What to Expect During the First 30 Days of Sobriety

While many people might think that the hardest part of getting sober is going to rehab, that’s not always the case. Treatment teaches you ways that you can remain sober after you leave, but it is up to you to apply those techniques to your everyday life so you don’t relapse.

The first 30 days are crucial to your overall sobriety. Those 30 days sober can also be the most difficult time as you transition to your new sober life. That’s why if you are going to inpatient treatment those 30 days are spent at the facility. However, not everyone enters inpatient treatment

For those who don’t go to inpatient treatment, it is important to have an idea of what you can expect over those first 30 days so you can prepare. This page will go over some things that you can expect during your first 30 days sober.

What Are Some Things That I Can Expect During My First 30 Days of Sobriety?

While the first 30 days of sobriety can be an exciting time as you live your new life as a sober person, it can also come with some challenges, both physically and mentally. If you are going through the first 30 days of sobriety outside of an inpatient treatment center here are some things that you can expect.

Sensory Overload

Chances are when you were abusing drugs and alcohol you were in a constant fog all the time. It’s one of the biggest side effects when it comes to substance abuse. The dulling of the senses is one of the reasons why many people turn to drugs and alcohol in the first place.

As a result, during your first days sober you are going to notice a lot more than you used to. When this happens you might begin to experience sensory overload.

Sensory overload can lead to a feeling of anxiety as your body and brain adjust to the way it processes the outside world again. Lights might begin to seem too bright. You might feel like people are talking too loud. Colors might even seem too colorful.

If you experience sensory overload, it’s important to remember that the feeling is only temporary. The longer you stay sober, the better it will get.

Health Complications

Addiction is harmful to the body, that’s no secret. As a result, you might experience some health issues due to alcohol and substance abuse. This can happen even after you have gotten sober. While some health issues might not pop up for months or even years after you have gotten sober, some will occur right away.

The constant use and abuse of drugs and alcohol can lead to issues with your metabolic system, cardiac system, and gastrointestinal tract. Additionally, you might begin to experience some mental related issues such as anxiety and depression.

It’s important, especially during your first 30 days sober, to take care of your body post-treatment. Adopting a healthy lifestyle and going to see your doctor for regular checkups can go a long way in helping to avoid, or even mitigate, major health issues.

Mental Health Issues

Abusing drugs and alcohol can not only take a toll on you physically but mentally as well. For most people transitioning into recovery, the first 30 days sober can come with extreme mood swings. These can include panic attacks, depression, and feelings of self-doubt, self-loathing, and anger.

Additionally, you may experience psychological withdrawal symptoms. Some common symptoms include:

  • Intense cravings
  • Obsessing over substances
  • Anxiety and depression

It’s important to be patient when you experience any mental issues. As you continue your sobriety your brain will begin to regulate itself and the intense feelings will start to subside.

Trouble Sleeping

During the early stages of recovery, it can be very common to suffer from insomnia, nightmares, night terrors, cold sweats, and vivid dreams. It is also common for your dreams to focus on using or relapse. While it might be difficult, it’s important to remember that they are only dreams and that your sleep schedule should begin to regulate itself over time.

Is There A Chance That I Might Relapse?

While the ultimate goal when it comes to recovery is not to relapse, there is a high probability someone is likely to experience a relapse within their first few weeks at a rehab facility. This is especially true during the first 30 days of sobriety. In fact, According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 40-60 percent of those who attempt to recover will relapse.

If you end up suffering a relapse it is important not to get to down on yourself. If you do end up relapsing, the most important thing to remember is that you are not a failure. It also doesn’t mean that your recovery is over and you can just go back to abusing drugs and alcohol again either.

It’s important to make sure you get yourself back on the right track so you can continue to live a clean and sober life.

What Are Some Tools That I Can Use To Help With My Sobriety?

Even though you are likely to experience some tough times as you continue down your road to recovery, especially during your first 30 days sober, there are some things that you can do to help make the entire process a little better.


Mediation is a great way to sync back up your body and mind, and the best part is you can practically do it anywhere. Simply find a quiet space and sit there quietly and comfortably. Start doing this for five minutes at a time and you can slowly work your way up to doing it for 20 minutes at a time if you want. Make sure to keep your eyes closed and just focus on the quiet and your breathing.


We touched on it earlier, but maintaining a healthy lifestyle can go a long way in helping with your new-found sobriety. Part of that healthy lifestyle is exercise. The best part is you don’t need a fancy gym membership to get exercise. Go for a walk, go for a swim, play a sport, look for some home workouts you can do. The key is to find something that you like to do that is also good for your body.


During the first 30 days of sobriety, there is going to be a lot going on in your life. You are going to be feeling and experiencing new things and it could be confusing and even scary. Writing all your thoughts and feelings down in a journal can be a great way to process everything that is happening in your new sober life. Additionally, months or even years down the line, what you wrote down could come in handy if you find yourself struggling with your sobriety for any reason

Support Groups

Staying sober is going to be difficult, especially in the beginning. It will be even more difficult if you don’t have a strong support system in place to help you along the way. Support groups are a great way to get that support that you need from people that are also going through recovery just like you.

Support groups, such as AA, NA, and other 12-step programs are a great place to not only make some new sober friends but also share your feelings and experiences during your recovery process. By being in a room surrounded by people who are going through the same things as you, it is not only a safe space to share what you are going through, it’s a great way to get feedback and even advice on how to handle certain situations.

Want To Know More About What To Expect During Your First 30 Days Sober?

It is incredibly important to remember that sobriety is a marathon and not a sprint. You aren’t going to be magically cured overnight. It takes a lot of time and effort on your part to not only get clean and sober but to remain sober as well. It is also important to remember that you don’t have to do it alone.

At Unity Behavioral Health, we understand just how difficult it is not only to get sober but to remain sober as well. That’s why we offer a variety of programs to help our patients remain sober long after they have completed treatment. We offer a variety of aftercare programs including therapy, support groups, and sobriety assistance.

If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction or struggling with their sobriety, contact us today to learn how we can help. You have put in the hard work to get clean and sober, we want to see you continue down that path for the rest of your life.

Get Help Now

Speak to one of our experienced and caring representatives at Unity Behavioral Health to learn about how our rehab programs can help your loved one defeat addiction.


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