Over the course of addiction, an individual’s life becomes unspeakable difficult, unstable, unpredictable, and dangerous. Especially when the drug of choice is a narcotic or opiate, one’s health can take a rapid and almost instantaneous turn for the worse. Addicts often lose weight while becoming malnourished and emaciated.
There are also a number of health risks associated with the use of certain drugs, such as the risk of contracting a disease by sharing needles with other drug users or of developing a respiratory illness from smoking drugs frequently over a period of time. What’s more, the experience of being intoxicated most of the time prevents many addicts from even realizing many of the health problems that their addictions are causing, allowing the disease to progress even further while the health conditions continue to deteriorate the body.
In addition to the physical effects that addiction causes, there are a number of psychological and behavioral effects of addiction. As physical dependency becomes more severe, addicts begin sacrificing many aspects of their lives in order to devote more of their time and energy to substance abuse.
This too often results in the loss of employment, becoming financially destitute, the destruction of marital and other important relationships, and perhaps even legal troubles as a result of crimes committed in the name of addiction. In short, many addicts’ situations and lives become quite bleak as their every waking moment revolves around seeking and consuming alcohol and drugs.
Recovery presents itself as the opportunity for addicts to earn back everything that they’ve lost over the course of active dependency and addiction. It’s not easy; in fact, recovery is considered to be a lifelong process that’s never entirely complete, but instead continues to get easier over time as sobriety and abstinence become more effortless and natural.
However, despite the difficulty inherent in rehabilitating after a period of active addiction, recovery affords addicts a number of gifts that they wouldn’t otherwise have without achieving sobriety. These are some of the many benefits of sobriety that one can experience when freed from addiction.
The Gift of Stable and Healthy Relationships
When one thinks of addiction, they often form a picture of how chemical dependency affects an addict in ways that can be seen visually. This often reflects the health effects of addiction, manifesting in things like weight loss, lack of hygiene, and so on.
However, one of the effects of addiction that cannot be seen is how addiction affects the addict’s relationships. In fact, this is considered one of the most profound effects of addiction because it can often affect the loved ones of an addict as much as the addict him or herself is affected.
Especially in the case of intimate relationships, it’s common for trust to be tested and broken after an extended period of time when the addict continues to lie, be unreliable, and possibly even steal from the people that he or she loves. However, intimate relationships aren’t the only relationships damaged by substance abuse and chemical dependency.
Parents of addicts are oftentimes enablers, unknowingly helping the addict to continue their substance abuse out of fear of the addict’s abandonment, which is called codependency. On the other hand, the children of addicts often suffer profoundly due to their parents’ addictions; in cases where both parents suffer from addiction, it’s common for the children to be removed from the home by Child Protective Services.
The good news is that recovery from addiction returns addicts to a state in which they’re able to form and maintain healthy, stable relationships, whether intimate, familial or otherwise. There are a number of factors that fortify addicts’ improved interpersonal skills upon recovery.
Since they’re not fixated on seeking and consuming alcohol and drugs, addicts in recovery aren’t so willing to sacrifice their relationships to addiction, making them more reliable and trustworthy. Recovery also makes addicts less self-serving and more selfless, especially in cases where they have previously harmed or caused hardship for loved ones over the course of active addiction.
The Gifts of Independence and Solidarity
The reason that many addicts become homeless and financially destitute as a direct result of their addiction is because they often become unreliable at work, missing frequent days until they eventually lose their employment altogether; meantime, much of their income is spent on alcohol and drugs so that they can keep withdrawal symptoms at bay, which leaves little if any money left to pay their living expenses and bills.
This is also a factor that contributes to many addicts turning to crime in order to sustain their addictions as stealing money or valuables that can be sold for money allow them to continue to fund their dependency. Unfortunately, this type of addict’s lifestyle is devoid of meaning, joy, passion, and security, leading to feelings of loneliness and detachment. Upon entering recovery, addicts regain their ability to hold down stable employment. By overcoming physical dependency, they are no longer fixated on maintaining their intoxication or on keeping withdrawal symptoms at bay.
This makes them much more reliable employees who have much better attendance rates than individuals in active addiction. What’s more, one of the benefits of sobriety is that recovering addicts don’t have the financial burden that comes with having a physical and psychological dependency. Since all of their money no longer goes toward buying alcohol and drugs, they’re able to pay their rent, their bills, support their children and families, and so on.
This improvement and stability of lifestyle is a direct result of their recovery via addiction treatment programs and support groups, which offer solidarity affording recovering addicts a sense of community by being part of groups of individuals who are also working on their recovery. Addicts often make lifelong friends in addiction support groups, which helps to reinforce recovery for the long-term and prevent relapse.
Experience the Benefits of Sobriety for Yourself
If you or someone you love is suffering from addiction to alcohol or drugs, Drug Treatment Center Finder is here to help. We have a team of recovery specialists that have matched countless addicts toward effective treatment programs that meet their individual needs. Don’t wait—call us today.