While the benefits of sobriety are well-publicized, many people with active alcohol use disorder find even the abstract idea of sobriety terrifying.
Many myths and misconceptions surrounding addiction serve to worsen this problem, to the extent that only 10% of those with substance use disorder get specialist treatment. Some people feel you must hit rock bottom before seeking treatment, a baseless myth inflamed by reality TV shows devoted to making entertainment out of addiction and recovery. For others, a fear of sober life being boring and unstimulating is enough to keep them drinking in the face of mounting problems.
If you are struggling with alcohol use disorder right now, sober life is not just an interesting and healthy possibility, but can also help you re-engage with life so your days are filled rather than killed. If you need help, treatment programs like Huntington Beach rehabs are here for you.
Why You Should Consider Getting Sober
If you have been abusing alcohol long-term, your brain undergoes changes to both structure and function. Resultantly, your brain will not recognize sobriety as the optimum approach but will recognize instead an absence of the substance it has grown to depend upon.
This is why you experience strong cravings for alcohol in its absence if you are alcohol-dependent.
Addiction is a chronic medical disease that has no cure but can be treated, according to the American Society of Addiction Medicine. People with addictions like alcohol use disorder continue consuming alcohol despite obvious and harmful outcomes.
While addiction is now widely viewed as a disease, this means treatment and prevention is roughly as successful as for other chronic diseases, so there is hope even if you have severe alcohol use disorder.
If you’re still drinking but considering sober living, it pays to reinforce some of the many benefits a sober lifestyle delivers.
8 Sober Living Benefits
- Your overall health improves
- You notice an uptick in mental health
- Your energy levels start improving
- Sleep patterns improve
- You can start mending any damaged relationships
- You’re saving money
- Sobriety gives you the chance to deal with problems in healthier ways
- When sober, you can start feeling more comfortable in your own skin
1) Your overall health improves
As soon as you stop abusing alcohol, you’ll notice an improvement in your overall health.
Without the empty calories from alcohol, you could lose weight, and you’re likely to look more toned.
You’ll find your blood pressure will improve, and your circulation will also improve.
As you move into sobriety and sustained recovery, you’re likely to start exercising more, continuing to make your body fitter and stronger rather than barraging it with alcohol.
2) You notice an uptick in mental health
While many people self-medicate with alcohol or drugs, alcohol (along with many illicit drugs) is a CNS depressant.
If you are self-medicating the symptom of a mental health condition like depression with alcohol, you will get nothing but the most fleeting relief. Not only are you doing nothing to address the underlying issue, but you’ll make it worse over time.
You should find your mood lifts and symptoms of depression start fading as you move from addiction into ongoing recovery.
Drink and drugs can also worsen the symptoms of anxiety, so you may find any issues with anxiety start normalizing once you’re sober.
3) Your energy levels start improving
Not only will your physical and mental health improve once you’re sober, but you may also find a spike in your overall energy levels.
This will usually start becoming apparent after a couple of weeks of sobriety. If you harness this newfound energy, you should find your productivity, strength, and fitness levels also start noticeably improving.
4) Sleep patterns improve
When you drink alcohol, for instance, this disrupts your REM sleep. This is the deep sleep you need to wake to feel rested and recharged.
Although it takes time, once you move further into sober living, you’ll find it easier to fall asleep, and you’ll also find it easier to stay asleep. This is one of the most precious gifts sobriety can offer. You can also embrace each day without being handicapped by a hangover.
5) You can start mending any damaged relationships
Any addictive addiction brings with it behaviors that can damage relationships, sometimes irreparably.
If you step up to the plate and commit to recovery before too much harm is done, you should find sobriety gives you the chance to strengthen your most valuable relationships so they are better than ever before.
6) You’re saving money
Think about how much you spend each day on alcohol or drugs and work out how much you could save each month by living sober.
Try saving even half of the amount you were previously spending on substances. Not only will you have more money in your pocket, but you can also invest your savings and make your money work for you rather than being a slave to a substance.
7) Sobriety gives you the chance to deal with problems in healthier ways
According to the disease model of addiction, many people self-medicate problems with alcohol, prescription medications, or illicit drugs.
Once you start dealing with your emotions rather than trying to blot them out with substances, you may find you start making more effective decisions, and you should also find you come up with superior solutions to life’s everyday obstacles when you’re sober.
8) When sober, you can start feeling more comfortable in your own skin
As you move from active addiction into sustained sobriety, you will find you start getting to know yourself better as you explore your thoughts and behaviors through counseling and psychotherapy.
Newly sober, you can start becoming much more comfortable in your own skin. Remember: addiction and self-love never go hand-in-hand.
5 Benefits of Being Sober From Alcohol
Many of the benefits of being sober from alcohol are the same as those you get from being drug-free.
- Reduced risk of serious health conditions
- Mental health and sleep quality improve
- Rifts in relationships with friends and family start healing
- Your career and finances should both start improving
- You’ll look much better
1) Reduced risk of serious health conditions
As well as the risk of developing alcohol use disorder, sustained and heavy alcohol intake is linked to many adverse health outcomes, including:
- Increased rates of liver disease
- Heightened susceptibility to stroke and heart disease
- Impaired functioning of the brain
- Increased risk of several types of cancers
- Reduced ability to fight infections
If you stop drinking alcohol, even if only briefly, you’ll find these negative consequences will subside.
For moderate and heavy drinkers who stop drinking, the following occurs:
- Reduced risk of certain cancers
- Weight loss
- Better processing of insulin
- Lowered blood pressure
- Improved mental health
2) Mental health and sleep quality improve
Alcohol abuse almost always interferes with your sleep patterns.
In those who drink alcohol in an attempt to sleep better, this leads to tolerance building and the effectiveness of the approach diminishing, while at the same time increasing the chance of alcohol use disorder developing.
Once you start becoming accustomed to a sober life, especially if you stick to a regular sleep schedule, you should find that both the quality and quantity of your sleep improves, bringing with it many knock-on health benefits.
3) Rifts in relationships with friends and family start healing
As you move from spending your time drinking to spending your time with family sober, you’ll soon start rebuilding any unraveled relationships.
You may have spent a long time convincing others you were ready to change, but actions speak louder than words. With your recovery underway, your loved ones can readily see for themselves the changes you are making, and they will also reap the benefits just as surely as you will.
4) Your career and finances should both start improving
Whether you drink at home or in the bar, alcohol is expensive. Tot up the amount you spend each year on alcohol and you might be surprised at just how much it is.
If you end up charged with a DUI, you could easily face thousands of dollars in fines and fees, while also facing increased insurance premiums.
Alcohol abuse also tends to create problems at work, from excessive absences to impaired performance and reduced productivity.
You’ll notice marked improvements both in financial health and career prospects once you’re sober.
5) You’ll look much better
We live in a world where appearances count, and the cumulative effect of all the benefits of sobriety is that you’ll look much better.
Expect clearer skin, brighter eyes, and improved fitness levels, all combining to allow you to walk with confidence as you continue your road to recovery.
Benefits of Sober Living Homes at The District Recovery
Here at The District Recovery Community, we have a wide range of outpatient treatment programs for alcohol use disorder. We also have dual diagnosis treatment programs for anyone suffering from co-occurring mental health disorders.
For anyone ready to commit to treatment for alcohol use disorder but lacking a stable and supportive home environment, there is an alternative to inpatient rehab, and it comes in the form of sober living homes.
These sober living communities allow you to engage with an IOP or PHP for alcohol use disorder while being based in a substance-free environment surrounded by others in active recovery.
If you’re ready to start reaping the many benefits sobriety delivers, reach out to admissions today at 844.287.8506.