You alone have the power to decide when to quit using substances. No matter how badly others want you to stop using drugs or alcohol, the ultimate decision to seek treatment or to embrace sobriety will rest with you.Your own personal drive to create a better life is fueled by your own personal reasons. Your decision is the main thing that will sustain you through the ups and downs that define recovery.
“I just want to say that there were so many times in my addiction that I felt alone, that I felt like no one would understand what I was going through. But I was not alone, and I was not crazy. Reach out for help, even if it’s just asking for someone to talk to. Remember that no matter how long you’ve traveled in the wrong direction, it’s never too late to turn around.”
Read Jessica A’s story and more at www.HeroesInRecovery.com.
Maybe it feels like substances are helping you get by in life right now. Perhaps you are afraid to make the big changes that come along with recovery. Why should you drop drugs and alcohol? We have a Top Ten Countdown of the most pressing reasons why you should let go of substance abuse for good, with number one as the most important reason:
10. Your Bank Account
Nothing destroys finances like a substance addiction or an addictive behavior. When is the last time you calculated the cost of your substance use? Did you include missed work time, the cost of relationship conflicts, or legal fees you may have faced or could face in the future if things don’t change? You’ll be amazed at how you can gain financial stability when you take control of your life through recovery.
9. Your Reputation
You may believe that you were successful in keeping your addiction a secret – you weren’t. Most people are not very good at hiding their addictions, especially from close friends, family members, and colleagues. The only way to rebuild a reputation damaged by poor choices under the influence is to start by getting clean and sober.
8. Your Goals
Do you want to rebuild your marriage? Do you want to earn more money? Would you like to work in a certain industry? Are you considering going back to school? Would you just like to feel better on a daily basis? You have the chance to accomplish anything when you’re free from addiction.
7. Your Comfort
How much time do you devote to hiding your substance use? How much time do you devote to recovering from nasty hangovers or embarrassing moments? How much lost time have you spent just trying to feel normal? The early stages of recovery may be challenging, but you will feel much more comfortable in your own body if you make that step toward healing.
6. Your Freedom
Most drugs are illegal, and possessing them or buying them is enough to get you arrested. Driving under the influence is another threat to your safety and freedom, as is being intoxicated in public. Don’t forget all of the many things people do while under the influence (e.g., assault, vandalism, theft, etc.) that can also land you in jail! If you have too many of these offenses, no judge will care that there’s an underlying addiction; imprisonment will be unavoidable.
5. Your Long-Term Health
Even if an acute overdose or accident doesn’t occur, finding recovery can help you to avoid the buildup of toxins and destruction of organs caused by ongoing substance use. If you choose to accept treatment, you will benefit greatly from a physical exam. You might be able to undo the damage that substance use has caused you. While you may not see the effects of substance use now, you may spend your later years feeling miserable if you don’t make a change now.
4. Your Spouse, Partner or Loved One
Has your relationship been impacted by trust issues, anger, or secrets associated with substance use? The person you care about, your closest friends, and your extended family want you to be healthy. Finding recovery can give you a chance to regain a functional relationship.
3. Your Mental Health
If there is an underlying mental health disorder, drugs and alcohol will almost always worsen symptoms, not ease them. Other substances can cause a drug-induced psychosis, and almost all change the structure of the brain slowly over time, altering the user’s personality and in some cases triggering mental health issues that were not there previously.1Your mental health depends on your sobriety!
2. Your Children
It’s not always easy to make up for the harm done to children when a chronic substance use problem is an issue. It will take time and perseverance – and long-term sobriety to heal the relationship you have with your children and the other young people in your life. Even if your children are living with other relatives due to your history with addiction, the first step back to being in their lives in a positive way is addiction treatment. Your capacity to heal will also heal your children. Set an example of recovery, relieve their worries, and help everyone heal by getting well.
1. Your Immediate Survival
Your immediate survival is the number one reason to quit abusing substances. Your life literally depends on you getting sober. Overdose is no small concern. Substance-related deaths happen to thousands of people every day, and hundreds of thousands per year in the United States. Car accident deaths caused by drunk or drugged driving as well as accidents in the workplace and at home, homicides, and suicides caused by drug use are all real concerns, especially for those who take their lives into their hands daily due to an active addiction.2
You are the only reason that you will be able to commit to recovery for the long term. Make a list of all the ways that recovery will change your life for the better and pick up the phone to make it happen today. At The Oaks at La Paloma, we’re standing by to assist you. Please call to speak with our admissions coordinators now.
1 U.S. National Library of Medicine. Mental Disorders. 14 Sept 2014.
2 National Institute on Drug Abuse. Overdose Death Rates. Sept 2017.