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What is Emotional Sobriety? How To Understand & Practice It

What are the characteristics of emotional sobriety? Read to learn more about the importance of developing emotional sobriety as a key aspect of achieving lasting recovery from addiction.


What is Emotional Sobriety?

Emotional sobriety is a crucial aspect of recovering from alcoholism, as well as other forms of addiction. The concept involves learning to manage negative emotions that can trigger discomfort, cravings, and, ultimately, a return to substance abuse. This process is not a quick fix, but rather a lifelong journey that requires a fundamental shift in thinking about life’s challenges. Through cultivating emotional sobriety, individuals can maintain long-term sobriety and lead fulfilling lives.

Emotional sobriety refers to a state of being in which an individual has achieved a level of emotional balance and maturity that allows them to manage their emotions in a healthy and constructive way. Emotional sobriety is often seen as an important component of addiction recovery, as individuals who struggle with addiction often use drugs or alcohol to cope with difficult emotions.

6 Tips on How to Achieve and Practice Emotional Sobriety

In order to achieve emotional sobriety, individuals may need to develop a range of coping skills and emotional regulation techniques, such as mindfulness, meditation, or cognitive behavioral therapy. They may also need to learn how to manage stress, communicate effectively with others, and build healthy relationships.

Here are some tips that may help practice and achieve emotional sobriety:

  1. Identify your emotional triggers. It is important to understand the emotions that trigger negative feelings or cravings that may lead to relapse. By identifying these triggers, you can take steps to avoid or manage them.
  2. Practice mindfulness and self-awareness. Learning to stay present in the moment and becoming aware of your thoughts and emotions can help you manage them more effectively. Mindfulness practices such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises can be helpful.
  3. Develop healthy coping mechanisms. Instead of turning to drugs or alcohol to cope with difficult emotions, it is important to develop healthy coping mechanisms. This could include exercise, creative outlets such as art or music, or spending time in nature.
  4. Build a support system. Having a network of supportive people can be instrumental in achieving emotional sobriety. This could include family members, friends, or support groups such as AA or NA.
  5. Practice self-care. Taking care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally is essential for achieving emotional sobriety. This includes getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and engaging in activities that bring you joy.
  6. Seek professional help. If you are struggling to achieve emotional sobriety on your own, it may be helpful to seek the guidance of a mental health professional who can provide support and guidance.

Remember, achieving emotional sobriety is a process and it takes time and effort to develop the skills and habits needed to maintain a sober lifestyle. By staying committed to your recovery and implementing these tips, you can increase your chances of achieving emotional sobriety and living a fulfilling life in recovery.

What is the Origin of Emotional Sobriety?

The term “emotional sobriety” is often attributed to the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Bill W (“Bill Wilson emotional sobriety”), who first used the term in a letter he wrote in 1958. However, the concept of emotional sobriety has been a part of the recovery community for many years and is often discussed in relation to the 12-step program of AA.

Since its inception, the concept of emotional sobriety has evolved and expanded beyond the recovery community. Today, it is often used in the context of mental health and wellness and is viewed as a valuable tool for managing emotional challenges and achieving greater emotional resilience.

What is AA Emotional Sobriety?

In Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), emotional sobriety is a term that refers to the process of learning to manage emotions and achieve greater emotional balance in sobriety. This concept recognizes that simply abstaining from alcohol or drugs is not enough to maintain long-term sobriety; individuals must also learn to navigate the emotional challenges that can arise in recovery.

The idea of emotional sobriety is closely tied to the 12-step program of AA, which emphasizes the importance of spiritual growth and personal development in recovery. The 12 steps provide a framework for individuals to examine their emotions, beliefs, and behaviors, and develop healthier ways of coping with life’s challenges.

The idea of emotional sobriety is closely tied to the 12-step program of AA, which emphasizes the importance of spiritual growth and personal development in recovery. The 12 steps provide a framework for individuals to examine their emotions, beliefs, and behaviors, and develop healthier ways of coping with life’s challenges.

Emotional Sobriety vs Physical Sobriety

Emotional sobriety and physical sobriety are two distinct concepts in addiction recovery. Physical sobriety refers to abstaining from the use of drugs or alcohol, while emotional sobriety is about achieving a stable and balanced emotional state that supports long-term recovery.

Physical sobriety is often the first step in addiction recovery, as it is necessary to remove the substance from the body in order to begin the process of healing. However, physical sobriety alone does not guarantee lasting recovery, as individuals may still struggle with emotional challenges and triggers that can lead to relapse.

Emotional sobriety involves developing the skills and strategies necessary to manage negative emotions, cope with stress, and build healthy relationships. It requires a commitment to ongoing self-reflection, personal growth, and spiritual development.

Ultimately, emotional sobriety and physical sobriety are both important aspects of addiction recovery. While physical sobriety provides a foundation for healing, emotional sobriety is essential for maintaining lasting recovery and building a fulfilling life in sobriety.

What is emotional sobriety? Emotional sobriety refers to the ability to experience and navigate emotions in a healthy and balanced way while in recovery from addiction or other mental health conditions.
What is emotional sobriety? Emotional sobriety refers to the ability to experience and navigate emotions in a healthy and balanced way while in recovery from addiction or other mental health conditions.

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Alcoholism Statistics

In 2019, of the 85,688 liver disease deaths among individuals ages 12 and older, 43.1 percent involved alcohol. Among males, 53,486 liver disease deaths occurred, and 45.6 percent involved alcohol. Among females, 32,202 liver disease deaths occurred, and 39.0 percent involved alcohol.


According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 85.6 percent of people ages 18 and older reported that they drank alcohol at some point in their lifetime.

Source: NIAAA

According to the 2019 NSDUH, about 7.3 percent of adults ages 18 and older who had alcohol use disorder (AUD) in the past year received any treatment in the past year.

Source: NIAAA

An estimated 95,000 people (approximately 68,000 men and 27,000 women) die from alcohol-related causes annually.

Source: NIAAA


Alcohol Facts

What is Alcohol?

The chemical name ethanol sometimes refers to alcohol, is a depressant drug that is the active ingredient in drinks such as beer, wine, and distilled spirits (hard liquor).


What is its origin?

The earliest known evidence comes from 7,000 BCE in China, where residue in clay pots has revealed that people were making an alcoholic beverage from fermented rice, millet, grapes, and honey.


What are common street names?

Many people have heard of the names “booze,” “brew,” and “cold one” to describe alcohol, specifically beer. Some other common street names and nicknames for alcohol include:

  • Juice.
  • Hard stuff.
  • Sauce.
  • Hooch.
  • Moonshine.
  • Vino.
  • Draft.
  • Suds.
  • Liquid bread.
  • Oats soda.

What are common scientific names?

Pronunciation/ˈɛθənɒl/ Ethanol

Other Names of Alcohol

  • Absolute alcohol.
  • Alcohol (USP).
  • Ethanol (JAN).
  • Ethylic alcohol.
  • EtOH.
  • Ethyl alcohol.
  • Ethyl hydrate.
  • Ethyl hydroxide.
  • Ethylol.
  • Grain alcohol.
  • Hydroxyethane.
  • Methylcarbinol.

Legal status: US: Unscheduled

Routes of administration Common: by mouth

Uncommon: suppository, inhalation, insufflation, injection

What Type of Drug is Alcohol?

  • Analgesic.
  • Depressants.
  • Sedatives; Anxiolytics.
  • Euphoriants.
  • GABAA receptor positive modulators.

What is its effect on the body?

Physiological effects of oxycodone include:

  • Pain relief, sedation, respiratory depression,
    constipation, papillary constriction, and cough
    suppression.
  • Extended or chronic use of oxycodone
    containing acetaminophen may cause severe liver
    damage

Pharmacokinetic Data

Bioavailability: 80%+
Protein binding: Weakly or not at all
Metabolism: Liver (90%):
• Alcohol dehydrogenase
• MEOS (CYP2E1)
Metabolites Acetaldehyde; Acetate; Acetyl-CoA; Carbon dioxide; Water; Ethyl glucuronide; Ethyl sulfate
Onset of action Peak concentrations:
• Range: 30–90 minutes
• Mean: 45–60 minutes
• Fasting: 30 minutes
Elimination half-life Constant-rate elimination at typical concentrations:
• Range: 10–34 mg/dL/hour
• Mean (men): 15 mg/dL/hour
• Mean (women): 18 mg/dL/hour
At very high concentrations (t1/2): 4.0–4.5 hours
Duration of action 6–16 hours (amount of time that levels are detectable)
Excretion• Major: metabolism (into carbon dioxide and water)
• Minor: urine, breath, sweat (5–10%)

Emotional sobriety manifests itself uniquely for each individual, but it signifies the ability to control one's nervous system even in the midst of intense emotions. Allowing oneself to be overwhelmed by negative feelings is a significant factor that can lead to relapse.
Emotional sobriety manifests itself uniquely for each individual, but it signifies the ability to control one’s nervous system even in the midst of intense emotions. Allowing oneself to be overwhelmed by negative feelings is a significant factor that can lead to relapse.

10 Famous Emotional Sobriety Quotes

Here are some famous emotional sobriety quotes:

  1. “Emotional sobriety is the next frontier.” – Terrence Real
  2. “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
  3. “Emotional sobriety is not about being perfect. It’s about being honest, authentic, and willing to do the work to live a life of greater meaning and purpose.” – Brené Brown
  4. “Emotional sobriety is the ability to experience and express a full range of emotions without being overwhelmed by them.” – Karen Casey
  5. “The only way to deal with fear is to face it head on.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
  6. “Emotional sobriety is a journey, not a destination.” – Anonymous
  7. “To be sober is to take responsibility for your own life.” – Anonymous
  8. “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” – Nelson Mandela
  9. “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” – Lao Tzu
  10. “Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” – Dalai Lama

Emotional Sobriety Checklist

Here are some items that may be included in an emotional sobriety checklist:

  • Ability to recognize and manage negative emotions such as anger, resentment, and fear.
  • Willingness to take responsibility for one’s actions and make amends for past mistakes.
  • Capacity to cope with stress and difficult situations without resorting to substance use or other maladaptive behaviors.
  • Ability to communicate effectively and express one’s feelings in a constructive manner.
  • The practice of self-care and self-compassion, including healthy habits such as exercise, healthy eating, and adequate sleep.
  • Development of healthy coping mechanisms and strategies for managing stress and emotions, such as mindfulness, meditation, or therapy.
  • Willingness to seek support and connect with others in recovery.
  • The practice of gratitude and positive thinking focuses on the present moment and the things one is grateful for.
  • Awareness of one’s own emotional triggers and willingness to address them in a healthy and productive way.
  • The practice of spiritual principles, such as acceptance, forgiveness, and compassion.

This list is not exhaustive and may vary depending on the individual and their specific needs and goals in recovery. It can serve as a starting point for developing greater emotional sobriety and a more fulfilling life in recovery.

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What is the Science Behind Emotional Sobriety? Is Emotional Sobriety Effective in Achieving Lasting Recovery?

Studies have shown that addiction can cause changes in the brain’s reward and emotional centers, leading to heightened sensitivity to negative emotions and decreased ability to regulate them. This can make it difficult for individuals in recovery to manage the intense feelings that can arise during the process.

Emotional sobriety is effective in achieving lasting recovery because it addresses these underlying emotional and psychological issues that often contribute to addiction. By learning to regulate their emotions, individuals in recovery can better manage stress, anxiety, and other triggers that may lead to relapse. This can improve their overall well-being and quality of life, leading to greater success in recovery.

Research has shown that approaches that focus on emotional sobriety, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and mindfulness-based practices, can be highly effective in treating addiction and helping individuals maintain lasting recovery. These approaches can help individuals develop greater emotional intelligence, increase self-awareness, and learn new coping skills that can support long-term sobriety.

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What are the Characteristics of Emotional Sobriety?

Emotional sobriety is characterized by a range of cognitive and emotional processes that support healthy emotional regulation and well-being. Here are some of the key characteristics of emotional sobriety:

  • Emotional regulation. Emotional sobriety involves the ability to regulate and manage emotions effectively. This includes being able to identify and label emotions, tolerate distress, and engage in self-soothing behaviors.
  • Self-awareness. Emotional sobriety requires a high degree of self-awareness, or the ability to recognize one’s own emotional states and triggers. This can involve practices such as mindfulness meditation or journaling.
  • Resilience. Individuals with emotional sobriety are able to bounce back from adversity and setbacks and maintain a positive outlook even in the face of challenges.
  • Self-acceptance. Emotional sobriety involves a high degree of self-acceptance and self-compassion, allowing individuals to be more forgiving of themselves and others.
  • Empathy. Emotional sobriety also involves the ability to empathize with others and engage in healthy relationships. This includes being able to communicate effectively and listen actively.
  • Growth mindset. Finally, emotional sobriety involves a growth mindset or the belief that one can continue to learn and grow throughout life. This allows individuals to be open to new experiences and challenges, and to continue to work on their emotional and mental health over time.
The 12-step community has introduced the term emotional sobriety. While physical sobriety involves refraining from using addictive substances, emotional sobriety refers to the abilities that help someone avoid using such substances. Emotional sobriety is essential for maintaining physical sobriety, as without it, staying sober can be very challenging.
The 12-step community has introduced the term emotional sobriety. While physical sobriety involves refraining from using addictive substances, emotional sobriety refers to the abilities that help someone avoid using such substances. Emotional sobriety is essential for maintaining physical sobriety, as without it, staying sober can be very challenging.

 

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12 Essential Insights for Emotional Sobriety

Emotional sobriety is a critical component of lasting recovery from addiction. By addressing the emotional and psychological factors that contribute to addiction, individuals can build a foundation for a healthy and fulfilling life in sobriety.

Here are 12 essential insights for emotional sobriety:

  1. Acceptance. Accepting reality as it is and acknowledging one’s limitations is the first step in emotional sobriety.
  2. Mindfulness. Being mindful of one’s thoughts and emotions can help individuals recognize patterns and triggers that may lead to relapse.
  3. Honesty. Honesty with oneself and others are essential for maintaining emotional sobriety.
  4. Humility. Recognizing one’s own flaws and weaknesses can help individuals avoid becoming too attached to their own ideas and beliefs.
  5. Forgiveness. Forgiving oneself and others is essential for releasing resentments and moving forward in recovery.
  6. Gratitude. Practicing gratitude can help individuals focus on the positive aspects of their lives and find meaning in the recovery process.
  7. Compassion. Cultivating compassion for oneself and others can help individuals develop a sense of empathy and connection.
  8. Authenticity. Being true to oneself and living in alignment with one’s values can help individuals maintain emotional sobriety.
  9. Resilience. Developing resilience and the ability to bounce back from setbacks is critical for long-term recovery.
  10. Self-care. Engaging in self-care activities such as exercise, healthy eating, and relaxation can help support emotional sobriety.
  11. Connection. Building healthy relationships and connecting with others who share similar values and goals can provide a sense of support and community.
  12. Purpose. Finding purpose and meaning in life can help individuals stay motivated and committed to their recovery journey.

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Alcoholism Treatment

First and foremost, if you think a loved one is abusing alcohol, you should research the substances and their associated addiction to understand better what your loved one needs.  Next, you must plan an intervention to provide your loved ones with options to battle the effects of alcohol addiction in a safe and supportive environment. During this intervention, offer compassion and support instead of judgment. Lastly, show your support throughout the entire treatment process.

In addition, prolonged drug use can have severe physical and psychological effects on you, so it is essential to seek treatment as soon as possible. Inpatient drug rehab offers intensive care that can help you promptly get through the early stages of alcohol withdrawal

Alcohol Detox

Medical detox is often considered the first stage of treatment. It will help you navigate the complicated alcohol withdrawal but doesn’t address patterns of thought and behavior contributing to drug use. Various treatment approaches and settings can help provide the ongoing support necessary to maintain long-term sobriety after you complete the alcohol detox.

Cravings are very common during alcohol detox and can be challenging to overcome. This often leads to relapse. Constant medical care provided during inpatient treatment helps prevent relapse. Clinicians can give medication and medical expertise to lessen cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

Inpatient Alcohol Rehab

There isn’t one treatment approach or style that will suit everyone. Treatment should speak to the needs of the individual. Inpatient rehab and addiction treatment aren’t just about drug use. the goal is to help the patient stop using alcohol and other substances, but alcohol rehab should also focus on the whole person’s needs.

Addiction is a complex but treatable disease that affects brain function and behavior. When someone or their family is considering different treatment facilities, they should account for the complexity of addiction and the needs of the individual. The objective of attending an inpatient rehab center for addiction treatment is to stop using the drug and re-learn how to live a productive life without it.

Following a full medical detox, most people benefit from inpatient rehab. Inpatient drug rehab can last anywhere from 28 days to several months. Patients stay overnight in the rehab facility and participate in intensive treatment programs and therapy. Once someone completes rehab, their addiction treatment team will create an aftercare plan, which may include continuing therapy and participation in a 12-step program like Narcotics Anonymous.

Psychotherapy 

Many rehab programs will also have early morning classes or programs. Group sessions occur during inpatient rehab, as do individual therapy sessions. Family therapy may be part of inpatient rehab when it’s feasible. Alternative forms of therapy may be introduced during inpatient rehab, like a holistic therapy program, yoga for addiction recovery, or an addiction treatment massage therapy.

Several different modalities of psychotherapy have been used in the treatment of mental health disorders along with addiction, including:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – is an effective treatment that involves changing both the patterns of negative thoughts and the behavioral routines which are affecting the daily life of the depressed person for various forms of depression.
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy – is a comprehensive mental health and substance abuse treatment program whose ultimate goal is to aid patients in their efforts to build a life worth living. The main goal of DBT is to help a person develop what is referred to as a “clear mind.” 
  • Solution-focused therapy is an approach interested in solutions that can be quickly implemented with a simple first step leading to further positive consequences.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Drug abuse and mental health disorders often co-occur. In many cases, traumatic experiences can result in mental health disorders and substance abuse. Dual-diagnosis rehabilitation treats both of these issues together. The best approach for the treatment of dual diagnosis is an integrated system. This strategy treats both the substance abuse problem and the mental disorder simultaneously. Regardless of which diagnosis (mental health or substance abuse problem) came first, long-term recovery will depend mainly on the treatment for both diseases done by the same team or provider.

If you are committed to overcoming addiction and moving forward, we can assist you in achieving both physical and emotional sobriety. To discuss how we can support you on your journey, please get in touch with us today.
If you are committed to overcoming addiction and moving forward, we can assist you in achieving both physical and emotional sobriety. To discuss how we can support you on your journey, please get in touch with us today.

Medication Assisted Treatments (MAT)

Medication-Assisted Treatments (MAT) for substance use and mental health disorders are commonly used in conjunction with one another. This includes the use of medications and other medical procedures. During your rehab, the staff from your treatment facility will help you identify what caused your addiction and teach you skills that will help you change your behavior patterns and challenge the negative thoughts that led to your addiction. Sometimes, the pressures and problems in your life lead you to rely on substances to help you forget about them momentarily.

Please, do not try to detox on your own. The detox process can be painful and difficult without medical assistance. However, getting through the detox process is crucial for continued treatment. We Level Up provide proper care with round-the-clock medical staff to assist your recovery through our opioid addiction treatment program medically. So, reclaim your life, and call us to speak with one of our treatment specialists. Our counselors know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions.

Alcohol Rehab Near Me

Alcohol addiction is a condition that can cause major health problems, such as an overdose. We Level Up NJ rehab treatment & detox center can provide you, or someone you love, the tools to recover from this with professional and safe treatment. Feel free to call us to speak with one of our counselors. We can inform you about this condition and clarify issues like alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Our specialists know what you are going through. Please know that each call is private and confidential.

 

  1. What is emotional sobriety?

    Emotional sobriety can be defined psychologically as the ability to manage and regulate one’s emotions in a healthy and adaptive way. It is the capacity to experience a range of emotions without becoming overwhelmed or using maladaptive coping strategies, such as substance use or avoidance.

  2. What is the emotional sobriety definition according to AA?

    According to AA, emotional sobriety involves letting go of resentments, fear, and other negative emotions, and cultivating a sense of serenity and gratitude. It is an ongoing process of self-reflection, personal growth, and spiritual development that is essential for long-term sobriety and well-being.

  3. What is emotional sobriety AA big book?

    What is the emotional sobriety AA book? The term “emotional sobriety” was first introduced by Bill W., co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), in a 1958 article titled “The Next Frontier Emotional Sobriety.” In this article, Bill W. describes emotional sobriety as the next frontier in AA’s mission to help alcoholics achieve lasting recovery.

Emotional Sobriety Quotes. Inspirational Quotes Addiction Recovery. Sober Quotes AA Quotes to Lean On Videos

Emotional sobriety is a state of being in which a person is able to regulate their emotions, cope with stress, and maintain healthy relationships without relying on addictive substances or behaviors. In this video, we explore the concept of emotional sobriety and its importance in addiction recovery.

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[6] Top Effective Alcoholism Treatment Center Recovery Programs (welevelup.com) / Tag: Emotional Sobriety AA PDF

[7] National Drug & Alcohol IQ Challenge | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) (nih.gov) – https://nida.nih.gov/research-topics/parents-educators/national-drug-alcohol-facts-weekhttps://nida.nih.gov/publications/national-drug-alcohol-iq-challenge / Tags: What is emotional sobriety?/ Emotional Sobriety AA PDF

[8] National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® (NDAFW) | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) (nih.gov) – https://nida.nih.gov/research-topics/parents-educators/national-drug-alcohol-facts-week

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[10] Screening for alcohol and drug use disorders among adults in primary care: a review – PMC (nih.gov) – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3339489/