If you are thinking about getting sober and seeking treatment at a rehab facility, you may be feeling overwhelmed or even afraid. Addiction treatment can be one of the most difficult and stressful things you ever do, and it can be hard to overcome your doubts about seeking help.
When the doubt sets in or the challenge seems impossible, it helps to remember why you want to do it. Addiction treatment and long-term sobriety can make a positive impact on all aspects of your health, relationships and experiences. You’re working toward a better future without drugs or alcohol, one where you can live a deeper, more satisfying life. Here are seven benefits you can look forward to on your recovery journey.
1. You’ll Live Longer
If you stop drinking and taking drugs, you will be able to enjoy a longer life. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that chronic users of alcohol can cut their life expectancy by an average of 30 years if they continue drinking. In 2018, deaths from drug overdoses declined for the first time in 28 years, helping to raise overall life expectancy in the U.S., according to the CDC.
The body and brain are designed to heal. Your physical health will start to recover when you abstain from substance use. A longer life can mean more time to spend with loved ones, experience new things and learn about yourself.
2. You’ll Feel Better
Along with living longer, you are going to feel better when you are sober. Many people with an active addiction have a hard time imagining living without drugs or alcohol, but once they get through the detox process and begin rehab, they find life can actually be enjoyable without substances.
When you stop using drugs and alcohol, you will start to feel better physically and emotionally over time. Substance use can numb your physical senses or heighten them to the point of being overwhelming. Without substances, many people in recovery report clearer thoughts and more vivid experiences of the world around them. Throughout the recovery process, you’ll also learn new skills and coping strategies to handle emotions and feelings constructively. You may find life is more enjoyable and manageable without the substances you once depended on.
3. You’ll Improve Relationships
Many people living with addiction end up damaging relationships with the people they love. Fortunately, sobriety allows you to repair and improve some of your most important relationships. You will learn how to handle your own emotions, set healthy boundaries and form true connections with others.
Sobriety helps prevent you from saying things you don’t mean, acting in ways you normally wouldn’t and making poor decisions that negatively impact your relationships. Some recovery programs also have access to family therapy or support groups specifically for loved ones to help them cope as well.
4. You’ll Look Healthier
Drugs and alcohol can affect your appearance in negative ways. You may not have even realized that your skin is drier, your hair is more brittle and you simply don’t look as healthy as you used to. As your body begins to heal in rehab, so will your skin, teeth and hair. While vanity may not be the best reason to get sober, the resulting change in your appearance is a nice bonus.
5. You’ll Save Money
You may not be aware of how much money you are spending on your addiction. Consider the total cost of drugs or alcohol, the irrational purchases, the misplaced money, the medical bills and the legal expenses getting yourself out of trouble to get the full picture of what your addiction is costing you from a financial perspective.
When you choose to get sober, all of that money stays in your bank account. Suddenly, you have more money to pay your bills, save for retirement or even take a vacation. The cost of addiction treatment is always cheaper than the financial, physical and mental price you pay by continuing to use drugs or alcohol.
6. You’ll Still Have Fun!
It might be difficult to believe this from where you’re sitting now, but recovery can be a lot of fun. Programs like 12-step meetings are not gatherings of depressed and angry people. Instead, you are likely to find yourself surrounded by new friends who make you smile and are eager to get together for a variety of social activities.
Without the burden of addiction, you won’t be forced to plan your life around your next drink or dose. Because you won’t be dealing with the effects of substances or spending hours seeking out drugs or alcohol, you’ll have plenty of time to devote to new hobbies, activities and friends.
7. You’ll Grow Yourself
Recovery stories often have this in common: getting treatment and working on their addiction gave them more time, energy and resources to grow themselves. Without a dependence on drugs or alcohol, people in recovery are able to do more of the things they’ve always wanted to. They could learn a language or instrument, volunteer, travel or become a better partner, parent and friend. People dealing with a co-occurring disorder can work on that without the added strain substance use brings. With all the benefits to your mental and physical health, you’ll find it’s easier to work toward meeting new goals and improving yourself further.
Though sobriety usually feels impossible for people before they try, seeking treatment and ending substance use is life-changing for those who set themselves up to succeed. The first step is to commit to a reputable addiction treatment program. Contact us today to learn about the admissions process and explore how The Recovery Village can help you or a loved one begin the path to recovery and lifelong sobriety.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Alcohol Use and Your Health.” December 30, 2019. Accessed March 4, 2020.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Life Expectancy Increases in 2018 as Overdose Deaths Decline Along with Several Leading Causes of Death.” January 30, 2020. Accessed March 4, 2020.