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. The Mayo Clinic explains addiction as a disease “that affects a person’s brain and behavior and leads to an inability to control the use of a legal or illegal drug or medication.” Because the disease compels an individual to prioritize satisfying her substance cravings above all else, she is bound to experience a plethora of adverse effects, including physical complications, relationship fractures, financial strain, legal challenges, employment issues, and more. Data from 2022 presented by the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, indicate that addiction affects over 20 million Americans aged 12 and older.
What Is Sobriety?
In treatment for substance abuse and/ or addiction, the terms abstinence and sobriety are often inaccurately used interchangeably. Abstinence refers to a voluntary restraint from engaging or indulging in activities or substances. On the other hand, the World Health Organization (WHO) defines sobriety as “the condition of not having any measurable levels or effects from alcohol or drugs.” Abstinence primarily focuses on a drug-free lifestyle without factoring in other aspects of life such as addressing behaviors, emotions, mental health, etc., whereas sobriety focuses on a drug-free lifestyle while also taking into consideration other aspects of life.
A variety of sources illuminate the wide-ranging benefits of being completely sober, some of which include the following:
- 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.
- 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 completely sober lifestyle your body can begin to properly absorb the nutrients needed to function optimally.
- 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 that maintain social connections are generally healthier than those who lack a support network.
- Optimal health level: Without drugs or alcohol, your body can operate from its naturally balanced biochemical state.
- Healthier skin and complexion: Sobriety can help your skin appear sufficiently hydrated, less swollen, and more even toned.
- Improved mental clarity: Steering completely clear of drugs and alcohol can enhance mental focus, critical thinking, and memory.
As is evident through the examples above, embracing sobriety can improve your quality of life in a multitude of ways.
For Information and Support
Substance abuse and addiction can be incredibly dangerous and can result in severe short and long-term consequences. If you or someone you know is suffering from substance abuse or addiction, please get help as soon as possible. The earlier you seek support, the sooner you and your loved ones can return to leading happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives. There is no reason to go through this alone, and we are here to help. Please feel free to reach out to us for further information or with any questions regarding substance abuse or addiction. We are available anytime via telephone at: 213-389-9964, or you can always email us at: email@example.com.