While we have a page full of information on chronic relapse, here we discuss struggles that come with long term sobriety. The two are not one in the same, but certainly related.
The 12 Step Program known as Alcoholics Anonymous is nearing a century in existence, and some records show early treatment programs for substance abuse as early as the 1840’s. With the focus shifting from a criminal and deviant element to biological and psychological, sobriety from substance continues to be possible, and with it, so does the hope of long term sobriety.
Sobriety by definition simply indicates the absence of alcohol, drugs, or being under the influence. Most people who identify as having long term sobriety typically maintain this state of abstinence for several years or more.
A slang term that originated in 12 Step Program Alcoholics Anonymous, Dry Drunk Syndrome became a widely used term to describe someone who is abstinent from using alcohol or drugs, but the following may be present:
Dry Drunk Syndrome has always had a negative stigma attached to it, and thus for our purposes at The Bridge to Recovery, we do not use the term much.
At The Bridge to Recovery, we prefer to recognize that while abstinence from drugs and alcohol is achievable, often the symptoms of the underlying trauma still present wreak havoc on one’s ability to achieve RECOVERY, healing, and overall emotional wellness.
When someone is in only long term sobriety, they often continue to experience the same behaviors and symptoms they did before sobriety, except now that are trying to tackle them sober. This, of course, is difficult and leads to ongoing struggles with the behaviors we identified above.
Long term recovery is possible and begins with addressing underlying trauma. Trauma is a big, confusing idea. It is helpful to check out our section on understanding trauma here.
When we can uncover, discover, and heal from our trauma, we can enjoy a journey of wellness. We can enjoy all recovery has to offer. The Bridge to Recovery is a place where you can begin that journey.
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The Heart of Phil Leedy Lane
“ Honestly the Bridge taught me something I already knew but had to remember. I am so damn special, valid, and important. Everyone in my life saw it, but me. The Bridge just showed me how to look in the mirror to see for myself. ”
- Jewel, Alumnus