One thing you learn during addiction treatment is that addiction to drugs is a dead-end road. Along the way, you experience nothing but loss and failure. This is the case regardless of the kind of drug, whether it is illegal or legally prescribed. Addiction never ends well unless you get clean. Maybe you have been thinking about entering an addiction treatment program but can’t seem to come up with compelling reasons to do so. This is the drugs talking and clouding your mind. One thing that normally precedes getting clean and sober is taking the time to sit down and list all the positive results you will experience. Here are some big ones that can help you get started on your own list.
Drugs rob you of your health, both physical and mental. Often addiction will find a person barely eating, sleeping rarely, and getting ill often from a compromised immune system. Every organ of your body, from your skin to your brain and heart are eventually changed due to drug and alcohol abuse. Feeling healthier won’t happen overnight, but you will gradually start to see that you are experiencing fewer days of illness, sleeping sounder, and having more energy than you can remember having in a long time.
People often start abusing drugs and alcohol in order to dull negative emotions. We won’t lie. Once you become clean, those emotions will return. They may make you start to reconsider your decision. Don’t. Keep in mind, that while the drugs dull the negative emotions, they also dull the positive ones of joy, love, and wonder. When you are high, you can’t trust that any emotion you feel is real. You will feel more when you are clean, and learning how to better handle the negative emotions will free you to spend a greater amount of time feeling the positive one.
Whether you are considering family, friends, or even co-workers, your relationships have suffered due to your addiction. Maybe you have caused emotional damage to your children, lost your job or ended your marriage. People will disappear for many reasons when you are addicted. First, it is devastating to watch a loved one slowly kill themselves. After trying for a time, it is easier to walk away than to stand by and watch this unfold. Another reason is that drugs and alcohol can change your personality drastically. Some people become angry and mean, others take nothing seriously, even if it is important, and many simply are “not there”. You have become a stranger to those who feel they can no longer count on you to be there.
Addiction is expensive. Depending upon the substance of choice and how deeply into the addiction you have fallen, it can be hundreds of dollars a day. You may lose your job, which adds to the financial stress. Legal problems also add money woes. What makes it even worse is that all you have to show for the money spent is negative results. Consider what you could be doing with all that money. You could be taking vacations with your loved ones, having a nice car and never having to worry about a roof over your head and food on the table.
Many drugs and alcohol cause brain changes. Some cause paranoia, others can worsen a pre-existing mental health condition or even cause something like depression or anxiety. While you are in addiction treatment, any underlying mental health conditions can be addressed and treated. You become better at learning how to deal with the mental health issues you may already have and any drug-induced mental health issues may eventually completely disappear.
It is likely that the deeper into addiction you fall, you become known for being undependable at best. Many times people will also resort to lying and stealing in order to finance a drug habit. All of this makes it impossible for anyone to trust you. People don’t want you around, and they know they can’t count on you for anything. Once you get clean, you may have to work hard to regain that trust and respect but it can be done. The one thing you always have is your reputation. Making it a good one is important.