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 Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines addiction as “a compulsive, chronic, physiological or psychological need for a habit-forming substance, behavior, or activity having harmful physical, psychological, or social effects and typically causing well-defined symptoms (such as anxiety, irritability, tremors, or nausea) upon withdrawal or abstinence.” Addiction can wreak havoc in all areas of one’s life, as an individual struggling with addiction 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, and 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. Achieving and maintaining sobriety is often thought of as the only way to recover from substance abuse and/ or addiction.
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 adjustment 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:
- Your general health will improve
- You will have the opportunity to repair broken relationships
- You will have more money, as you won’t be spending it on drugs or alcohol
- Your energy levels will increase
- You will sleep better and achieve more meaningful rest
- You will avoid developing drug- or alcohol-related health problems
- You will have healthier skin and complexion
- Your mental clarity will improve (e.g., focus, critical thinking, memory)
- Your diet will improve
- You will make better choices because you will no longer be driven by an unhealthy drug and/ or alcohol habit
- You will have more time to discover and focus on things you love
Although it may seem difficult, especially for those struggling with addiction, making the choice to become sober and honoring your commitment to stay sober will improve your everyday life and overall quality of life immensely.
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 Friendly house is 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.