Some people drink or take mind-altering drugs because they feel stressed and feel like they need to relax. Others do so because they want to be social with friends or because they feel like they are too uptight in social situations if they are sober. These are only a few of the many reasons why you may regularly reach for drugs and alcohol. While these may sound like good reasons to continue with your behavior, there are even better reasons why you should make an effort to be sober.
Alcohol and drugs can wreak havoc on your health. You may know that you feel a bit hungover or fatigued the day after you binge. However, you cannot see the damage that your lifestyle is having on your long-term health. For example, regular or extreme alcohol consumption can severely damage your liver, and it can even lead to a very painful death if the behavior continues. Alcohol consumption is also linked to obesity, diabetes and other issues. When you make an effort to be sober for even a few weeks initially, you may notice that you feel so much better than you have for months or even years previously.
A Safer Driving Experience
Approximately 1.1 million people were arrested in 2015 on a driving under the influence charge. Keep in mind that these were only the individuals who were caught, and there likely were many others who were not caught driving under the influence. Studies and statistics have shown that you are more likely to be involved in an accident when you drive impaired. It takes very little alcohol or drugs to alter your state of mind and to interfere with your ability to drive safely. In addition, when you are in an altered state, you may not be able to think clearly to decide whether or not you should drive or ask a friend for a ride. Instead, you may simply hop behind the wheel or get in the car with a driver who is under the influence.
The Safety of Others
Remember that you are not the only person who can be impacted by your decision to drive under the influence. You could always hit pedestrians, cyclists or other motorists while you are driving under the influence. This could result in serious injury or even death, and you may have to live with the emotional and financial impact of this. In addition, even when you are not driving, your altered state of mind could put others at risk. Consider that you may need to care for your children while you are drunk or on drugs. These are children who may depend on you to care and provide for them, but you are not in any condition to do so when you have been using drugs or alcohol.
Your Influence on Your Children
Children notice when you are not your usual self. They may learn that your behavior is normal or that it is even expected. Children may also see that this is a reasonable and healthy way to cope with stress and to act in social situations. Your influence on your children can impact them for decades or even for their lifetime. It can affect their health and well-being, their safety on the road and more. You understandably want to be a good role model for your children, so you must set a healthy example.
The Health of Your Relationships
Alcohol and drugs can cause you to do and say things that you otherwise would not do or say. These factors can strain your relationships with your spouse and other family members. These people who are close to you may learn that they cannot rely on you, and they may lose respect for you. In some cases, your loved ones may decide that they do not condone your behavior and want nothing to do with you going forward.
If you have experienced any of these outcomes or if you are concerned about the possibilities, now is the time to get sober. Remember that there are many resources and support services or groups that you can use to improve this aspect of your life. Your effort to get sober can have beneficial impacts on you and on others in your life.