People usually get sober for big reasons. They may realise they’re hurting their family, their career has stalled because of addiction, they get into legal trouble, or they’re just completely miserable and they know addiction has a lot to do with it. As they say in AA, when you’re in a hole, stop digging. Most people get sober because they want to stop digging, but sobriety can also have some unexpected benefits.
You have more money.
Spending a few pounds on a pint is not a big deal but spending a few pounds on several pints every night adds up. You can save a little by buying bottom shelf, but it’s still a constantly growing expense. And alcohol is cheap as far as addictions go. Drugs can destroy your finances in a hurry. A cocaine habit, for example, can easily cost you 100 pounds a day.
You may be more focused on the financial trouble you’ve encountered, but the flip side is that once you get sober, you have a lot more money in your pocket. Saving even 10 pounds a day is pretty good; imagine how much you could save if you didn’t spend any money on drugs and alcohol.
You have more time.
Alcohol and drugs eat up a lot of time too, especially if you’re prone to falling asleep or blacking out. The time you spend under the influence is not good for much. You can work or do other things, but you won’t be very effective. When you are sober, you may be distracted by thoughts of using later, or figuring out how you will be able to use.
After you quit, all of that time is at your disposal. You can do whatever you want. One of your biggest problems at first will be boredom, because you won’t know what to do with all your extra time. Once you figure out a good use for the time, you will be amazed how much you can actually accomplish in a day.
You look better.
Alcohol and cigarettes are especially rough on your appearance. Alcohol breaks down the collagen in your skin, making you look older. It has loads of calories, which makes you gain weight, and it impairs your immune system, making you sick more often. Finally, it prevents your digestive tract from absorbing nutrients, which affects your appearance too.
People are often surprised how much younger they look after they quit drinking. They usually lose a few pounds pretty quickly, without even trying. Being thinner and having more energy from better digestion lets you be more active, creating a virtuous cycle.
You make new friends.
And you patch things up with old ones. You will have to find new ways to spend your time, which entails meeting new people. You will also meet a lot of new people in treatment and meetings.
Castle Craig is one of the most established and respected addiction rehab centres in the UK. Castle Craig provides consulting psychiatrists who diagnose associated mental illnesses like anxiety states, depression, ADD, PTSD, eating disorders, compulsive gambling, and compulsive relationships. For information, call our 24 hour free confidential phone-line: 0808 256 3732. From outside the UK please call: +44 1721 788 006 (normal charges apply).
Page last reviewed and medically fact-checked | January 29, 2020