A group of young attractive people toasting each other in celebration. They remain sober by drinking non-alcoholic drinks and have fun doing it.

How to remain sober this Alcohol Awareness Month

April is Alcohol Awareness Month.  It’s a chance to reflect on the devastation of alcohol use disorder. As well as some tips on how to remain sober during the warmer months.

Alcohol is one of the most commonly abused substances in modern society.  It is not only heavily promoted in the media, but has become a part of everyday life for tens of millions of Americans.  Meet up with friends or coworkers after work, and you will find that alcohol will be a likely presence.  But just because something is the societal norm, doesn’t mean that it’s safe.  

Many people are surprised to learn that alcohol is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. On average, 140,000 people die a year as a result of alcohol use. That is 384 deaths per day. Imagine lighting a candle every night for the next year for a victim of alcohol use disorder. At the end of that year, you’d have fallen behind the death toll. 

The deadly cost of alcohol use disorder

Alcohol Use Disorder or even occasional alcohol use can increase the risk of:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart Disease
  • Stroke
  • Cancer. Alcohol is classified as a Type 1 Carcinogen. It therefore increases the risk of cancer, primarily that of the mouth, esophagus, breasts, colon, and liver.
  • Dementia and other memory related diseases

Aside from the physical risks associated with alcohol, there are both emotional and mental risks as well.  People who regularly used alcohol reported higher rates of depression and anxiety than their peers who remain sober. They also reported stress and tension in their personal and their professional relationships directly due to their alcohol consumption.

With the warmer months approaching, there will be more gatherings and social events. Whether you are abstaining from alcohol completely or you are just “sober-curious,” here are a few tips to help you remain sober. 

Remain Sober in Social Settings

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Having a great support system has been proven to increase the likelihood that you can remain sober.
  1. Set Clear Boundaries:  If you are going to a social event where alcohol will be present, do not be afraid to set boundaries ahead of time. Be sure the people you will be with are understanding that you will not partake in any kind of alcoholic refreshment.  If you sense that this boundary will not be respected, opt out of attending. The people in your life you care about you and your well-being will be respectful of the boundaries you set.
  1. Ask for Support: Many people do not know this, but you do not have to be classified as someone struggling with alcohol use disorder to have a sober companion. Groups like Alcoholics Anonymous welcome all types of people from alcoholics to those who are sober-curious. Having a sober companion has been shown to not only help decrease the risk of relapse, but it also increases feelings of self-esteem and empowerment.  Enlisting the help of a sober companion or a trusted friend can give you the tools you need to feel successful in staying sober in a social environment. 
  1. Arrive Prepared: Having a game plan is a great way to avoid feelings of being overwhelmed.  Before you arrive, have a plan in regards to what you will order to drink, or even bring your own non-alcoholic beverages.  This way, you can avoid feeling powerless if you begin feeling pressured by peers to partake and will be more likely to remain sober.

When to Seek Professional Help

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Alcohol Use Disorder affects nearly 15 million people in the United States alone.

Because alcohol is normalized in society, it can be hard to know when or if you need to seek professional help. Here are some common symptoms experienced by those experiencing alcohol use disorder.

  • Feeling unable to stop after one drink
  • Feeling unable to remain sober for a long period of time
  • Putting yourself, or others, in a dangerous situation due to alcohol consumption
  • Consistently drinking to the point of blacking out
  • Having trouble at work or at home due to alcohol intake
  • Drinking alcohol in secret, lying about the extent of one’s drinking, hiding little bottles of alcohol for discreet consumption
  • Loss of enjoyment in activities or events where alcohol is not included
  • Feeling unable to cope with intense feelings without having to have a drink
  • Feeling defensive of your drinking habits if someone confronts you with concerns

If you can relate to any of the above, it may help to hear that you are not alone. It is estimated that over 15 million people struggle with alcohol use disorder. 

At the Addiction Recovery Institute of America, our addiction treatment specialists provide expert care for individuals who are struggling with substance use disorders. Our goal is simple: to provide each of our clients with the tools they need to achieve long-term recovery. When you enroll in any one of the programs at ARIA, you are committing to sobriety, right here in West Palm Beach, Florida. 

We are dedicated to holding up our end of the bargain by designing individualized substance abuse treatment programs that serve each of our client’s individual needs. To get in contact, Call us at (844) 973 2611 or head over to our Contact Us page, fill out our information form and our representatives will get back to you as soon as possible. 

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