Maintaining your sobriety is a key life goal for people who have struggled with alcoholism in the past. Studies have shown that as many as one in eight Americans meet the diagnostic criteria for alcoholism. This means that about 12.5% of all Americans have struggled with alcoholism.
Along with the deleterious effects alcoholism can have on your health, chronic alcohol use can also impact the lives of others. Your family can become overwhelmed by the person you become when you drink. And the lives of ever driver on the road could be impacted if you choose to drink and drive.
The perils of drinking and driving
Drinking and driving is one of the most serious accidents that can occur in the United States. An estimated 30 people die every day as a result of drunk driving, whether they were the drunk driver or an innocent person sharing the road. Though the three most common auto insurance claims are for fender benders, whiplash, and theft, drunk driving is still a leading cause of auto accident injuries around the world.
Even if you are not in an accident as a result of drunk driving, the action can still have serious consequences. Drunk driving impairs your judgment, making you more likely to run stop lights, miss stop signs, and swerve over the lines on the road. If you’re pulled over, getting charged with a single DUI can result in thousands of dollars in fines, more than two years of jail time, and the suspension of your license.
Staying away from the bottle is essential, but it isn’t always easy. Here are some of the best ways you can stay sober, whether you plan on driving or not.
Lean on your family and friends for help
The people you care about want you to thrive. If you’re struggling with addiction, there’s no shame in leaning on the ones that you love for support. After all, they would rather see you cry than start engaging in bad habits again. These people will be key in helping you stay grounded in social events where there is alcohol, too.
You can also expand your support network by relying on a therapist, counseling group, or a sponsor. Your family and friends can only offer so much support before you need counseling to control your urges. These professionals are essential in crafting life habits that work for you.
Keep yourself accountable
It’s easy to blame a relapse on the alcohol if you keep it in the house. One of the best things you can do is get rid of temptation: ditch the booze and avoid going to old haunts where you would get drunk. Keeping yourself accountable by planning ahead is key. If you’re so inclined, you might even put a security camera in your home to prevent yourself from going into the liquor cabinet. Security cameras are great for catching culprits, but they’re also made to deter crime from the start. Identifying these triggers and avoiding them is key.
Keeping yourself accountable also means engaging in the health activities designed to keep you sober. Go to those support meetings. Read those self-help books that enable you to craft better daily habits. When you start to shirk your responsibilities, it’s easy to keep neglecting the things that are important to you. This is where someone like a sponsor is great for helping to monitor your progress.
You might also find that installing a breathalyzer in your car can help. Studies show that 80% of people who have achieved long-term sobriety have had at least one relapse along the way. To help keep yourself accountable, one of the best things you can do is to install that breathalyzer.
The breathalyzer will prevent anyone with a high BAC from driving. In fact, they won’t even let you turn on the ignition until you blow into the machine that tests your breath. If it’s over a certain amount, then you won’t be able to drive.
The last thing you want to do is injure someone else because of your mistake. A personal injury claim must be answered by the defendant within three weeks, and you’re likely not going to win the case if you drove while under the influence. Keep yourself accountable with the aforementioned tips. That will allow you to stop this problem from the start.
Take it one day at a time
When it comes to maintaining your sobriety, some days will be worse than others. The best thing you can do? Take it one day at a time. Changing your life starts with small steps, not leaps and bounds. After all, you have to hit the six-month mark before you can celebrate a year of sobriety. It might be tempting to look ahead a few months, or even years from now, but this will just overwhelm you.
Every day that you stay away from drinking is a small victory. Remember that when it comes to maintaining sobriety.
Staying sober is essential when it comes to living your healthiest life. It’s good for you, your family, and other drivers on the road. The dangers of alcoholism aren’t only limited to you. Rely on these tips when you want to be reminded of the importance of staying sober.