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Julie Morrell, MFT


Category Archives: Sober Living

Deciding to Stay Clean & Sober

There are a few key reasons why people with an addiction problem decide to go into drug rehab & then decide to stay clean & sober. Here is what they have told me. ~ Julie Morrell MFT

1) As their substance abuse eventually became an every day event, they eventually got sick & tired of being sick and tired.

2) They got tired of disappointing the people they care about & eventually decided they don’t want to do it anymore. Seeing and hearing the disappointment in their loved one’s voice & face, becomes more excruciatingly painful. They realize they are messing up.

3) They realize they have no more friends & family that care for them, ( the tough love route) so now they are motivated to get clean. Because now they are truly all alone. Being an addict is very isolating. Using has made them incredibly and painfully lonely.

4) They realize they have a different relationship to drugs and alcohol. It’s a different relationship than what other people have, in that once they use they can’t stop. It’s an addictive relationship. They resolve they need rehab help to help them not use again. It’s at this point, that someone in their life might say to them. You need professional help, and they finally listen.

5) It’s interesting to note, that often times when an addict begins to come to counseling, they-want their depression or anxiety symptoms treated and lifted, and they DO want to have a better relationships with others. And at the same time they are not recognizing that it is the substance that is making their symptoms of depression, anxiety and failed relationships much worse. They often won’t tell the professional they are using at first, which is why it is important for them to see someone who knows about drug and alcohol addiction.

It’s often at this point that the addict will begin to listen to the idea that they indeed have a problem. Hearing it from a professional carries more weight then hearing it from a loved one. Hearing they need inpatient help begins to be a concept they are starting to consider. Outpatient counseling won’t help get them sober. And inpatient rehab will help someone with a substance abuse problem detox safely. Drug and Alcohol rehabs are equipped to help addicts safely detox. Detoxing from substance is not something a person can do on their own and can result in death. Detoxing needs to be medically monitored and done in a safe setting. When they realize this, it will often help them make the decision to finally get treatment.

Every substance abuse situation is different, and not all addicts react the same, however, if someone has been abusing substance for a long time. It is my belief that 30 days of inpatient treatment is a good start, but not enough to help someone make a complete change. It isn’t until after 60 days of inpatient treatment that you will start to see a kinder more gentle person begin to emerge. And after 90 days of being clean and sober, people can manage their every day stress much better, and studies show that people are less likely to immediately relapse. They have a much better chance of a renewed life after 90 days drug free.

If this is a situation you are familiar with, you might want to read the book,” Addict in the Family”, by Beverly Conyers. It will help you understand the challenges you are facing. It’s extremely difficult to interact with an addict, precisely because they can be so deceptively manipulative. Also, you might want to read or listen to the CD called, ” Reclaim your life” – You and the Alcoholic/Addict, by Carole Bennett. It’s important to go to Al-anon meetings and educate yourself regularly. If you don’t like the first one you have tried, go try another.

And if you are an addict go to 12 step meetings. Here is a link to AA meetings,
The truth is, living a life of isolation will encourage a relapse whereas being connected with others will help someone remain sober. Being sober and staying sober is much more easily done when staying connected with others and committed to the sober community. Millions of people kick the life of addiction and live clean and sober lives. You can too. It’s possible!