The Health Benefits of Abstinence and Sobriety
Abstinence and sobriety are two sides of the same coin and the ultimate goal of every serious recovery and treatment plan.
When recovering from alcoholism, sobriety through abstinence is the ultimate goal. To refrain from doing that which creates problems in our lives and to achieve a state of mental clarity without the influence of outside substances. Alcohol and drugs, even without addiction, cause damage that we can’t see or feel. Our minds and bodies operate best when we are more aware of what we feed ourselves.
Why Is Sobriety a Healthy Approach to Life?
So, while being mindful of the negative aspects, let’s focus on the positives; the benefits that not only guide the patient through the recovery process but help them stay that way:
Mental Benefits of Recovery:
- Emotional stability
- Manage or eliminate symptoms of depression and anxiety.
- Better, more honest relationships
- Increased confidence
- More motivation
Physical Benefits of Recovery:
- Improved focus, memory, and critical thinking
- Better sleep quality
- Increased energy
- Healthier hair and complexion
- Decreased risk of long-term health problems.
When a patient reconnects with their healthier self, is the work done? Unfortunately, no. Addictions to high-risk behaviors can be the trade-off for giving up substances. A patient previously using drugs or alcohol may turn elsewhere to get the same euphoric feeling. Some of these everyday activities can slip quietly into the empty places left behind by substances if you don’t look for them.
High-Risk Activities for Sober Individuals
- Shopping: Finding a great bargain on that special item you’ve wanted leaves most of us feeling pretty good. But the addict needs more. Not just the shoes but a whole outfit… or two… or more. And it’s often not even things they need. It’s the thrill of the chase, that fleeting feeling of accomplishment. The temporary high of acquiring that item of perceived value.
- Gambling: Items can often be returned, but with gambling, there’s no getting that money back. The thrill of the jackpot is much the same high as shopping, but the stakes can be even higher.
- Finances: Even people with ready access to funds can get into trouble, maxing out credit cards, getting cash advances, and borrowing from friends and family. Whether from a bank account or a credit card, an entire family’s life savings can be wiped out in days or hours.
- Sexual behaviors: Sex is an innate biological need. All of us are hardwired to seek it out. Normally we are discerning creatures, choosing partners carefully. But when sex becomes an addiction, often one partner isn’t enough. And finding more partners becomes riskier, exposing themselves to dangerous situations and diseases they would otherwise never consider.
Whether it’s alcohol, drugs, or another diversion, it’s a vicious circle that can lead to financial ruin and destroyed relationships.
Are You Ready for Lasting Sobriety?
Recovery from addiction begins with acknowledging the problem, a willingness to seek help, and the right people to guide you through the process. This isn’t a sprint. It’s a marathon that takes multiple steps to achieve the gift of sobriety fully. The first step is seeking professional help when you’re ready. Absolute Awakenings Treatment Center will be here for you when you’re ready.
- Nehring SM, Freeman AM. Alcohol Use Disorder. In: StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing; 2022. Accessed January 16, 2023. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK436003/
- BLACK DW. A review of compulsive buying disorder. World Psychiatry. 2007;6(1):14-18.
- Menchon JM, Mestre-Bach G, Steward T, Fernández-Aranda F, Jiménez-Murcia S. An overview of gambling disorder: from treatment approaches to risk factors. F1000Res. 2018;7:434. doi:10.12688/f1000research.12784.1
- Karila L, Wéry A, Weinstein A, et al. Sexual addiction or hypersexual disorder: different terms for the same problem? A review of the literature. Curr Pharm Des. 2014;20(25):4012-4020. doi:10.2174/13816128113199990619
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