Happy New Sober 2018!

10 Tips for Managing Your
Newly-Sober Life in 2018

Welcome to your new, sober future! 

Congratulations on leaving drugs and alcohol behind. You can now look forward to an enjoyable and far more productive future. Here are some of the improvements you can expect.

  • More money: You won’t be spending money on drugs or alcohol, meaning more cash in your pocket.
  • Lower stress: By far! You won’t have a lot of secrets to keep from family and friends so you can experience improved peace of mind.
  • Better health: Even if you’re not perfectly healthy, you won’t be poisoning yourself daily with toxins from drinks or drugs.
  • Clearer thinking, better decisions: Your life won’t be controlled by your need for the next drink or hit of drugs.

You are now far more free to make your own choices about your future so now’s the time to take a look at what achievements would make YOU happy with your own life!

Here’s some tips you can use to shape that new, better life as you enter 2018 with your new sobriety.

Tip Number One:

  • You’re going to need new friends and new hangouts. You probably already know this, but don’t expect to maintain your sobriety if you hang out with the same people or in the same places as you did before. You just don’t need the triggers.

Tip Number Two:

  • When choosing those new friends, make your selections carefully. Look for people who make you feel confident about staying sober. You might notice one or more people that have the opposite effect. After you’ve been with them, you feel a little more like it would be okay to try “just one” drink or joint. Your wisest move is to move away from that person and find other friends. Early in recovery, it’s smart to choose to be with people who make you feel strong and right for staying sober.
Young woman continues her education.

Tip Number Three:

  • Again, this is probably already in your plans—get set up with a new job or continue your educational goals. The more you can align your work or education with your own personal interests and passions, the easier it will be to engage with the work involved in achieving your goals in these areas.

Tip Number Four:

  • Go easy on yourself. You did the hard work. You got sober. Re-enter your life gradually, at the pace you are comfortable with. Some people like to have a sober escort when they go out at first. Others like to restrict their social activities for a while. It’s your life. You get to choose.
Man staying healthy after rehab.

Tip Number Five:

  • Protect and enhance your physical and mental health. Eat healthy, nutritious food on a regular schedule. Find a type of exercise you enjoy. If it’s hard for you to commit to exercise, find a class you think you would like. Your local YMCA/YWCA is probably more affordable than a local gym.

Tip Number Six:

  • Be moderate in all parts of your life. Sometimes, a person who has recovered from addiction can become obsessive about some other activity—eating, exercising, working. Pursue moderation and balance in your life.

Tip Number Seven:

  • Take a look at your long-range goals. It’s very likely that addiction caused you to abandon goals that were important to you. Brush them off and take a look at them again. Maybe you want to discard some and create new ones. It’s your choice. Whatever goals you cherish, look at how you might be able to better direct your energies toward achieving those goals.

Tip Number Eight:

  • Rebuild and restore your relationships. You’ve probably lost some friends and seriously harmed your familial relationships. Now is a good time to start rebuilding. Don’t expect everyone to greet you with delight. Some may and others may not. And don’t go around making a lot of promises or be in a rush. Simply let people know you’re doing better now and then show them with your actions how true that is.

Tip Number Nine:

  • Remember the people who helped you get sober. Maybe there is some way you can return the favor. It doesn’t always have to be with money. Cutting their lawns, helping them paint their home, taking your nephews fishing, taking your grandmother to a restaurant, offering rides to the airport— there are a thousand ways you can show your gratitude. The more you pay back the favor with your support and care, the better off you will be in heart, mind, and spirit.
Young woman stops to savor her sober life.

Tip Number Ten:

  • Above all, remember to savor the sights, sounds, tastes, emotions, and joys of your new sober life. You’re no longer deadened by drugs. Taste the sweetness of that new, sober life and never forget how valuable it is.

You have our wish for a productive, enjoyable and successful 2018 and many, many more years after that!


Karen Hadley

For more than a decade, Karen has been researching and writing about drug trafficking, drug abuse, addiction and recovery. She has also studied and written about policy issues related to drug treatment.