Why Abstinence Works: The Real Path to Recovery

california sobriety

The term “California sober” has gained recent popularity, representing a lifestyle where people quit or reduce their use of some substances while continuing to use others they believe are “safer.” This approach might involve avoiding intoxicants like alcohol or opioids while continuing to use marijuana, ketamine or mushrooms. However, complete abstinence offers a more solid foundation for recovery and long-term sobriety. Here’s why.

The Pitfalls of California Sobriety

The concept of California sobriety can be particularly appealing because it presents a seemingly harmless way to have a foot in both worlds. This permissive attitude is fraught with dangers, especially for those with a history of addiction. Believing that it’s safe to consume alcohol or drugs in moderation is a slippery slope that can lead to relapse.

Experimenting with California sobriety might indicate a reluctance to fully confront and commit to the idea of complete abstinence. This halfway approach can be a form of denial – a way to rationalize continued substance use despite the known risks to health and relationships.

Heavy drug use and binge drinking are prevalent in some social situations. Such scenarios can be  significant triggers if you have not completely committed to recovery, challenging your resolve and potentially leading to a full relapse.

The Case for Complete Abstinence

Abstaining from drugs and alcohol is a cornerstone of recovery, offering a path to a healthier, more stable future free from the weight of addiction.

  • Addressing underlying issues: Recovery goes beyond merely stopping substance use; it involves confronting traumas, rewriting mistaken beliefs about yourself and understanding addiction as a treatable disease.
  • Building coping skills: An abstinence-based recovery program will equip you with the tools and skills needed to live a fulfilling sober lifestyle. These include emotional regulation, stress management, and healthy relationship-building, which are crucial for long-term recovery.
  • Avoiding the slippery slope: Complete abstinence eliminates the gray area of moderation, which can be challenging for someone with a history of substance abuse. Without firm boundaries, occasional use can quickly escalate back to full-blown addiction.

Finding Success in Sobriety

While the perceived flexibility of California sobriety might seem appealing, the reality is that it carries significant risks for anyone with a history of substance use disorder. Total recovery requires a commitment to complete abstinence – giving up substances while prioritizing your ongoing wellness, growth and freedom.

At New Found Life, we believe in the power and possibility of full recovery. Our comprehensive approach addresses the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of addiction, offering the tools and support you need to live life on your terms, without relying on alcohol or drugs. Since 1993, our team has served the Long Beach community with a commitment to making care accessible and understandable. Call us today to talk with someone who understands.