Whether you’ve tried quitting drugs and alcohol in the past or are attempting sobriety for the first time, then you know a substance-free lifestyle comes with all kinds of benefits. But even though you know sober living is the right choice, it’s not always the easy one.
To help you out, we’ve come up with a list of 10 benefits of living a drug-free lifestyle. We hope it will inspire you as you begin your recovery journey.
Need some extra help getting started? Call La Fuente Hollywood Treatment Center at 888.903.9898. Our Southern California LGBTQ treatment center is ready to help.
1. Boosts your physical health
It goes without saying that drugs do a number on your health. In the short term, drugs cause hangovers, withdrawals, and energy crashes. That’s bad enough as it is, but the long-term symptoms are even worse. Regardless of whether you take meth, cocaine, or GHB, you run the risk of dehydration, gastric problems, hypothermia, coma, or even a heart attack.
When you quit taking drugs, you allow your body to rest and heal. Over a period of months (or even weeks), you’ll get better sleep, have more energy, and feel better than you have in years. Beyond that, you will have lowered your risk of infections and chronic diseases.
2. Improves mental health
Taking drugs makes you feel calm and happy in the moment, but longtime users know these good feelings don’t last. Some make underlying mental health problems like depression, anxiety, and PTSD worse, while others can provoke feelings of fear and paranoia.
Living a drug-free lifestyle won’t immediately eliminate your mental health struggles, but it’s a big step in the right direction. Not only will you avoid the chemically induced symptoms, but you’ll also be able to think clearly, reflect, and seek the support you need.
3. Enhances your physical appearance
Drugs don’t destroy your physical appearance all at once. Rather, they chip away at your looks little by little. What starts out as bloating, flushed skin, and undereye bags becomes weight gain (or loss), scabs, and accelerated signs of aging.
Again, quitting drugs won’t magically transform you into a model, but you will start to look better soon after taking your last hit. Once your body starts getting proper nutrition and rest, your skin will look brighter, bloating will decrease, and your hair will shine. These may seem like minor changes, but you’ll be surprised by just how much more vibrant you look.
4. Helps improve finances
A 2019 RAND Corporation report found that Americans spend nearly $150 billion annually on illicit drugs like cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine. The same study found that Americans spend even more on alcohol, about $158 billion per year. Saying that Americans spend a lot of money getting high is a massive understatement.
In light of these findings, we challenge you to figure out exactly how much your addiction is costing you each week, month, and year. Now imagine what you could do with all of the money you’ve been spending on drugs or alcohol. It’s an easy, yet powerful exercise that will help you realize just how beneficial a sober lifestyle is for your wallet.
5. Leads to meaningful relationships
Besides your health and finances, relationships are one of the areas of life that suffer most as a result of drug use. When you’re taking drugs, it’s almost impossible to maintain trust, respect, and open communication with friends, family, or your partner. Fights, isolation, and violence often result from these strained connections.
When you choose a drug-free lifestyle, you have the opportunity to make amends, heal old wounds, and reconnect with those you alienated as a result of your addiction. It takes work, and not everyone will be receptive to your advances, but it’s worth the effort just the same.
6. Provides freedom from guilt and shame
Addicts lie a lot. Not only do they lie to cover up their drug use, but they lie about simple things like where they’ve been, who they were with, and what they did. They might also lie about stealing money from friends, family, or an employer.
Given how much addicts lie, it’s no surprise that many feel an incredible amount of guilt and shame as a result of their actions. Because these feelings are so overwhelming, many addicts find it easier to stay high rather than to face the consequences of their actions.
When you live life sober, you free yourself from the messy web of lies you spun in the past. It takes time to adjust to living honestly, but once you do, you’ll feel a sense of lightness and ease you might never have experienced before.
7. Discover what you really want from life
Most people use drugs as a way to escape their current reality. Being under the influence means putting the annoying work drama away, forgetting the fight with a partner, or getting so messed up that you don’t even have to think.
While effective, relief is only temporary. All of your problems will be there when you come down and there might even be new ones depending on how the night went.
When you live a drug-free lifestyle, you’re forced to face all of your problems head-on. Yes, it’s tough. And yes, it’s probably one of the hardest things about getting sober. But gaining clarity about what you want and need out of life is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.
8. Gives you the ability to inspire others
Sobriety is a lifelong journey and a tough one at that. At times, you’ll be faced with temptation, isolation, and negative societal perceptions. If you’re able to overcome all of that and deal with life’s mishaps, then you’re a rock star as far as we’re concerned.
And the longer you stay sober, the more people will applaud your hard work. You’ll also be in a position to help those struggling with addiction just by sharing your story.
9. May better your career
It’s tough to get ahead at work when you’re either hungover or thinking about your next fix (or both). Not only does your concentration suffer, but so do your critical thinking skills. You might even struggle to show up on time or maintain a work schedule.
One of the benefits of getting clean is that you almost automatically become a better employee. Sure, you might not be moving to the C-suite anytime soon, but you’ll be amazed at how much more productive, motivated, and helpful you’ll become without drugs fogging up your thoughts.
10. Lets you enjoy life’s simple pleasures
From digging into a tasty meal to petting a cute puppy, being under the influence takes the pleasure out of all kinds of simple joys. When you take drugs, your mind becomes clouded and you lose the ability to stop and smell the roses (quite literally).
By living a drug-free lifestyle, you’ll become more present. This will allow you to enjoy the warmth of the sun on your face, the melody of your favorite song, and the joy that comes from smiling at strangers.
Discover a Drug-Free Lifestyle with La Fuente
Your life is too precious to waste on drugs. Call La Fuente Hollywood Treatment Center at 888.903.9898 to learn how we can help you live the sober life you’ve been dreaming of.