6 Months Sober: What To Expect

If you’ve made it to six months of sobriety, congratulations! Not only is six months a major milestone, but we here at Soba Recovery know just how difficult the journey to get there is. In just six months, you have exponentially improved your quality of life through dedication and determination.

If you’re here because you want to start your recovery journey but want to know more about why choosing sobriety is beneficial, we’re here to bring you some peace of mind. Keep reading to learn more about how your body and mind benefit from sobriety, even after just six months.

Physical and Emotional Sobriety

When you are actively using, you might notice that your overall demeanor is depressed and your morale is low. You might become easily irritated and withdrawn around family and friends trying to help you. Jobs and other responsibilities might falter as you choose substances over taking care of yourself.

With sobriety comes a sort of clarity. While this clarity can be difficult to accept, as it might bring feelings of shame and guilt, it allows you to move forward. Seeing how just six months of sobriety affect you, both physically and emotionally, should be enough to motivate you to continue.

Some people like to document their sobriety journey through photos so that they can see the improvements they are making. You will look and feel better every day, no longer spending days feeling unwell or anxious. Relationships improve, and opportunities start coming your way that could benefit your mental health.

Sobriety Benefits You in More Ways Than One

Throughout the first six months of sobriety, you will have to fight your addiction and stay committed to recovery. If you think you will go through withdrawals, consider starting your journey with the detoxification process. This will allow you to start supervised and safely in a controlled environment.

As you continue your sober journey, the changes in your health and emotional well-being will become apparent. You can maintain these improvements through resilience and commitment and get back to living your best life possible.

Healthier Appearance

When you are in an active addiction, your body struggles to keep up with you. You likely cannot maintain your health due to the toxins in your body from every substance you take.

When you use alcohol, for instance, signs of premature aging can present themselves. Drugs and alcohol can also make you feel anxious, fatigued, and sore. You may lose some of your strength.

Six months into sobriety and your skin may appear healthier, with less dry skin and discoloration. Your eyes might not seem bloodshot, and the dark-colored circles under them may disappear. You may gain back some healthy weight and notice less bloating and puffiness. You might feel more like yourself again when you look in the mirror!

Relationships Improve

Addiction doesn’t just impact you. Friends and family are often at the other end of your addiction without even realizing it. Even if you think you’re hiding it, your loved ones can usually tell when something is wrong.

Substance use can strain the most important of relationships, and though being supportive and loving is a necessity, you can’t force someone to stay beside you and help you manage your pain.

With sobriety comes the opportunity to heal the wounds you’ve created with your loved ones. With a clear mind and goals, you can open conversations that may have been impossible to start while using. Trust and communication are key to maintaining sobriety, and opening up to those close to you can help with accountability.

Balanced Emotions

Drugs and alcohol are known to numb the pain you feel daily. You might want to stop feeling your feelings, but that can be incredibly unhealthy. When you become sober, you begin to feel emotions you have been suppressing with substances. It can be difficult to face, but it shows emotional maturity and balance.

This doesn’t just happen naturally for everyone; going through therapy is a great way to help you get there. Therapy is often required when entering inpatient services at a treatment facility. Even if you are in outpatient, treatment centers can help you get what you need.

You may quickly notice improved moods, less irritability, and a more positive outlook on life. Little things will no longer set you off, and if you are triggered, you can use coping skills to prevent becoming overwhelmed.

Reduced Social Anxiety

Social anxiety might be one of the reasons that you felt comfortable using substances, but they don’t go away just because you are under the influence. You might notice that your social anxiety is back when you first become sober.

You may feel worried about telling people you are sober and wonder how people perceive you if you aren’t partaking in substance use.

If the right people surround you, they won’t even think twice and will support your sobriety. Soon, you’ll notice how much more confident and comfortable you are on your own. You won’t need to hide behind substances to feel good about yourself.

Liver and Brain Damage Control

Alcohol and other substances have a really negative impact on your liver and brain. When you cut back on using substances, your body can begin to repair itself. Alcohol specifically increases the amount of fat in the liver, which can cause the liver to react abnormally. After six months, your liver can become healthier and function properly.

Substances have varying impacts on the brain. Substances can give you brain fog, lower your inhibition, and lead you to lose memories or have a false sense of reality.

Throughout the first six months, you may feel the fog lifted. Your reaction time will improve, you may have more coherent thoughts pop into your head, and your ability to communicate may become easier.

The first month of sobriety is always hard. Feelings of depression or genuine sickness might occur due to withdrawals, which might keep you from being motivated. Persevere, and you will get to the point where the withdrawals don’t exist anymore, and you can feel healthy and happy.

Better Sleep

When you cut back on alcohol, you may begin to feel improvements in your sleep. You are more likely to have deep and restorative sleep when you cut out alcohol from your life because you aren’t waking up as frequently.

Though, this doesn’t happen instantaneously. The first month of sobriety may include a lot of restless nights. Many people use alcohol to help them fall asleep, forming an unhealthy pattern. By the six-month mark, you will likely have a restored natural sleep pattern and feel much more rested.

Better sleep leads to many improvements in your life, including improved appearance, higher energy levels, and balanced moods.

Improved Focus

When you use substances, you never truly have a clear mind. By this point, many individuals claim they have a better outlook on life. People are more likely to reach their goals and maintain good habits after six months of sobriety.

Your thoughts will be clearer, and you will likely be able to communicate them better. At this point, it’s important that you focus on the next steps.

Your recovery journey doesn’t end in six months. It is a lifelong commitment that you need to make every day. Use your newfound focusing skills to make new goals so you hit the next milestone in your sobriety — one whole year.

Continued Care Is Important!

Sobriety takes hard work and dedication. No one has a perfect recovery, so don’t let any slip-ups discourage you. Use them as motivation to continue on your journey to sobriety. Individual therapy and group therapy can be great ways to continue your addiction treatment even after you’ve started to hit sobriety milestones.

With Soba Recovery Center in San Antonio, Texas, you get a personalized treatment plan that puts your needs first. We will help you hit all of your milestones and offer multiple solutions to maintain your sobriety. You may not need to stay with us inpatient or undergo detoxification again, but we have resources available to assist you.

Call today to learn more about the treatment services that we offer and how we can help you live your best sober life.



Impact of Smoking and Alcohol Use on Facial Aging in Women: Results of a Large Multinational, Multiracial, Cross-Sectional Survey | NCBI

Social Anxiety Disorder and Alcohol Use Disorder Comorbidity in the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions | NCBI

Brain Structure and Function in Recovery | NCBI

Substance Abuse Statistics You Might Not Have Heard

Substance Abuse Statistics You Might Not Have Heard

Substance abuse affects millions of people in the United States every year, yet many misguided understandings exist. Addiction is a disease, not a choice. The people that struggle with addiction did not choose for their lives to play out this way, but choosing to get better isn’t always easy.

Substance abuse is often misunderstood, meaning that the people seeking help are misunderstood. We need to understand it better to better treat addiction and allow for a more open-minded approach to treating individuals with substance use disorder.

Keep reading to learn more about different statistics connected to substance abuse of different kinds.

What Is Substance Abuse?

Substance abuse is a disease that impacts a person’s brain and behavior and causes intense cravings for substances such as alcohol, cocaine, methamphetamines, and more. People who struggle with substance use disorder use even though they are aware of the consequences. They become reliant on the substance and can experience distress and withdrawals without it.

Causes of Addiction

People can be impacted by addiction as a result of many factors. It is a mental health disorder that has both environmental and genetic influences.

Environmental: Someone who grows up around other people with substance use disorder can be influenced to use substances as they develop. You might have friends that don’t have your best interests in mind and introduce you to substances. You might have grown up with trauma and other mental health issues that were never treated. All of these things in your environment can lead you to addiction, whether or not you want them to.

Genetics: Addiction is a disease that can be passed down through genetics. Some people are more prone to developing substance use disorder, especially if people in their bloodline struggle with it. However, not all people that have the addiction gene become substance abusers.

Addiction and Abuse Statistics

Every substance has different statistics attached to it. Not all substances affect a person in the same way; some are considered more dangerous or damaging than others. It’s important to know the different statistics for each substance to create a more informed environment.

Substance abuse does not just impact the person who is using. Friends and family suffer at the same time as the people using them, and trying to get help for your loved ones is not easy. Staying informed and understanding the intricacies of substance use can help everyone involved seek help.


Alcohol is one of the most commonly used substances in the United States. With it being legal, many people use alcohol once they have turned 21. Additionally, there are many underage users of alcohol, which can be dangerous, especially when being misused.

Even though it’s the most abused substance, people with alcohol use disorder often go untreated. This is partly due to the general acceptance of alcohol use in the United States. Some statistics that you should know about binge drinking are:

  • Alcohol use disorder (AUD), alcoholism, and alcohol abuse account for nearly six percent of global deaths.
  • Around 141,000 people in the United States die every year from the effects of alcohol.
  • One in 10 Americans over the age of 12 suffer from AUD.
  • Men make up about 62 percent of people diagnosed with Alcohol Use Disorder; women make up 36 percent of people diagnosed with AUD; adolescents make up about three percent of people with AUD.
  • As with many substances, excessive alcohol consumption and alcohol-related substance use disorders are often associated with other mental health disorders, like depression and anxiety.


The opioid epidemic is a public health emergency affecting thousands of Americans daily. Anyone can use opioids, and many start when prescribed an opioid to treat pain. There is a high risk of overdose when using a high dosage of opioids. They can slow your breathing which can lead to death.

Opioids are controlled substances that, in the wrong hands, can be detrimental to a person’s livelihood. Statistics about opioid use disorder (OUD) are:

  • Almost four percent of adults in the United States abuse opioids.
  • From 1999 to 2019, the percentage of overdoses on opioids increased by over 519 percent.
  • Opioids are a factor in seven out of 10 overdoses that occur.
  • There is an average of 103,333 opioid users a day.
  • Teens who were prescribed opioids were 33 percent more likely to misuse opioids after high school.
  • Fentanyl is the most dangerous opioid out there, with Fentanyl overdoses surpassing prescription opioid overdoses by over 550 percent.

Heroin falls under opioid misuse disorder and is one of the more dangerous opioids to get your hands on.

Some statistics involving heroin are:

  • Fourteen thousand people die every year from heroin overdoses.
  • Over six million Americans have used heroin in their lifetime.
  • Eighty percent of people who misused heroin first abused prescription opioids.
  • Over ten thousand men die annually from a heroin overdose; 3,500 women die annually from a heroin overdose.


With the legalization of marijuana in parts of the United States, like alcohol, it has become more widespread and accepted. While it’s thought that cannabis is less dangerous than other drugs, such as alcohol and opioids, people can still develop substance abuse issues with it.

Some statistics that are important to know are:

  • There are about 55 million people who use marijuana in the United States.
  • Almost half of Americans have tried marijuana once in their lifetime.
  • The amount of people that use marijuana is about 20 million more than the number of people who currently use tobacco.
  • Seventy-six percent of the population think marijuana use is less dangerous than tobacco use.
  • Chronic users can develop a mental dependency on marijuana, resulting in physical symptoms.
  • Forty percent of high school students have admitted to trying marijuana before.
  • Thirteen percent of young users will develop a dependency on marijuana.


Stimulants include various drugs known for the euphoric and energetic feeling you get when using them. They also increase your heart rate and blood pressure, putting you at risk for heart conditions in the future or overdosing.

There are also prescription stimulants like Adderall and Preludin that treat people for disorders such as ADHD or help someone lose weight. Without proper care, these prescription drugs can be abused as well.

Stimulants include:

  • Methamphetamine
  • Cocaine
  • Nicotine

Some statistics about stimulants are:

  • Almost two million people admitted to having used meth in 2018.
  • Over five million people admitted to having used cocaine in 2018.
  • One in five drug overdose deaths was related to cocaine use.
  • Caffeine is considered a stimulant and can become addicting, just like other stimulants.


Hallucinogens, like marijuana, have started to make their way into the mainstream. Some medical professionals now use ketamine for treatment-resistant depression in some parts of the United States. Additionally, the legalization of mushrooms (psilocybin) in Colorado has sparked interest nationally.

LSD and ecstasy are also hallucinogens, as well as PCP and DMT. Some statistics on hallucinogens are:

  • Around 7.4 million people have used hallucinogens in the last year.
  • Around 493,000 people have a hallucinogen use disorder.
  • LSD is the most powerful hallucinogen and can create the most issues for a person later on in life.

How To Find Help With Substance Abuse

No matter what you or a loved one is struggling with, Soba Recovery Center in San Antonio, Texas, is here to help. If you think that someone you know is in need of a treatment program for alcohol or drug use disorder, it’s never a bad idea to give us a call and discuss our treatment options. Our healthcare providers are ready and able to help.

Substance abuse is a debilitating mental health disorder that can ruin a person’s life. No matter what the substance is that you use, the effects that come from long-term misuse can be deadly. Taking care of yourself is the best thing you can do, and seeking addiction treatment might be a part of your self-care routine.

Call today to learn more about our services and how we can get you on the road to recovery today!


Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results from the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health | SAMHSA

Substance Use Disorders and Addiction: Mechanisms, Trends, and Treatment Implications | American Journal of Psychiatry

Drug Abuse Statistics | NCDA

What is the scope of hallucinogen use in the United States? | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

13 Substance Abuse Group Activities

13 Substance Abuse Group Activities

Recovery from substance abuse can be intimidating and isolating. Deciding to take care of your addiction can mean leaving a lot of your life behind, including friends you have shared your addiction with. Finding a support system that focuses on building community and creating new connections is essential to your recovery.

Joining a substance abuse group can open you up to new experiences different from your own. Not only do you meet people who understand your struggles, but you can open up and speak freely about your addiction with no fear of judgment.

If you are part of a group or considering joining, here are some activities you can share to try at your next meeting.

The Importance of Substance Abuse Group Activities

The goal of support groups for substance abuse is to bring people with similar struggles together and create a safe space for expression. It can be hard to open up to people you do know, but for some reason, opening up to strangers feels less intense.

In group therapy, you can learn about coping strategies that have worked for others, find out about activities or hobbies you may have never thought to try, and build friendships with people you can talk to about your addiction.

Group topics will apply to anyone struggling with addiction, including how to battle cravings and rebuild healthy relationships with loved ones.

Why Does It Work?

There are multiple reasons why substance abuse recovery groups are effective. For one, they bring together a community that can feel comfortable with one another. Accountability and encouragement are offered throughout sessions, showcasing the progress of everyone’s recovery.

Isolation is a real fear among people with substance use disorder. Whether it’s because you have lost friends due to addiction or have strained relationships with family and friends, sometimes seeking community is not an option you feel comfortable with.

Group therapy eliminates the fear of standing out because you are all there for the same reason. You can also find role models in the group who have been on the recovery journey longer and gain their wisdom.

Where Can You Find Group Activities?

When you go through the recovery process, you will work with the recovery center staff to develop your perfect recovery plan. This might include medically-assisted therapy (MAT), individual therapy, or group therapy. Most treatment centers, such as Soba Recovery Center, offer group therapy to people undergoing both inpatient and outpatient services.

Emotional Health Group Activities

Group therapy activities will have a wide range of topics with unique goals. Not every activity will be your favorite, but others might stick, and you’ll find yourself practicing them on your own.

When dealing with addiction recovery, it is important to check in with yourself and see how you are doing mentally and emotionally. Substance abuse group therapy activities can be aimed at helping you to discuss your emotional health and find ways to improve your overall well-being.

Discussing Triggers

Everyone has different triggers. Discussing them in your group can be helpful in learning about the different ways people have learned to cope. Not every method you try will work for you, so it’s good to learn about various coping skills, including anger management skills, communication skills, and stress management.

Through this activity, you can recognize patterns in your addiction treatment. This might help you learn how to take yourself out of situations that might trigger you before anything ever happens. This is one of the first steps in harm reduction and prevention.

Sharing Your Fears

Every group member takes a piece of paper and writes down what they fear. It can be anything from dealing with their addiction to fears they have in their everyday life. What you write down does not have to be shared publicly unless that is something you’re comfortable with.

Take these lists of fears and put them into a box. Have the group leader read off the lists one by one anonymously. What you are sure to find will be that some of you have similar fears. This helps to recognize that you are not alone in these fears; it’s just that everyone deals with things differently.

Talk About Your Journey So Far

One of the biggest struggles with addiction is feeling isolated and alone. Sharing your journey within your group will help others to feel more comfortable. In this exercise, you can all share one bad thing that has come from your journey to sobriety and one good thing that has come from it.

Shame is often associated with addiction recovery, but if you are all sitting in a room dedicated to recovery, you should be proud of how far you’ve come. You are deciding to turn your life around, and others around you are supporting you.

Share Your Favorite Memory

This activity allows people in your group to lighten up and share something that makes them happy. This can be a memory from childhood, about a good day you had at school or work where you felt accomplished, or the moment you met someone that changed your life.

With addiction comes bouts of depression, anxiety, and other mental illness struggles, and staying positive can be difficult. Sharing memories that bring you joy can brighten the mood in group therapy and remind everyone why they are there.

Sharing Positive Affirmations

Until you’ve done them, you might be hesitant about how well positive self affirmations work. By speaking highly of yourself, you can help to motivate yourself through your recovery journey.

In this group activity, you should write down the affirmations you say to yourself when you’re struggling. Share in a circle what these affirmations are and how they’re intended to help. Who knows? You might learn about new ones that could benefit your daily life.

Self-Care Group Activities

Properly taking care of yourself while in addiction recovery is essential. During the worst parts of addiction, hygiene, physical and mental health, and nutrition often decline. It can be difficult to take care of yourself, but it is so important to get back on track during your recovery journey.

Talk About Your Self-Care Routine

Everyone needs a self-care routine, no matter what you think! Self-care is not just about taking yourself out to nice dinners or buying yourself something when you want it. Self-care is all about doing things that are good for you, and that will help you to be more successful in your life.

Share with the group what it is that you do for self-care. Through this, you might find new habits to pick up on that will benefit you. Your self-care routine might include:

  • Waking up at 7 a.m. and going on a brisk 10-minute walk.
  • Coming home and making yourself coffee and breakfast.
  • Reading or journaling while you drink your coffee.
  • Practicing yoga for 10 minutes before heading off to work.

Make a List of Bad Habits You Want to Break

Speaking of new habits… it’s time to get rid of your bad ones. Write down a list of habits that you want to break and partner up with someone in the group. (If the group is small, share with everyone.)

This person(s) will be your accountability partner and will check in with you throughout the week or at each meeting to see how you’re doing. Check off habits that you’ve broken as you go. It’s almost more satisfying and encouraging to break them when checking them off a list!

Share Your Favorite Recipes

For this activity, you can create a cookbook with your substance abuse group members. Nutrition is part of self-care, but finding the time and energy to develop new recipes can be difficult.

Have everyone in your group bring in two of their favorite recipes: one that is savory and one that is sweet. Put them together in a binder or a shared online document, and try them for yourself. Maybe cooking will become your new hobby!

Physical Group Activities

Exercising and moving your body should be a refreshing part of your recovery. Keeping up with your physical health during active addiction is not easy, but starting on your own can be intimidating. That’s why many people have gym buddies to help motivate them and keep them on track.

Practice Meditation

Stress and anxiety are common for those undergoing addiction recovery. You might find that meditating for the first 10 minutes of every group therapy session sets the mood for the rest of the meeting.

Put some soft and peaceful music of white noise in the background. Have everyone close their eyes and focus on their breathing. Let your mind relax and concentrate on how your breath feels coming in and out of your body. When you’re done, allow people to share how the experience made them feel before moving on.

Start a Hiking Group

You may find people in your substance abuse group who want to spend more time outdoors. Start a hiking group within your substance abuse group. Set up times and places to participate in group hikes or even group walks.

If you aren’t interested in solo hikes, this might be the perfect opportunity for you. Spending time outdoors is good for your mental and physical health. Finding a hobby that brings you joy is essential during recovery, and doing it with friends with similar goals can make it all the better.

Artistic Group Activities

Expression and creativity can free a person from the hurt they carry inside. Art therapy is a form that is used for people of all ages. Anyone can be an artist or use art as a way to help them cope and grow. Find a time, maybe even as you discuss other topics, to sit around and create together.

Paint Night

Painting is a great way to express yourself because there are no rules. Everyone can get a piece of paper or canvas and paint together as they tackle other topics. You can even have it so every time you paint; there is a prompt that everyone can follow.

Share with the group your finished product at the end of the meeting. Find a space where you can hang up all of your pieces so that they can remind you of your strength and creativity the next time you go for group therapy.

Vision Boarding

Vision boarding is a fun activity that can be done in group therapy. Everyone brings in a posterboard and some old magazines. Use these tools, along with stickers, markers, paint, colored pencils, or stamps, to map out what you want the next year of your life to look like.

Keep these vision boards on display throughout the next year to remind you of your goals.

Create a Playlist of Shared Music

Creating a shared playlist is an easy and relaxing activity you can all participate in. Everyone in your group is bound to have vastly different tastes in music. Music is its own therapy for people, so sharing your favorite songs can be really cathartic.

Have someone in the group create a playlist of all of the songs loved by your group members. You can share it so everyone can access it and have it playing in the background of your next meeting.

Finding Help With Soba

Group therapy is essential. Finding people you can relate to and building a safe community to grow in can help your recovery journey immensely. Soba Recovery Center of San Antonio, Texas, can help you get started on your journey today.

After going through an intake process with staff from Soba, a personalized treatment program will be created to give your recovery the best chance. Group therapy is likely to be a part of that treatment plan.

Get help today and see just how bright your future can be!


1 Groups and Substance Abuse Treatment | NCBI

Emotional and Social Loneliness in Individuals With and Without Substance Dependence Disorder | NCBI

Mindfulness Meditation In The Treatment Of Substance Use Disorders And Preventing Future Relapse: Neurocognitive Mechanisms And Clinical Implications | NCBI