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Sobriety Gifts: The Major Impact of Celebrating Sobriety

Elena Hill, MD, MPH profile image
Medically Reviewed By Elena Hill, MD, MPH • Updated Dec 19, 2022 • 1 cited sources

Sobriety gifts aren’t just nice. There’s evidence that they can genuinely help a person resist drug use and maintain their sobriety. 

There isn’t one “perfect” sobriety gift. Instead, consider what the person might find most meaningful or helpful. When you put thought into the sobriety gift you choose, it shows.

What Are Sobriety Gifts?

A sobriety gift celebrates a person’s continued sobriety. Sometimes, these gifts and rewards are built into a recovery program, with a person getting set or random gifts after hitting various sobriety milestones.[1] 

Whether a program offers these types of rewards or not, you can also give gifts to a loved one in recovery. In addition to just being kind and helping to show your support, these gifts can have real benefits for the recovery process. 

People like rewards! A reward system can be an effective motivator for people recovering from addiction. Like other accomplishments in life, when you are acknowledged for your hard work and progress, it feels good and helps keep people on track. 

How Can Sobriety Gifts Help Support Loved Ones in Recovery?

The early stages of recovery can be very difficult, with the drug cravings a person experiences often being at their highest during this time. The human brain isn’t very good at long-term goals. It’s much easier for us to understand immediate reward. As such, it can be hard for a person in recovery to focus on long term goals, instead relapsing to the immediate rewards of drug use. 

In a small or even a big way, sobriety gifts can help to provide a more immediate reason for a person to continue their recovery process. Sobriety gifts also show someone that you care and can see the progress they’re making. Giving someone a gift or making a gesture helps them feel seen and have their hard work acknowledged.

What Are Some of the Most Common Sobriety Gifts?

The ideal sobriety gift depends on the individual. If you’re considering getting someone a gift, there aren’t many strict rules you need to follow beyond avoiding anything drug related. Some people simply write a card once someone has achieved a certain time in sobriety (in the AA program, patients receive chips or coins engraved with an amount of time of sobriety that they can keep as a reminder of their progress). Some people chose to give money or gift cards to their loved ones. Some others may chose to give a sentimental gift such as a piece of jewelry or a watch.

Sobriety gifts can be highly motivating incentives for certain individuals in recovery, and are a nice way to show that you care and that you acknowledge your loved ones progress!

Medically Reviewed By Elena Hill, MD, MPH

Elena Hill, MD; MPH received her MD and Masters of Public Health degrees at Tufts Medical School and completed her family medicine residency at Boston Medical Center. She is currently an attending physician at Bronxcare Health Systems in the Bronx, NY where ... Read More

  1. Candy, Cash, Gifts: How Rewards Help Recovery From Addiction. Boston Globe Media Partners. September 2022. Accessed November 2022.

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