Sobriety Calculator: How Long Have You Been Sober For?
When trying to stay sober, having milestones to reach can help keep you focused and on the right track. The Alcoholics Anonymous program gives out chips or tokens to members whenever they reach another month of being sober, which can give you more motivation to say no to a drink. Using a sobriety calculator can help you track how long you’ve been sober for and know when you’ll be receiving your next AA token, rewarding you for your recovery.
What is a Sobriety Calculator?
A sobriety calculator helps you calculate how many days it’s been since you’ve had alcohol. You simply enter the date that you first stopped drinking (i.e., the date after you last had a drink) and the calculator will do the rest for you. Depending on which sobriety calculator you use, it may tell you how long you’ve been sober for in days, months, years, hours, minutes, seconds, or all of the above.
Why a Sobriety Calculator is Important
Keeping track of your recovery is essential as is celebrating when you’ve hit certain milestones. We all know recovering from alcoholism is not easy, but setting goals for yourself can make your recovery easier and give you something to look forward to both in the short and long-term.
The sobriety calculator will help you see once you’ve hit one week of being sober, one month, or even an entire year of not having a drink. You can even use a countdown app on your phone so you can track this every single day and stay motivated on your path to recovery. Without these milestones, you can easily lose sight of your overall goal to stay sober, as you won’t be reminded of how well you’re doing along the way.
If you’re having a hard time staying sober even while attending AA meetings, you might want to consider different treatment methods. Call 800-839-1686Who Answers? to talk to a treatment advisor about your options.
Where Can I Find a Sobriety Calculator?
There are plenty of free sobriety calculators online and even as apps for your phone. AAGrapevine, the International Journal of Alcoholics Anonymous, has a great calculator that calculators from the number of years you’ve been sober all the way to the number of seconds. It even has an option for you to send a sobriety card to your fellow AA members to congratulate them on hitting their milestones.
If you prefer using an app on your phone, just search for “sobriety calculator” or “sober” in your app store. There are plenty of apps available that help you keep track of your time in sobriety, as well as offer tips for staying sober. Most of these apps are also free but do offer in-app purchases.
How Long Do I Have to be Sober to Receive an AA Token?
As mentioned earlier, AA rewards members with tokens when they reach sober milestones. You can start getting these tokens (also referred to as chips or medallions) for being sober for as little as 24 hours, as that is a huge achievement in itself. These AA chips represent your desire and will to quit drinking and are a reminder of how far you’ve come on your journey to recovery.
Although the color of the chips/tokens may differ from group to group, typical colors include:
- Silver: 24 hours
- Red: 30 days (1 month)
- Gold: 60 days (2 months)
- Green: 90 days (3 months)
- Purple: 4 months
- Pink: 5 months
- Dark Blue: 6 months
- Copper: 7 months
- Red: 8 months
- Purple: 9 months
- Gold: 10 months
- Green: 11 months
- Bronze: 1 year
After 1 year of sobriety, coins are usually given out for each year following. Not all AA groups give coins for all of these milestones—some groups only give coins at the 1st, 3rd, 6th, and 9th month milestones within the first year (as well as yearly milestones).
What Happens If I Don’t Stay Sober?
If you slip and have a drink, don’t be too hard on yourself. Almost all recovering alcoholics have at least one slip, so it’s more common than you may think. Although when counting your sober days, having a slip means you’ll be starting back at the beginning again, the most important thing to do at this point is to keep it as a “slip” and not a full-blown relapse.
You may think to yourself, “I’ve already ruined my record, so may as well have a few more drinks,” but this train of thought will make it harder for you to get back on the wagon. Having one drink is one thing, going on an all-night bender (or worse yet, an all-week bender) is another—you definitely don’t want to do the latter.
Use your “slip” as a learning experience, and remember how long you were sober beforehand. Use that as a reminder that you’ve done it before, and you can do it again. And not just that, but you can even break your previous record.
When a Sobriety Calculator Can Be Harmful
For some, using a sobriety calculator can be a de-motivator, especially if you’ve fallen off the wagon and have to reset your sobriety date. If you’ve been sober for a year and then have to reset your clock because you slipped and had one beer, it can really get you down and make you want to reach for another drink even more.
It’s important not to punish yourself for not staying sober, and to simply use the calculator as a way to get yourself back on track and on on the path to recovery.
If you’re struggling with staying sober and need more help than you feel an AA meeting can provide, call 800-839-1686Who Answers? and talk to an alcohol treatment advisor. They will discuss your options and help you find a treatment method that will help you get sober once and for all.