Addiction, also known as substance use disorder (SUD), is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a chronic brain disorder. It is characterized by compulsively engaging in rewarding stimuli despite adverse consequences. Addiction can wreak havoc in all areas of one’s life, as an individual struggling with substance use disorder will prioritize satisfying his or her drug cravings above all else. Often, this does not only lead to adverse physiological consequences, but can also negatively impact one’s relationships, finances, may lead to legal complications, and interfere with one’s ability to maintain steady employment. The development of substance use disorder does not occur immediately, nor will recovering from addiction be achieved instantaneously. The path of recovery from substance abuse and/ or addiction is not necessarily linear, nor will it be the same for every person. Typically, recovering from substance use disorder requires people to make continuous, active efforts to maintain sobriety.
Benefits of Recovery
Sobriety as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) is “the condition of not having any measurable levels or effects from alcohol or drugs.” Sobriety focuses on a drug-free lifestyle while taking into consideration other aspects of life such as behaviors, emotions, mental health, etc. Hence, staying sober can improve these areas of one’s life. As is true with making any kind of adjustments to one’s life, there are benefits and drawbacks. However, for many people the benefits of being sober strongly outweigh the drawbacks. Embracing sobriety can improve your quality of life in a multitude of ways, such as:
- Lower health risks: Living a completely sober life, lowers your risk for cancers, hepatitis, cirrhosis, heart disease, stroke, and mental health disorders.
- Increased energy levels: Long-term sobriety is commonly linked to an increase in energy levels.
- Healthier skin and complexion: Sobriety can help your skin appear sufficiently hydrated, less swollen, and more even toned.
- Improved sleep: For example, alcohol abuse is disruptive to sleeping patterns because it suppresses sleep, not permitting a restorative, good night’s rest. When you are sober you will sleep better and achieve more meaningful rest.
- Enhanced nutrition: Substance abuse can deplete your body of vital nutrients and can interfere with the digestion, storage, utilization, and excretion of nutrients. By living a sober lifestyle your body can begin to properly absorb the nutrients needed to function optimally.
- Improved mental clarity: Sobriety can enhance mental focus, critical thinking, and memory.
- Optimal health level: Without drugs or alcohol, your body can operate from its naturally balanced biochemical state.
- Enriched relationships: One of the major benefits of sobriety is that you will regain the patience, time, and emotional bandwidth needed to mend fractured relationships and build long-lasting relationships. People with strong social connections are generally healthier than those who lack a support network.
Although the recovery process may seem daunting, substance use disorder is a mental health condition that requires treatment. Making the choice to become sober and honoring your commitment to prioritize your recovery will not only enhance your physiological health, but it will improve your overall quality of life.
For Information and Support
If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding substance abuse and/ or addiction, we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.
Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding our specific program at Haven House Addiction Treatment and/ or general substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment related information. Our highly trained staff is readily available to discuss how we might best be able to help you and your loved one. We can be reached by phone at 424-258-6792. You are also welcomed to contact anytime us via email at email@example.com