What happens when you stop using drugs is multi-fold. You will likely experience changes in your mind, body, and your day-to-day life. Alumni who received treatment at The Freedom Center have expressed all sorts of changes happening in them or around them after they stopped using drugs. Some found the strength to leave a toxic relationship, while others salvaged their marriages. Some expressed improvements in their anxiety and others became leaders in their community.
Every individual’s journey is different, but there are certain changes that are most common among many people who struggled with drug use but stopped. These include:
1. Going Through Withdrawal
The first thing that happens when you stop using drugs is you go through withdrawal. Some people experience an array of physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms, where are others may only have the social and emotional aspect to deal with. Non-the-less, just about every user must overcome some level of withdrawal before they begin to experience the benefits of sobriety.
2. The Mind Getting Clearer
Possibly one of the most common things that people in recovery comment on is that they feel like their mind is clearer like the fog has lifted. That they can see the world in a new, more logical way. When the mind is not clouded by drugs, it is able to make better and more certain decisions.
3. An Increase In Efficiency And Effectiveness At Work
Probably tied to the clarity of mind, there are usually improvements in how one functions at work. Although individuals who were previously reliant specifically on stimulants may not feel as focused, they will be more level headed and healthy in their work habits.
4. The Heart Getting Healthier
Drug use puts significant stress on the heart. Once any drugs have left the body, the heart can begin to heal. Over time, the risk of heart disease or heart failure due to substance abuse may go down.
5. The Liver Healing
The heart is not the only major organ that heals when drug use stops. The liver is responsible for processing toxins, and it is also extremely resilient. In most cases, the liver can completely heal over time.
6.Losing Or Gaining Weight
Alcohol is a high-calorie substance that when consumed in large amounts can lead to weight gain. When you stop drinking, it is likely to experience weight loss. On the other hand, drugs such as cocaine cause weight loss. With that, some people actually lose weight when in recovery. Whichever way it goes, it is typically the body returning to a normal and healthy weight.
7. Relationships Improving
When the focus is not on drug use, users are able to make time for their loved ones. Additionally, treatment therapies can help you learn to connect with others on a deeper emotional level. These are just a few reasons why people often see significant improvements in their relationships while they are in recovery.
8. Increased Libido
Some substances greatly reduce libido, and you may find that the desire to have sex returns during recovery. This probably doesn’t hurt in terms of healing romantic relationships either.
9. Better Sleep
Drugs can interfere with your circadian rhythm, making it difficult to get quality sleep. Although insomnia may be a symptom of withdrawal, over time the consensus is that individuals in recovery are able the get much better sleep than when they were using.
10. Stronger Immune System
When the body no longer has to work as hard on processing the toxins that drug use introduces to the body, it is able to become strong again and fight off infections easier.
We would be lying if we said that every individual’s life in recovery is roses and rainbows. Many people relapse, struggle to heal broken relationships or experience post-acute withdrawal syndrome. However, while admitted to the Freedom Center, we help our clients work through various aspects of their lives and create a plan for success. This includes how to effectively approach loved ones who have been affected by your drug use, how to avoid or overcome triggers, and how to make healthy lifestyle choices. With the right tools and the right support, long term recovery is easier to obtain. The only way to achieve the positive benefits of recovery is to do it.