Alcohol and marijuana are two of the leading addictions in the United States. Each year, thousands of people fight to overcome the negative impacts of illegal drugs.
Quitting drugs and alcohol is easier said than done. Things like genetics and the type of addiction make a major difference in whether it takes weeks or months to kick the habit.
Take a look at these top 10 health benefits of quitting drugs and alcohol:
Quitting drugs means the possibility of a longer life span. When most people think of drug overdose, they think of illegal drugs you buy in a back alleyway. But prescription drugs are a far bigger problem in the U.S. than many illegal drugs when it comes to fatality rates.
Of the drug overdose deaths each year, 68 percent of them are related to opioids. There are around 130 opioid deaths every day.
One of the major benefits of quitting drugs like marijuana and tobacco is healthier lungs. When you smoke tobacco or marijuana, you are exposing your lungs to toxins and carcinogens. Research shows that marijuana smoke causes damage to the lungs through air pockets, and air bubbles in teens.
Smokers put themselves at risk for chronic coughing and acute bronchitis. The overall damage to the cell lining in the lungs can impact your overall respiratory health over time.
Alcohol overworks the liver. Since your liver can only hold so much alcohol at once, the remaining alcohol enters your bloodstream impairing your heart and lungs.
Heavy alcohol consumption means pushing the liver beyond its processing capacity too often. Drinking too much puts you at risk for liver cancer, cirrhosis, and liver failure.
Smoking is known for reducing your capacity for exercise by narrowing the arteries and decreasing blood flow. To improve your endurance while exercising, give up smoking.
Quitting drugs can also help the organs in your body become more stable. As you consume less alcohol, for example, the brain can return to its normal cognitive function which is important for hand-eye coordination during exercise.
Healthier Food Choices
Foods you eat while high on drugs or while hanging out at a bar is less healthy than when you set a meal plan for yourself. Eating while high usually leads to heavy snacking and more fast food because you are looking for instant gratification to satisfy hunger.
Keeping your body clear of intoxication allows you to think more clearly about your food choices throughout the week and avoid empty calories.
Improve Personal Relationships
Family and friends can provide a great support system that improves our overall outlook on life. Quitting drugs and alcohol gives you the chance to reconnect with others and rely less on substances to bring you happiness.
Addiction takes up valuable time you could be using helping out a friend or forming a deeper bond with your spouse.
Decreased Risk of Accidents
Mental impairment leads to all kinds of accidents. One of the most common are accidents caused by drunk drivers.
Every 51 minutes someone is killed by a drunk driver. But drug-related accidents go far beyond driving under the influence of alcohol.
Consider the incidents of people falling from hotel balconies while on spring break or going overboard on cruise ships. Authorities found that many of the people involved in ‘freak’ accidents like these were intoxicated in some way.
Taking away drug addictions reduces your risk of causing a major accident that can be deadly.
Better Mental Health
Drugs affect our bodies in ways we can’t always predict. Two people can try the same drug but one suffers a psychotic break while the other remains mentally stable.
Quitting drugs is the best way to avoid putting yourself at risk for potential chemical poisoning. Better mental and emotional health is also possible when you quit your addiction.
Addiction is often an excuse not to deal with a problem you are facing like anxiety or depression. When you remove drugs from the equation, you can focus on what’s actually bothering you instead of hiding behind intoxication.
Once the real issue is removed or handled, you might lose the desire altogether for any habit that replaces problem-solving in your life.
Quitting drugs can lead to better self-esteem. Taking the steps toward Addiction Treatment brings on a sense of accomplishment.
Just knowing you are taking control of your life and accomplishing personal goals you set makes you more confident in tackling other challenges.
Less Prone to Violence
Another benefit of quitting drugs is reducing the chance of assault. There are far too many stories in the news of sexual assault where the victim cannot recall the incident due to blackouts.
Blackouts affect both the rapist and the person being attacked. The attacker becomes single-minded and less likely to notice, or care about, the victim’s response to his or her behavior.
Bar fights are common when people are intoxicated because alcohol takes away their ability to make sound choices. Removing drugs and alcohol from your life puts you back in mental control when socializing with others.
Quitting drugs and alcohol can be a long road. If you have a history of addiction in your family, its important to seek treatment from a program with a history of results.
The effects of addiction might be more extensive than you thought, making it harder for you to quit than the average person. There is hope ahead.
The overall health benefits of quitting drugs and alcohol make you more confident and competent when pursuing your life’s goals. For more information and lifestyle tips, check our blog for updates.