Maintaining Abstinence vs Achieving Alcohol Sobriety

For clients who enter treatment through a psychoeducational group, programs should have clear guidelines about when members of the group are ready for other types of group treatment. Helping families understand the behavior of a person with substance use disorder in a way that allows them to support the individual in recovery and learn about their own needs for change. The psychological inability to stop engaging in an activity or consuming a drug, substance or chemical, commonly referred to as addiction has been a menace since ages ago. Addictive activities such as gambling, working and even eating can be detrimental to a person’s overall health, not to mention harm caused to other people.

As long as respect and awareness are evident, the use of such practices will not harm the members of a particular culture. In addition to making the right strategic choice of approach, the interventions should be done at the right time. Treatment as a time-dependent process should be the guiding principle when working with people with addictions in group. Figure 2-5 describes how an interpersonally focused group might respond to the conflict described in Figure 2-3. Issues that do not specifically relate to the focus of the group are often considered extraneous, so discussion of them is limited.

Is Sobriety The Same As Abstinence?

Specific techniques of the process group leader will vary, not only with the type of process group, but also with the developmental stage of the group. Early on in group development, process group leaders might consciously decide to be more or less active in the group life. They might also choose, based on the needs of the group, to make more or fewer interpretations of individual and group dynamics to the group as a whole. Likewise they might choose to show more warmth and supportiveness toward group members or take a more aloof position. On one hand, the interpersonal process group leader monitors how group members are relating, how each member is functioning psychologically or emotionally, and how the group as a whole is functioning. The interventions of the leader are dependent on his or her perceptions of this mix.

Various measures have been put to place to control this including rehab centers, counseling, and even addiction prescription medicines. Abstinence and sobriety are the objectives of these transformative steps. Although used simultaneously, the two are different in various ways. When life gets difficult because of addiction, cessation from drugs and alcohol is the key to a better life. Someone who abstains from drugs and alcohol is giving themselves a chance at this better life that they are hoping for. Abstinence can really promote the emergence of a dry drunk rather than someone who trying to better their life in sobriety.

Comparison Between Abstinence and Sobriety

Recovery strategies and steps help you to become a better version of yourself and enhances your approach in dealing with tough personal and social issues. Even though someone remains abstinent from drugs and alcohol, they might still have difficulties reaching sobriety. Those who stay abstinent might struggle to find a job, get their life back together, or leaving the challenges of addiction behind. Despite not having the substances in their lives, their life in recovery still mirrors their life as addicts. The Merriam-Webster dictionary describes it as the quality or state of being sober. In 12-Step programs, sobriety refers to people who have achieved and maintained a positive state of mental health.

Once the physical body is healed, different tools and mechanisms are used to support a person. This is because abstinence-only focuses on leaving the substance and does not address the underlying causes of the addiction. When we talk about sobriety, we usually consider active addiction as its opposite.

Communal and Culturally Specific Groups

Although drugs and alcohol have been taken out of a person’s daily routine, they will fill up their day with actions that will lead them to recover from their addiction. Yes, there will be good days and bad days, but there is always hope that life will continue to improve with the recovery tools and principles that are offered as a way out from under. Filling the void of addiction through recovery measures means using therapy, the 12-Steps, being of service and connecting to a Higher Power to create an environment of positivity and strength.

difference between sobriety and abstinence

Clinicians also should be sensitive to self-identification issues such as sexual orientation, gender identification, and disability. When in doubt, clinicians should discuss the issue privately with the client. Groups and practices that accentuate cultural affinity help curtail substance abuse by using a particular culture’s healing practices and tapping into the healing power of a communal and cultural heritage. Many have commented on the usefulness of these types of groups (Trepper et al. 1997; Westermeyer 1995), and clinical experience supports their utility. As this TIP is written, little research-based evidence has accumulated to confirm the effectiveness of this approach. Research is needed to evaluate the effectiveness of culturally specific groups and ascertain the primary indications for their use.

In common speech, it is usual to think of sober as meaning any individual who is not intoxicated, but the word can have a much fuller meaning. In recovery the word sobriety usually refers to something a lot more than just not drinking alcohol or abusing drugs. Those who advocate the 12 step approach view sobriety as a life where the individual is not only free of addiction but also moving towards complete physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health. Abstinence is something that can be forced onto an individual by others, but sobriety requires a lifelong commitment that requires personal effort. Getting sober in this instance is not a once-off event but instead a continuing process.

difference between sobriety and abstinence

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