their lives. Everyone has experienced a trauma, or a bad day, and felt like all they wanted to do is curl up and watch their favorite movie, or play their favorite video game. However, these coping mechanisms also lead to patterns of avoidance, isolation, and even social anxiety. Sure, life can be easier when you are living it through the eyes of your favorite video game character or disappearing into your favorite TV show. But avoiding your life will also contribute to future problems such as anxiety, depression, or even addiction to drugs and alcohol. Life is all about balance, and this also applies to the use of electronics. If you find yourself on your phone more hours a day than you are talking to other human beings, make a change, Put yourself out there, make some real human friends, and live your life to the fullest. If you see that you are becoming too reclusive, or avoiding social interaction, force yourself to go out on a date. Or go visit family, go on a walk with friends, etc. Just don’t let yourself disappear into the virtual world for too long.

3. When’s the last time you drank water?
sobriety dehydrationMany people feel like their coffee, Gatorade, or soda contains enough water, and don’t drink water at all. For a lot of those with addiction, however, dehydration, or lack of water, make the cravings even worse, and as we discussed earlier, when a person feels sick, or not at their best, self-medicating becomes very attractive. Water is the key to life, our planet needs it to survive and grow, and so do we as human beings. Making sure you get enough water, leads to a much healthier and symptom-free life. Many doctors even recommend water fasting, or water cleanses, in order to help jump-start the immune system and help restore proper body function. If you can’t remember the last time you had a glass of water, take a break right now and go drink some. Water can be one key to being sober and staying sober.

At Alternative to Meds Center we are all about education. We understand that education surrounding foods, brain chemistry, environmental toxins, and addictive biochemistry, is hard to come by. For more information about these valuable health topics please visit our blog, and continue reading about ways to become the healthiest version of yourself.

Originally Published Jan 22, 2019 by Diane Ridaeus

Medical Disclaimer:
Nothing on this Website is intended to be taken as medical advice. The information provided on the website is intended to encourage, not replace, direct patient-health professional relationships. Always consult with your doctor before altering your medications. Adding nutritional supplements may alter the effect of medication. Any medication changes should be done only after proper evaluation and under medical supervision.

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