When most people think of addiction they usually connect it with someone who’s addicted to drugs. This is certainly part of it – but there are many different addictions that can all adversely affect someone and those around them too.
This can range from an addiction to alcohol and drugs such as marijuana and heroin (and it can also include prescribed drugs like tramadol and Adderall) to behavioral addictions. This is a type of addiction that involves a compulsion to engage in a rewarding non-substance-related behavior.
It is similar to drink or drug addiction in that the person has scant regard for the mental, physical, financial or social consequences of their behavior. It includes being addicted to gambling, sex, work, shopping, social media and gaming.
Any addiction can be described as indulging in something that is detrimental to the person and/or those around them – but that they cannot stop and stay stopped from doing.
Why do people become addicts?
There are many reasons why people become addicted to something. One reason is that they get some sort of high or reward from it.
Another is that it acts as a distraction. That’s not just the taking, using or doing – but the whole preparation, the frequent deceit that’s connected to it all, and then the coming out the other side and dealing with such as hangovers, comedowns and any mess or situations that were created.
Most addictions are all-consuming – and like that for a reason. It’s because another key reason someone becomes addicted to something is that they are attempting to mask or numb feelings that are so painful they are overwhelming.
Most addicts are people who are hurting inside very badly. Most often this is from a childhood trauma, although people do suffer from traumas later in life that adversely affect them too. Toxic shame and what is described as a “failure of love” often play a huge part too.
One of the most tragic things about addiction is that it gets progressively worse unless someone gets treatment. All addictions can be summed up by the slogan: the person took a drink; the drink took a person.
What are the benefits of quitting an addiction?
Many people who are abusing drink or drugs will need to detox first. This always needs to be managed by a team with expertise in detoxing as trying to detox at home can be dangerous.
But whatever the addiction, there are immense benefits from quitting, some more obvious than others.
Here are six major benefits of beating an addiction:
1. Boosted energy & enthusiasm
One of the first benefits many people notice when they quit an addiction is that they have much more energy and a clearer head.
They will realize just how much of their thinking and energy was spent on an addiction. All that planning and preparation, the using, the getting through the hangovers and comedowns… It’s an utterly exhausting way to live.
Clarity of thought has a positive impact. Decision-making vastly improves and consequently there is less stress in life.
From working and parenting to playing sports or studying, there’ll be much more energy – and that’s all hugely beneficial.
2. Quality sleep
If drink or drugs were the problem, people will realize once they quit that what they thought was sleep was often more like “passing out” and waking up was “coming to”. It was not a decent sleep at all.
Poor sleep is often connected to stress, anxiety and depression. So it was a vicious cycle.
When tired we all tend to be more easily irritated and less tolerant. So a sound sleep is good for us and people around us, such as our family, friends and colleagues.
In recovery, people will look at anything that’s been taking their peace of mind. So as these things are dealt with, sleep will improve – and that has great benefits for each day as they wake up feeling refreshed and fully charged.
3. Improved health
When we sleep our body restores us. So having decent sleep improves our overall physical and mental health.
Our immune system strengthens and that means we’re less likely to catch an illness. But if we do, we will recover much more quickly.
Having a good sleep and clearing our heads from all the problems of an addiction also makes it much less likely that we’ll have accidents or make mistakes. Life will be much less chaotic.
It means that instead of skipping meals or snatching something unhealthy while on the go, as many people with addictions do, there will be regular and relaxed meal times. Naturally health benefits will come too from not drinking excessively or using drugs that physically and mentally harm.
If a behavioral addiction was the problem then there will be much less stress in life. As is well known, stress is not beneficial to our health.
4. More spending power
It’s so commonly asked in utter bewilderment by many people when they get into recovery: how did I ever afford my addiction?
Obviously money that’s not spent on things such as drink, drugs, gambling and so on is available to spend on other much better things.
Also as people function better and have clearer heads for decision-making they will perform better at work – which can significantly boost earning power.
5. Increased hours
It’s often overlooked and not realized until it comes back after quitting an addiction: there’s much more time every day.
No more time is wasted on planning and preparation for the addiction; the taking, using, drinking or doing; and then the hangover or comedown. As well, picking up the pieces of the mess that’s all too often created.
Not to mention the energy that used to be spent on the deceit that frequently comes with an addiction. There will also be much less sick days and those hours of just getting through a day due to the negative impact of the day and/or night before.
So in recovery there are many more hours for the best things in life: spending time with family and friends, doing hobbies and pastimes, or just simply relaxing.
Life in addiction gets increasingly narrow as the addiction takes over. It is the opposite in recovery – and life opens up to some amazing new places, people and experiences.
6. You discover your true meaning
Just as addictions get progressively worse, so too recovery – if worked at on a daily basis – will get progressively better. This doesn’t mean spending hours every day, but usually means just doing a few things first thing and perhaps in the day too.
One of the greatest discoveries that people who quit addictions find is that they gain the chance to find out who they really are. All that drink, all those drugs and all those unhealthy behavioral addictions were keeping the real person down.
Recovery involves looking at reasons why someone became addicted to something. When these reasons are dealt with it allows the real person to shine through.
Being free from an addiction means people can feel their feelings. They will start to realize that our feelings are there to help us process, deal with and grow from things that happen in life.
Also, there is often spiritual growth that gives a great many lives a whole new meaning. As people discover their meaning it gives happiness and a priceless peace of mind.
It takes courage to reach out for help. But the results can be amazing for someone who does – and it will be of immense benefit to all those around them too.
Every treatment we offer is totally individualized, so that it works in the swiftest and most effective manner for each of our guests. This is also to ensure recovery is strong and enduring – so it continues when you leave us.
Get in touch with us right now to speak in complete confidence. Find out how we can help you or someone you love.