A substance abuser will fool himself into thinking that drugs or alcohol hold a better promise of making him feel good and of burying life’s stresses and struggles than any sense of sobriety can provide. Even in recovery, an alcoholic or drug addict can fail to see any benefits that sobriety might provide, notwithstanding any of the physical and emotional pain that substances have caused in his life. This holds particularly true for teens and adolescents who are struggling with their identities and trying to find a place for themselves in a world that they believe holds no promise for them. The truth is that sobriety promises many advantages, and unlike drugs or alcohol, it actually delivers those advantages.
First, getting sober will make you healthier. You can still get sick and develop conditions that require medical treatment, but your body will be under far less physical stress when you are sober and you be better able to fight off diseases and recover from illnesses when you are not simultaneously dealing with substance abuse. Drugs and alcohol make a false promise of making you feel better. Sobriety actually does make you feel better and helps you to get better when something else affects you.
Second, when you are sober, you are better able to keep yourself safe. There is no shortage of news stories about people who died in drunk driving accidents, or who were accosted or assaulted while they were impaired by drugs. Young people in particular are prone to sensations of immortality and of feelings that nothing can harm them, when in reality, they expose themselves to egregious harm when they are intoxicated. We live in a dangerous world and drugs and alcohol dramatically increase an individual’s personal risk of injury or death from that danger. Sobriety protects an individual and helps him make choices that reduce that danger.
Third, sobriety increases an individual’s financial well-being. Drug addicts and alcoholics are more likely to be fired from their jobs, and to use funds that should be budgeted for food and shelter on drugs and alcohol. Many careers have been ruined and many families have broken apart when financial resources dried up due to job losses, or when they were diverted to drug and alcohol purchases.
“Criminal Justice System”
Fourth, drug and alcohol abuse can entangle a person in the criminal justice system and saddle them with criminal convictions that haunt them throughout their lives. Adolescents and teens may have an advantage of having their juvenile records cleared when they reach adulthood, but if they continue to use drugs or alcohol when they get older, they expose themselves to the risk of having a criminal record. Sobriety entails no such risks.
Fifth, sobriety promises that your family and friends will know and accept your true personality instead of the persona you create when you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Young people who are insecure about their social skills may try to bolster themselves with drugs or alcohol before they go out with friends. Their inebriated personalities are rarely as engaging as they might believe them to be, and in the end, drugs and alcohol only serve to alienate them further from healthy social engagements. Sobriety will never do this, but will instead allow your real personality to emerge and develop as you improve your own social skills.
Sobriety makes no false promises, and it holds something special for every recovering addict who makes a commitment to achieve genuine long-term freedom from drugs and alcohol. Sustain Recovery Services in southern California helps adolescents and young adults to understand the promises of sobriety when they are fighting to overcome drug addiction and alcoholism. Please see our website or call us at 949-407-9052 for more information about our services or to arrange a confidential consultation with one of our counselors.