Why is it so hard to get clean and sober?

Many people may assume that addiction is a choice. If the addict or alcoholic could just stop using drugs or alcohol, they could be so much happier. The logic makes sense, but the disease doesn’t.

There are plenty of reasons getting clean and sober is not as easy as just having the “willpower”. For most people, getting clean and sober requires a network of help rather than gumption alone. While it is certainly possible to kick addiction, there are very real factors that can get in the way if they are not tackled head on.

The Connection Replacement

Despite what was once a popular belief, those who abuse substances are often incredibly self-reliant and strong-willed people. In fact, these traits can actually lead to addiction. The ability to ask for help is the first step to recovery, but if the addict or alcoholic is not ready to accept the help of others, this process can be especially difficult.

Quality relationships can diminish over time when substance abuse becomes the number one priority. Without trustworthy people who are compassionate and understanding, loneliness can further drive somebody to use drugs or alcohol when a situation is tough. Finding and maintaining relationships is extremely important when getting clean and sober.

Mental Health Symptoms

There are many adverse mental health symptoms that can occur due to chronic substance abuse. Some of these include:




Depression is a common mental health issue, especially for substances that depress the mind and body such as alcohol or opiates. Depressants can also increase anxiety when they are no longer in the body. Without the depressant, the body and mind can feel average stressors to be overwhelming since drugs or alcohol have created a false sense of security.

PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder) can also occur due to the circumstances that often surround drugs and heavy alcohol use. When inhibitions are decreased, those who abuse substances are likely to find themselves in dangerous and even traumatic situations. While these situations may not feel terrible at the time, those same situations can haunt the mind once drugs and alcohol have left their system.

False Information

The stigma around drug and alcohol dependence can be staggering. While most people may understand it is a disease that requires professional help, others may still believe it is a problem that lies within the personality of the person using substances.

Even though addiction is not a matter of willpower, old ideas continue to impact our country. To successfully quit alcohol and drugs, a variety of tools are available.


Getting clean and sober can be extremely difficult without the right help. To eradicate substance abuse, professionals that understand addiction are crucial. For more information, please call 954-523-1167 to start the process.