If you’ve ever dealt with an addiction, you’ll know that being sober is the best thing that can happen to you. Most people underestimate the importance of sobriety until they’ve fallen into the hands of addiction.
Addiction has become a huge crisis in America, affecting over 23.5 million teenagers and adults. Of those addicted, only about 10% seek treatment. The rest struggle with their addiction privately. In most cases, this means that the addiction only worsens. If you’re struggling with a substance use disorder, it’s never too late to ask for help.
Addictions cause you to lose control of your life, put yourself in risky situations and damage your body physically and mentally. With all the complications and risks involved with getting high, it’s not worth it. If you haven’t sought help yet, take a look at these 7 irrefutable reasons why being sober will be the best choice you’ve ever made for yourself.
#1: It’s Possible to Mend or Improve Relationships with Time.
Personal relationships take a huge impact when struggling with addictions. There’s a good chance that your actions during this time caused immense strain between you and your family and friends. When struggling with an addiction, drugs become all that matters.
Think about the relationship you had with people who meant the world to you before the addiction. Consider how that relationship has changed now. Most of the problems probably stem from actions taken when addicted.
By becoming sober, you open up an opportunity to mend and build these relationships. The road to recovery involves reaching out to those you’ve hurt and making amends.
Tips to Rebuilding and Mending Relationships
There’s no quick fixes when it comes to mending broken relationships. It takes time to rebuild trust, respect and understanding. You can try to speed up the process by:
- Acknowledging the hurt you’ve caused
- Taking responsibility for past actions instead of blaming others
- Being honest about everything that has happened
- Proving that you’re serious with getting sober
- Showing responsibility for your own actions
- Being completely honest and keeping no secrets
- Putting a consistent effort in building a healthy relationship
Finally, accept that some relationships are irreparable. If the other party is not receptive to rebuilding what was once there, it’s vital that you honor and respect that. Give them time to make a decision.
#2: You’ll Save a Lot of Money, and Have a Lot More Disposable Income.
Addictions are incredibly expensive. Although finding drugs is easy, affording the habit is difficult. According to research, the street value of an average daily drug habit of heroin, cocaine or meth averages anywhere from $150 to $200. That’s a whopping $4,500 to $6,000 each month!
Upon getting sober, you’ll have a lot more disposable income. Save that money up for rainy days in the future, or upgrade your quality of living. Without a drug habit, you’ll be able to afford things, like a bigger home, nicer vacations and finer clothes. You could save up to relocate to a sunnier place or to go back to school for a new start. The possibilities are limitless.
With this extra money, you’ll gain more opportunities to go on new adventures. It could really turn your life around.
#3: It’s Safer for You and Others When You’re Sober.
As addictions spiral out of control, addicts have less control over their lives. This usually means making poor decisions with hefty consequences, and engaging in risky activities. Alcohol addicts, for example, tend to have multiple DUI charges, and are more likely to drive drunk. Addictions cause users to continue their spiral downwards. It’s hard to stop even when facing negative consequences.
When sober, you’re more likely to make good decisions. You have better reasoning skills. It’s easier to weigh the pros and cons of certain decisions, and to make the safety of others a priority. You’ll be putting yourself and others in safer situations, and also be in contact with less questionable people.
#4: Sobriety Improves Your Physical and Emotional Health Drastically.
Withdrawal symptoms are nasty. They vary depending on your drug of choice. Those withdrawing from heroin experience muscle spasms, dizziness, abdominal pain, depression and cold sweats. On the other hand, alcohol withdrawal symptoms can quickly become deadly if delirium tremens kicks in. Life as an addict involves being in constant physical and emotional pain, especially when you’re coming down from your high. Sobriety improves both your physical and emotional health in significant ways.
Physical Improvements of Sobriety
Physically, doing drugs can lead to a plethora of health complications. Drug addicts damage their cardiovascular system, nervous system, respiratory system and more. They’re more likely to look haggard or have aged skin.
As you maintain sobriety, you’ll notice significant physical changes when looking in the mirror. You’ll not only look, but also feel healthier! Over time, your body will start to heal itself slowly. In the long run, you’ll be less susceptible to serious health complications.
Emotional Improvements of Sobriety
Addiction and mental health issues often come hand-in-hand. Each escalades the other. For example, those with depression often have lowered levels of endorphins. Drugs help artificially boost endorphin levels for a short period of time, so addicts feel happy and calm. However, once the chemical levels of these hormones drop again, users feel depressed again. Drug abuse can have devastating effects on your mental health and can disrupt your body’s natural hormone levels and cycles.
It’ll take some time, but your body’s chemistry levels will slowly return to normal after recovery. This means you’ll feel happier, more energized and more refreshed as time goes on.
#5: Focusing on Things that Truly Matters Become a Lot Easier.
When sober, you’re no longer hazy about the details of your life. Your focus is no longer solely on getting your next fix. It’s much easier to figure out where your priorities lie, and what to focus on. Your mind is no longer in a constant haze. It’s like being able to see the bright blue sky after a foggy day.
Improve Focus Through Counseling and Therapy
While one part of rehab focuses on using medications to curb cravings and limit withdrawal symptoms, the other part attempts to improve your mental state and focus. The types of counseling and therapy offered that can improve focus, include:
- One-on-one counseling, which looks at personal goals, dreams and motivations
- Family counseling, which has a primary focus on fixing relationship problems
- Cognitive behavioral therapy, which directs your focus to building good habits in response to triggers
- Motivational enhancement therapy, which directs your focus to motivations that will keep you sober
- Mindfulness-based therapy, which directs your focus to better understanding your body and emotions
Choose a recovery center that places a strong emphasis on combining therapy with medications. Learning how to redirect your focus to things that matter will be key to staying sober.
#6: The Road to Recovery Builds Good Character.
Relapses are a natural part of recovery. In fact, the twelve-month relapse rate for alcohol addiction falls between 80% to 95%. To straighten your life out and reach sobriety, you’ll need to face many obstacles head on. This causes you to build good habits and character, like discipline and perseverance.
If you ever fall off the bandwagon, you can rely on a strong support group to remind you of what matters. One of the main important stages in your road to recovery is identifying character flaws. This can be any type of imperfection, like being selfish or too overly critical. In fact, it’s one of the more important steps of the 12-step program. A counselor or a mentor can help identify which flaws trigger or contribute to the addiction. Working on these flaws will help you grow and become a better person.
For example, addicts often learn how to better develop an ability to say ‘no’. They also learn how to develop coping skills to deal with cravings and to maintain discipline.
#7: Focus and Achieve Your Goals.
Your addiction does not define who you are.
Before you were ever addicted to any substances, you likely had dreams and goals you wanted to achieve. Not many people are functioning addicts. To cater to their addictions, most people have to put their goals and dreams aside. They can no longer pursue their passions.
When you’re finally sober, you’ll find that the sky’s the limit. Literally. The road to sobriety is difficult and tests your perseverance. If you can achieve and maintain sobriety, there’s nothing you can’t do!
Seek Help in Getting Sober
Freeing yourself from the grasps of addiction can be difficult to accomplish alone. Professional assistance from a recovery center can make a huge difference. Not only will you get the support you need, but you’ll also have plenty other resources at your disposal. Recovery not only becomes easier, but sobriety lasts longer, as relapses are less common. Patients are better equipped to deal with physical and emotional cravings, and can identify triggers with ease. Addiction no longer is a scary, undefeatable enemy.
Once you’ve tasted sobriety again, you’ll instantly know why taking the steps in becoming sober is better than staying an addict. There are many more reasons and benefits for becoming and staying sober.