90 Days Clean and Sober: Benefits, and what to expect

12-20-2022Recovery Tools

If you’ve succeeded in getting 30 days sober, then the next major milestone in recovery is 90 days sober. Congratulations on the progress you’ve made so far! This is a major milestone and something to be celebrated. It’s important to remember that recovery is a lifelong process, but the first 90 days of addiction recovery can set the foundation for long-term success.

Being sober for 90 days can bring a number of benefits, both for physical and mental health. Family relationships are often beginning to improve, and relationships with peers in recovery will begin to feel more solid.

90 days sober benefits

Improved physical health

One of the most obvious benefits of being sober for 90 days is the improvement in physical health. However, the 90-day mark is particularly important since if you’ve been experiencing any lingering post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) , they should be mostly gone by now. 90 days after they’ve stopped drinking alcohol or doing drugs, most people with tend to feel like a new person, physically.

Substance abuse takes a toll on the body, and stopping drug use for 90 days can help repair some of the damage. You may notice improvements in your sleep, appetite, and energy levels as your body finishes detoxifying and heals. You may also see improvements in any physical conditions or illnesses that were exacerbated by substance abuse.

Improved mood and mental health

In addition to physical benefits of quitting drugs and alcohol, being sober for 90 days will almost assuredly have a positive impact on your mental health. As your natural endorphins and dopamine begin to normalize, you’ll find it easier to manage stress and difficult emotions without relying on substances, and the sense that you're feeling worse sober will start to subside.

Substance use disorders can worsen symptoms of mental health conditions and make it more difficult to manage them. After 90 days of sobriety, you may notice improvements in your mood and and that you're feeling better without drugs.

Family relationships and trust

There’s a saying in recovery that trust is “lost in dollars and earned in pennies.” It’s a fancy way of saying that rebuilding lost trust is a slow process, but it is doable.

That being said, the 90 days sober mark tends to bring with it the beginnings of a trusting relationship with family members again. We are starting to see the benefits and feel the effects of being honest in recovery. It’s important to note that every family is different, and there’s no way to guarantee a timeline for building trust. However, 90 days sober is a fantastic start.

Substance abuse can strain relationships with loved ones and cause conflicts. By being sober for 90 days, you can demonstrate your commitment to recovery and work on repairing damaged relationships. You may also have the chance to make new, sober connections with others in recovery.

Friendships and community

Regardless of the approach you’re taking in recovery, the 90-day milestone is a time when it should feel as though your relationships with people you trust in recovery are being solidified. This can happen naturally as you work the steps, but will also be solidified by continuing to connect with others, and have fun in recovery.

Being part of a strong, supportive network of peers in recovery can provide motivation, accountability, and encouragement as you navigate the challenges of early recovery. As you continue to stay sober, you can also serve as a role model and source of support for others who are just starting out on their recovery journey.

Continuing to utilize recovery tools, like our 12-step sponsors, sober friendships, service opportunities, and a relationship with our higher power will assuredly help us as we navigate the next steps of this process.

Beginning to rebuild educational or vocational areas of life

Substance abuse consumes a lot of time and energy, and the first couple of months can be overwhelming just thinking about how to stay sober day-to-day! However, around the 90 day mark, the proverbial “smoke” has cleared around your life. It’s a good time to devote a little more mental energy towards thinking about things like school, work, and other pursuits.

This could be anything from pursuing educational or career goals to building new hobbies and interests. As you continue to stay sober, you can continue to grow and develop as a person and create a life that is meaningful and fulfilling.

Potential pitfalls of the 90 day sober mark

While the 90-day mark is a significant milestone in recovery, it’s important to remember that it’s just the beginning of the journey. This is the major pitfall of the 90 day sober range:

At this point, we’re feeling better, life seems to be going well, and we’re not in so much pain. This is one of the most classic times to forget what got us into sobriety in the first place. Don’t fall for that trap!

This is one of the reasons why aftercare is so important. We’re never finished; staying sober one day at a time will provide a host of additional benefits as you continue your recovery journey to 6 months sober and beyond!

A lifelong process

It’s also important to remember that recovery is a lifelong process and staying sober one day at a time is the key to long-term success. While the first 90 days can be a challenging and overwhelming time, continuing to stay sober can bring a sense of stability and consistency to your life.

It’s normal to experience challenges and setbacks along the way, but with a strong commitment to sobriety and the support of your recovery community, you can overcome these challenges and continue to build a sober life.