You’re using something that you’re not feeling so great about using and wondering if you’re still sober. That’s definitely a tricky one. Let’s break it down.
We’ve come up with three useful categories when evaluating if a given activity has compromised your sobriety. They are:
You’re Definitely Not Still Sober
You Might Still Be Sober
You Might Need to Chill Out a Little Bit
So for the contestants in the “You're Definitely Not Still Sober” category.
Alcohol - if you’re coming to AA meetings and you’re consuming alcohol in any form you are not sober. And by consuming alcohol we mean pouring it in a glass and drinking it. This is one hard and fast rule of AA. Sobriety means we do not drink one day at a time no matter what.
Illegal Drugs - if you’re taking something you can’t get from a doctor and pick up at a pharmacy you’re not sober. You still might not be even if you can. But if you’re ingesting drugs that you bought “on the street” you’re not sober.
Marijuana - some people are on the “Marijuana Maintenance” plan. I’m sober but I still smoke weed. That’s nice. I’m glad that’s working for you. You’re not sober.
Not the intended use but it’s still making me high. These would be things like inhalants and other chemicals that are meant to do things other than get breathed in by you and take you to lala land. If you’re sniffing glue you might need to rethink the motivations of your arts and crafts project.
Ok, moving on to the “You Might Still Be Sober” category
Medications that were prescribed by a doctor but you might be using in an addictive manner. You see those instructions on the side of the bottle? If you’re taking more than that you might not be sober.
Medications from more than one doctor without those doctors knowing about each other. If you’re taking any medication that could otherwise be construed as under doctor’s order but has addictive qualities and receiving it from more than one doctor chances are you might not be sober.
For these ones you’ll really need to check in with yourself and talk to your sponsor. The decision is ultimately up to you whether or not to reset your sobriety date. You’ll know in your heart.
And for the You Might Need to Chill Out Category
Antidepressants. Some hard core people will say that you’re not sober if you’re taking antidepressants. Check out our post on this topic. They’re not doctors. We understand that some people with dual diagnoses need antidepressants to get through tough times or even function in modern day life. This is between you and your doctor. So don’t worry. You might need to chill out.
Food cooked with alcohol. You’re thinking I ate Penne a la Vodka. It has Vodka in it. I feel funny. Do I need to reset my day count? It’s probably in your head. The vodka burns off. If it really bothers you don’t do it again. You probably need to chill out.
So basically if you don’t drink and you don’t do drugs that you’re not supposed to, you’re sober. But that doesn’t mean to use this post as a license to figure out a bunch of loopholes on how to get high through other means. If it feels a little off there’s a good chance that it might be. As always, talk it over with your sponsor and don’t keep it a secret like the sneaky little alcoholic you are.