Your First 90 Days Sober: What to Expect

Your first 90 days sober is a time of growth and renewal. Here’s what to expect.

Seeking help for an addiction can be a hard decision to make, but it’s always the right one. The National Institute on Drug Abuse stresses that it’s extremely hard to beat an addiction for the long-term without professional help. Willpower and good intentions are rarely enough to stop using for good, because the underlying causes of the addiction keep you going back to drugs or alcohol. It’s a vicious cycle, but it can be broken. With help, at 90 days sober, you’ll find that you have a lot more energy, a lot more hope, and a greater quality of life and sense of wellbeing. 

Here’s what you can expect during your first 90 days sober.

Expect to learn a lot of new skills and strategies

A great deal of energy in treatment goes toward identifying missing skills and helping you develop them. For example, if you struggle with stress, and stress makes you want to use, you’ll develop essential coping skills and strategies to better deal with stress, and you’ll develop the skills you need to reduce the stressors in your life. If you struggle with maintaining healthy, functional relationships, you’ll develop essential communication and other relationship skills and learn how to repair damaged relationships. You’ll learn skills and strategies for coping with your personal triggers, cravings, and high-risk situations. In just 90 days sober, these skills will improve your life on many fronts, leaving you better able to maintain sobriety for the long-term.

Expect to learn a lot about yourself

Self-awareness and self-esteem are essential for successful recovery, and through a variety of traditional and complementary therapies, you’ll develop a higher level of self-awareness. You’ll examine your thought and behavior patterns and learn to replace those that are self-destructive with healthier ways of thinking and behaving. You’ll evaluate your beliefs, and discard those that are out-dated or which no longer serve you well.

If you have a history of trauma, or you struggle with chronic stress, depression, or anxiety, you’ll delve into these issues and come away with a new perspective and an arsenal of coping skills and strategies to improve your mental health and reduce triggers for relapse. By 60 days sober, you’ll have a good handle on your personal struggles, and by 90 days sober, you’ll be ready to put your new skills to use in the “real” world.

Expect to develop close relationships with your peers

In treatment, you’ll develop close relationships with your peers in recovery. You’ll share stories, experiences, hopes, and fears. You’ll develop a strong support system in treatment, and in many cases, after 90 days sober, these relationships will continue to bolster your recovery once treatment is complete.

Expect to make healthy lifestyle changes

Making healthy lifestyle changes in treatment and beyond will be an important foundation of recovery. You’ll learn how to better take care of yourself, including getting plenty of quality sleep, eating a healthy diet, and enjoying regular exercise. You’ll learn how to have fun without drugs or alcohol, and you’ll work to find purpose and meaning in your life. You’ll come away armed with an arsenal of early sobriety tips for maintaining these lifestyle changes after treatment. After 60 days sober, you’ll know what it takes to feel strong, motivated, and in control of your life.

Expect setbacks

Just as it takes time to develop the thought and behavior changes that come with an addiction, it takes time to re-learn healthy ways of thinking and behaving. During your first 90 days sober, and in the early weeks and months after treatment, you’ll likely experience setbacks that lead you close to relapse or that cause a relapse. In treatment, you’ll learn how to cope with setbacks and get back on track quickly and more motivated than ever to stay sober for the long-term.

Early Sobriety Tips

In rehab, you’ll learn what it takes to stay sober for the long-term. Here are some of the essential habits you’ll learn during treatment.

  • Take excellent care of yourself.
  • Stay mindful of your thoughts, attitudes, and moods throughout the day.
  • Have fun and relax every day.
  • Use the skills and strategies you learned in treatment to reduce stress.
  • Ask for help when you need it.
  • Use your inherent strengths and values to create purpose and meaning in your life.
  • Stay connected to your support system, and continue to work on developing healthy relationships.

Treatment can help you restore your life from the inside out, and the good news is that treatment works for most people who engage with it. Are you ready to reclaim your life? WhiteSands Treatment can help.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.