Preparing for Change: How to Start Down the Road to Recovery

Taking that first step towards regaining your sobriety is huge. The process of getting clean and sober may seem overwhelming but the point is to get started. Recovery often looks different for different people, but it has to start somewhere. Explore these tips for making those first few moves towards sobriety.

Decide you want and need a change

Early on in addition, you may not even understand there is, in fact, a problem. When you finally realize there is a problem, you are ready to look towards making a change. The first step is deciding you are ready and willing to change.

Track your habits and what needs to change

It is easy to ignore just how much your drug habit is costing you. In order to get a real and honest picture of what your habit looks like, track how much you use, how often and the financial cost. Seeing these details down on paper can give you clarity in regards to just how much of a role drugs play in every aspect of your life.

Beyond the toll on your income and health, write down any relationships you have that may be strained by the drug use. Talk to family and friends about the changes in your relationships on and off drugs. Make a list of the positive things you may gain by ending your drug use.

Examine past attempts at sobriety

It isn’t all that unusual for people to relapse or to have to try more than once to ultimately get clean and sober for good. If you have tried in the past to get sober, take a look at what worked and what did not. Trying the same thing that has already failed probably is not going to all of the sudden work unless you have truly made a commitment to sobriety that was not there before.

Remove all temptations

Getting sober in the same environment where you use to get high with the same people you use to party with just does not work. Sobriety means a fresh start and a break from any temptation to use including friends you use with and places that are not drug-free.

Set measurable goals you can be accountable for

It is one thing to say you are going to someday be “clean” but it is entirely different to give yourself an actual deadline to start treatment and setting things like a goal to attend a certain number of support groups each week. Use real numbers and goals that you can track to show progress.

Be sure to take this goal-setting one step further by sharing the goals with those around you that are important to you and support your sobriety. Ask for their help in holding you accountable for these deadlines and self-measures.

Research treatment options and placements

Treatment does not look the same for everyone, and the same treatment will not have the same outcome for each person in recovery. Checking into the first treatment option you find may be setting yourself up for failure if it’s not a good match. Explore the options for in-patient center-based treatment, out-patient treatments, hospital-based treatments, faith-based treatment programs and 12 step programs.

When considering treatment options also explore what is treated by each program beyond the actual physical addiction to your drug of choice. Making sure the treatment you opt into also treats the underlying issue causing the addiction will be a big step towards finding a program that fits your needs. The program should also treat you as a whole person including mending relationships, dealing with stress and other mental health issues.

Written by Jennifer Scott