Sobriety is easy to maintain during treatment. If nothing else, the threat urine tests will be enough for most alcoholics to stay sober for 30, 60 or 90 days. The time immediately after release is when people are at the highest risk of relapse.
Meeting old friends, going to familiar places, or encountering everyday life stresses can make even the most motivated person want a drink.
This is why we encourage new members to participate in 90 meetings during their first 90 days post-release. This “90 days, 90 meetings” approach is designed to immerse new members in the 12-Step program, and provide a daily opportunity for sharing their challenges. It’s also important that new members find a sponsor as soon as possible since a sponsor can be helpful in adjusting to A.A. Your group leader should be able to help with this.
Maintaining sobriety can require more than just abstaining from alcohol. Many individuals find that they need to move to a new neighborhood, or find a new social circle that doesn’t revolve around alcohol-related activities. Participation in groups like A.A. can provide a ready-made network of sober friends.
Recovery from alcoholism can be a lifelong process. Many members continue coming to groups for decades after our last drink because we’ve learned that maintaining sobriety requires a sober lifestyle and that helping others brings a purpose to our lives that make it easier to stay sober.
Many alcoholics also suffer from other mental disorders, like anxiety, PTSD and depression. Maintaining sobriety will involve treating these underlying issues. In A.A., you may hear about the idea of a “dry drunk”, someone who doesn’t drink but still hasn’t dealt with the issues that drove them to drink in the first place.
Many of us were sober for years but remained miserable because we hadn’t dealt with our more profound problems. We strongly encourage all members to continue working with their doctor or psychologist on other mental health issues.