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5 Common Myths About Getting Sober

Medically Verified: 2/1/24

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

The decision to get sober is a difficult one to make. People in the grips of addiction will come up with many excuses to delay getting help. There are many common misconceptions about sobriety they will use to talk themselves out of getting sober. While it is not an easy journey to start, it is definitely a worthwhile one. These common myths about getting sober should never keep someone from getting the help they need.

Myth #1: Sober Life Is Boring

Many people suffering from addiction have the notion that their lives will be boring if they get sober. They believe that life without drugs and alcohol is dull and there will be no excitement. People in recovery find the opposite to be true. Getting sober allows people to lead more fulfilling lives without the encumberment of drugs and alcohol.

Individuals with substance use disorder usually find that they no longer enjoy the feelings drugs or alcohol gives them. They no longer use drugs or alcohol for fun, but now use it out of necessity to prevent themselves from going into withdrawal. People find that when they get sober, they begin to enjoy life again. They go back to doing hobbies that they have up in active addiction. They form new friendships and have a fuller social life as a result of programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.

Myth #2: You Cannot Be Around Alcohol

The myth that once you are sober, you can no longer be around alcohol is a very common one. People have the false belief that they can’t go to bars or parties where alcohol is served. In some cases, people believe they can’t even be friends with people who drink alcohol, even if those friends drink in a social manner. In early recovery, being around alcohol is a common trigger for relapse and it might be best to avoid these situations.[1] However, as someone progresses in their sobriety, they gain more knowledge and self-awareness. Therefore, being around situations that involve alcohol becomes easier and easier as time goes on and serves as no excuse to stay away from family, work, or social events that involve alcohol.

People with a healthy, solid recovery are able to identify situations that make them uncomfortable and threaten their sobriety. Most people in recovery are able to still go to parties and weddings where alcohol is served and still feel safe. Forget this common myth about sobriety and focus on living your life to the fullest.

Myth #3: You Have To Hit Rock Bottom To Get Sober

Another common myth about getting sober involves what many people call “bottoms.” When people think of someone who is in very early recovery, they think of people who hit extreme lows before getting sober. The misconception that you need to lose everything in order to get sober is very harmful and leads to people continuing in active addiction until they really have lost everything. In fact, many people who are currently sober did not lose everything. They simply noticed their substance abuse getting out of hand and decided to do something about it.

People often compare themselves to others and think they don’t need to get sober yet. They think they aren’t as bad off as the other person, so they don’t need help until everything is gone. There is no need to wait until the job, money, house, friends, and family are all gone before getting sober. Just the feelings of despair and loneliness that people suffering from addiction commonly feel are enough of a rock bottom to warrant getting help.

Myth #4: You Can Still Use Other Substances As Long As You Didn’t Have a Problem With Them Before

The disease of addiction doesn’t discriminate based on substances. However, some people believe it is still safe to use other drugs or alcohol because a particular substance wasn’t a problem in the past. For example, someone who had a problem with heroin might think it is ok to drink alcohol or smoke weed.

This is extremely dangerous thinking and typically results in the person relapsing with their drug of choice. Substance use disorder is a much deeper condition than just using drugs and alcohol excessively.[1] Instead, people are trying to compensate for underlying feelings that they try to mask with the abuse of a substance.

This means that no matter what drug is being used or what type of alcohol someone is drinking, the end result is usually the same. Most people with substance use disorder will inevitably become addicted to any substance as long as it masks the feelings they are trying to avoid.

Myth #5: People Will Judge You For Being Sober

A huge fear of some people in recovery is that everyone will find out they are sober and judge them negatively for it. People do not need to know you are sober unless you tell them about it. Detox, as well as any other treatment for alcohol abuse and drug addiction, are subject to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). [2] This means that no detox or treatment center can share medical information with anyone unless you give them permission.

Outside of medical treatment for addiction, support groups such as 12 Step Programs (Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous) make sure to keep anything shared at meetings private. Anonymity is in the name, and they will make sure you stay anonymous as long as you want to.

The stigma surrounding substance use disorder is also diminishing as it is becoming more and more common for people to get sober. Sometimes, people who don’t suffer from addiction still choose to quit drinking or doing drugs for health reasons. As it becomes increasingly popular, sobriety becomes less of a stigma and is now being more embraced by the general public as an appealing lifestyle choice.

While giving up alcohol and drugs can seem like an insurmountable task, our addiction treatment program in North Carolina can help. Addiction counselors will work closely with you to develop an individualized treatment plan to help jump start your sobriety. Don’t let myths about getting sober hold you back, call us today and get the help you need.