Drug and substance addiction has been a big problem for many people for centuries now. When such people want to reform, they will most likely join a recovery program to learn how to cope with their urges and lead a normal life again.
Dangers of alcohol/drug addiction
Bad for your mental health
Some people end up abusing alcohol and drugs in a bid to ‘escape’ the worries of this world. You may argue that taking alcohol or drugs will help you forget some of the troubling things. However, you may end up in a bottomless pit as you struggle with your mental health. It may even become hard for you to handle normal tasks while not under such drugs’ influence. You may also end with low self-esteem and make it hard to interact with other people on normal occasions.
Bad for your physical health
We cannot ignore the many diseases that are associated with alcohol and drug addiction. The digestive system is the first place of attack that suffers from gradual degradation. Continuous drinking and intake of drugs will destroy the digestive system and affect how digestion occurs. Some of the digestive issues associated with excessive drinking include bloating, gassiness, feeling of fullness in the stomach, painful stools and diarrhea, to mention a few.
Weak immune system
People addicted to alcohol and drugs are at a higher risk of getting infected by various diseases than those who aren’t. Heavy drinking reduces the disease’s fighting agents in the body which makes it easy for ailments to attack. Pneumonia or tuberculosis are examples of diseases that affect heavy drinkers.
Bad for your financial health
Alcohol and drugs can be expensive and prevent you from reaching your financial goals. Most people who are addicted tp drugs/alcohol are always looking for money to buy these substances. Some end up borrowing heavily from friends and family members, which ends up with strained relationships.
Whenever you walk into a rehabilitation program, you will likely find people introducing themselves based on their sobriety days. Such people will be indicating the last time they came into contact with a drug or alcohol. Are there any benefits associated with counting sobriety days? Let us explore the different merits and demerits for counting such days:
Good for motivation
Many people want to stop taking drugs or alcohol but they never get started. You can set your goals such as ‘go for 7 days without smoking’ if you are an addict. It will thus be easy to count the number of days since you had your last smoke and figure out if you are on the right path. Use a tool like this one here! You will thus feel like a champion when you go for seven days drugs-free. If you are in a group, you can thus compare the sobriety days and have some sort of healthy competition to help achieve your goals.
Marks a new beginning
People usually have important dates to remember in life. For instance, many people celebrate their birthdays as a remembrance of the day they came to this world. Some people hold anniversaries for weddings, the first meeting or even when a company was launched. Deciding to live a drug-free life is also a major decision that is worth remembrance. It is also useful if you are on some sort of medication as the medics can decide on the right types of doses that you need based on your sobriety progress.
Good for the community
Relapse is something that many addicts find themselves facing. Some people do not believe that they can go for a day without having that one drink. Sharing progress makes it easy for other people to recognize that they can as well change their habits. For instance, if someone who was addicted to alcohol for 15 years says that he has been sober for 2 years now, then an addict of 5 years will be motivated by the story and know that he can as well do it.
Good for your self-esteem
How many people do you know that have been isolated by society because of their drug addiction? It is a bigger number than you can imagine. You may even feel unworthy to meet new people or even interact with strangers as you fear that they will judge you harshly. Not many people will want to be associated with someone who is always smoking or looking for somewhere they can quench their thirst for a drink. The moment you start counting your sobriety days marks a new start. You will be confident about meeting new people who will not judge you based on your past.
Some people argue that counting the number of sobriety days is not worth it. The following are some of the instances when counting might hurt.
- When enforced by an outside authority. There are high chances that there will be some sort of rebellion if a government officer or a family member is forcing you to count the number of days that you have been sober. Counting should be a personal decision that comes from your heart.
- When you slip. Some people slip once and end up suffering from a full relapse. You may argue that you have already ‘lost’ a lot of time trying to be sober but end up slipping. You may thus feel as if all your efforts have gone down the drain.
- When you base your self-worth on the sobriety days. The day you decide to become sober marks a new beginning. However, this does not mean that the other days you had before this don’t make a difference in your life. Do not base your life so much on the sobriety days but on what you want to achieve at the end of the day.
Noting and counting down the sobriety days comes with loads of advantages as you can see from the above points. The fact that one gets motivated and knows that he or she is in the right direction is good enough to note these days down. Be ready to do some sacrifices if you want this journey to be fruitful.