7 Amazing Benefits of Staying Sober From Alcohol and Drugs
Getting sober and staying sober is one of the best things you can ever do for yourself. Even if you’re a casual user of drugs or alcohol, cutting out any form of mind-altering substances can have a profound impact on your life. It will elevate you to a higher state of being and ultimately make your life that much better.
That’s easier to say once you’re already there, though. If you’re struggling with drug addiction or alcoholism, it can be hard to comprehend exactly what will improve once you get clean.
In all reality, you might have begun using because life circumstances weren’t ideal, and getting high or drunk helped you cope with that. Unfortunately, it’s a sad truth that using substances helps many people like themselves more.
However true that may be, it’s a fact that sobriety is an important goal for anyone struggling with addiction of any degree should strive for.
Following are the top seven benefits of staying sober to help you motivate yourself and achieve the clean living you need now more than ever.
1. Improving mental health
Many people use drugs or alcohol as a way to deal with tough situations. Perhaps they’re in a state of grief, depression, or anxiety, and they use alcohol or substances to deal with it. Unfortunately, while it might make them feel better now, they will feel worse later. Using drugs or alcohol to mask mental and emotional problems enters you into a vicious cycle.
After the high fades, alcohol abuse causes depression, as do many prescription drugs like Percocet, Vicodin, and Oxycontin. Abuse of any substance usually also leads to anxiety, paranoia, and so forth. If you make a habit of getting high to mask these solutions, you’ll need to continue using them after the high wears away, and a substance abuse disorder will quickly form.
On top of that, your ability to handle challenging situations will diminish as you continue to use. After so long, daily living can feel overwhelming if you’re not high or drunk.
Getting sober won’t immediately reverse the issue, but the mind is like a muscle. It will grow stronger as you continue to work at things, and staying sober will ultimately propel your mental health to heights you may have never thought to be achievable before.
2. Boosting physical health
Drugs and alcohol are just as bad for your body as they are for your mind.
Alcohol leads to weight gain, liver problems, and high blood pressure. Prescription drugs like oxycontin, Percocet, and Vicodin can also lead to heart problems, nausea, seizures, and loss of appetite.
Even harder drugs can cause hair loss, tooth decay, and physical sores to appear.
To make a long story short, cutting drugs or alcohol out of your life will boost physical health by reducing and even eliminating the issues they’re causing. On top of that, it can help you reach a better state of physical fitness, which is essential to leading a healthy life.
3. Reforming relationships
To state the obvious, substance abuse hurts the people closest to you. It’s not because they don’t love you or want to be there for you. It’s that you’re not you when you’re drunk or high.
You do things that you would never do when you’re high or desperate to be. You say hurtful things, and all of that causes damage.
As you maintain sobriety and get back to being the person you were before drugs or alcohol, the chance to repair those relationships will arise. It will take time, but you will be able to reforge those bonds and get back to being happy again.
4. Being more productive
You can remain functional while dealing with addiction. Plenty of alcoholics work full-time jobs, as do those who abuse prescription drugs and sometimes even harder substances. You’re only fooling yourself if you think you’re at peak performance, though.
Drugs and alcohol impede cognitive thinking, problem-solving skills, and the ability to multitask. Some might make you feel like you’re achieving more, but they are doing more harm than good as you’re not in the state of mind to function appropriately in key social situations and so forth.
Furthermore, your ability to handle those situations without using them will reduce over time.
By staying sober and learning to function without drugs, you will hit a higher level of productivity. Instead of getting high, you’ll learn ways around your quarks to push through them and build more consistent patterns. You can also use the time you would spend getting high or drunk or being hungover to accomplish more.
5. Enjoying your passions again
Speaking of using time for better things, you can get back to doing the things you love.
Instead of being high or dealing with the aftermath, you can use your time to go for hikes, work out, build things, play more music, or whatever it is that you loved to do before addiction took hold of you.
You can even use these activities as a way to take your mind off addiction and build yourself up. As if that’s not enough, the inherent improvements in mental and physical health sobriety brings will help you achieve new and exciting heights in this area.
6. Improving financial situations
Doing drugs and drinking costs money and a lot of it. That’s why addiction often leads to financial hardships and eventually leads to obtaining cash in dishonest ways to fund using.
To make matters worse, addiction can lead to career trouble, as we mentioned before. When it does, money problems get even worse.
Once you achieve sobriety, your money problems will start to lessen and improve more and more as you maintain them. We’re not saying that other life circumstances won’t get away, but you won’t need to worry about the financial burden of using stacking on top of them.
7. Being a positive example for others
You’re not the only person in the world struggling with addiction, but you can be among the proud group that has overcome it. In doing so, you become a beacon of hope for others that are in your situation.
They can look to you for inspiration, and you can provide advice and words of encouragement to those who seek it.
Obviously, helping others may be more critical, but you shouldn’t rule out what that does for you. Being an example of success will help your self-worth improve, giving you more strength to maintain a sober state.
Does sobriety improve mental health?
Sobriety absolutely improves mental health.
One of the first things to understand is that the side effects of drugs and alcohol impact mental well-being.
For example, heavy alcohol users have issues with depression when they’re not drinking, and prescription drugs often inspire anxiety or paranoia after they’ve worn off. Regular use of any substance can also impact cognitive thinking skills and more. By not using, you can minimize these issues in your life.
It’s also important to know that improvements take time, and casual users don’t usually see improvements until after a month of sobriety. So the more you use, the longer it can take for mental health to improve.
You also shouldn’t rule out the possibility of pre-existing mental health complications. That’s why it’s essential to seek professional help from addiction treatment centers that can help you achieve a state of improved mental health after addiction.
What does sobriety do to your body?
Sobriety does amazing things to the body, but it all depends on what you’re using and how much.
At the very least, you will see improvements in diet, sleep, and energy levels. Then, your body will slowly even itself out until you reach a healthy state. After a while, your skin will clear up, breathing will improve, and you can get your weight back on track.
Some addictions can cause serious complications, though. For example, withdrawals may cause physical illnesses, and you may need medical help to supplement your body with the chemicals it needs to begin producing again after drugs or alcohol impedes its ability to do so.
Again, seeking help from an addiction treatment center is very important because professionals can help you achieve sobriety in the safest way possible.
Getting sober and staying sober is hard work, and we’re not going to sugarcoat that. You are worth it, though.
Think of all the benefits we’ve discussed and what they can do for you in the long run. By improving mental and physical health, as well as rebuilding critical areas of your life, you’ll have the tools you’ll need to achieve so much more in life.
On top of that, successfully overcoming addiction will make you stronger and wiser than most people. Sure, you might have been off to a rough start, but you’ll walk out with the knowledge and willpower that many people don’t have the opportunity to wield in this world.