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The Importance Of Your Sober Birthday

The Importance Of Your Sober Birthday

Substance abuse and addiction, in most cases, completely take over a person’s life.

When an individual is addicted to drugs or alcohol, he or she ignores all physical, emotional, financial, and social consequences that occur as a result of abusing drugs or alcohol. The path an individual goes through to treat substance abuse or addiction is long and requires a firm commitment. Every person’s experience with substance abuse or addiction will be different, as will a person’s recovery process.

A sober birthday is the day that marks the ending of a person’s drug or alcohol use.

Some individuals will use the last day that he or she used drugs to mark his or her sober birthday. Others will use the day the after the last time he or she used drugs or alcohol to mark his or her sober birthday. Regardless of which exact day is chosen (the day of one’s last use, or the day following one’s last use), and why is virtually unimportant. The marking of a person’s choice to live a sober life, taking action to stop using drugs or alcohol, and what motivated him or her to begin a substance abuse or addiction treatment program is the core of a sober birthday.

In substance abuse and addiction treatment, every moment that an individual remains sober is significant. In twelve-step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) the first twenty-four hours sober and every month for the first year of one’s sobriety is typically honored by the individual receiving a special sobriety chip.

The sobriety chips have various colors associated with the length of time a person has remained sober. After an individual, has stayed sober for twelve months, he or she will receive a chip for every year, on his or her sober birthday, marking all of the years he or she has maintained his or her sobriety. Much like the importance of the first chip given, the twenty-four-hour sobriety chip, every single sobriety milestone is worthy of celebrating.

There will undoubtedly be certain aspects of a person’s aftercare plan that he or she integrates into his or her daily or weekly life. 

It is important, however, to take a moment and celebrate a sober birthday, when it comes around. Each person will choose to celebrate his or her sober birthday in a different way. There are many ways that a person can celebrate his or her sober birthday. It is important for each person to give a little thought and figure out what a meaningful way to celebrate might look like. Honoring a sober birthday does not have to be a grand and over the top celebration, it can be small and intimate. What is most important is that the day does not go by unacknowledged.

Every person in recovery will only have one sober birthday. Part of addiction is the possibility of relapse.

If a person relapses along the way, his or her sober birthday will change dates. The new sober birthday will mark the date that he or she stopped using drugs or alcohol, post his or her relapse. If a relapse does occur, a person will no longer celebrate the previous sober birthday date. Regardless the number of relapses a person may experience, celebrating one’s sober birthday is imperative.

Remaining sober is an active choice that an individual in substance abuse and addiction recovery will be faced with every day for the rest of his or her life. 

A large part of recovery is to encourage an individual to live in the moment. Celebrating a sober milestone, especially a sober birthday, can help to strengthen one’s commitment to his or her sobriety, as it indicates how far an individual has come along his or her path of recovery.

Further Information

Every individual seeking substance abuse or addiction treatment must select a program that will be suit his or her needs throughout this life changing experience. Substance abuse and addiction are all consuming, and if left untreated can result in extremely difficult long term consequences, and in some cases death. If you or someone you know is suffering from substance abuse or addiction, please get help as soon as possible. There is no reason to go through this alone. Please feel free to reach out to us for further information or with any questions regarding substance abuse or addiction. We are available anytime via telephone at: 213-389-9964, or you can always email us at:

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