Substance addiction to drugs like amphetamine is a disease with wide-ranging consequences. When people become addicted to drugs or alcohol, almost every area of life is touched in some way. Conversely, when people address addiction and begin to recover, life improvements are also seen in multiple domains. Benefits of living a substance-free life in recovery include the following:
- Improved health – Drug and alcohol abuse is hard on the body. In addition to living with the risk of a potentially fatal overdose, people suffering from addiction may have health problems in multiple organ systems. The National Institute on Drug Abuse notes that health problems associated with drugs include cardiovascular disease, hepatitis, stroke, lung disease, cancer and HIV/AIDS. Alcohol is associated with damage to the liver, heart, brain, pancreas and immune system and with at least five types of cancer.
Health improvements associated with recovery come both from the cessation of substance use and from the development of healthy habits. A 2013 survey conducted by Faces and Voices of Recovery reports that use of emergency rooms decreases ten-fold when people transition from active addiction to recovery. The survey also found that as recovery progresses, people increasingly engage in behaviors that maintain and improve their health, such as eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise.
- Increased emotional balance – Because the brain is housed in the body, many healthy behaviors that are part of a recovery lifestyle improve both physical and emotional health. In addition, people generally learn techniques in addiction treatment that help them recognize and manage their negative emotions. These include practices such as cognitive reframing, anger management, meditation and breathing exercises. Journaling can also be helpful. Attending regular support group meetings helps with many recovery goals and provides mentors and friends with whom to share struggles. The Faces and Voices survey states that in recovery untreated problems related to emotional and mental health are four times less than when addiction to drugs like amphetamine is ongoing.
- Greater financial stability – When people are suffering from addiction, a great deal of money often goes to purchasing drugs and alcohol. In recovery, that money is no longer being spent to feed the addiction. The rate of paying bills on time and paying back personal debt doubles. As time in recovery increases, people are more likely to report having good credit and less likely to report owing delinquent taxes. Addiction also interferes with the ability to hold a job. In recovery, the rate of steady employment increases by over 50 percent.
- Better interpersonal relationships – Addiction is hard on relationships. As drugs or alcohol increase in priority, other things fade in importance. People begin to feel neglected. Trust is eroded and people under the influence of psychoactive substances may act in violent ways or say things they wouldn’t otherwise say. The survey reports that in recovery, participation in family activities increases from 68% to 95 percent and the rate of domestic violence decreases dramatically.
- Decreased concerns about the future – When people are addicted to drugs like amphetamine or alcohol, it is often difficult for them to see beyond their immediate desires and needs. In recovery, it becomes possible to take a longer view. The rate of saving for retirement and otherwise planning for the future almost triples. People are also twice as likely to engage in job training or furthering their education. As time in recovery increases, so does the rate at which people start their own businesses. Worries about legal trouble are also eased. In recovery, involvement in illegal activities and involvement with the criminal justice system decreases about ten-fold.
- A stronger sense of purpose and involvement – A fulfilling life generally involves turning attention outward and focusing on the needs of others as well as personal ones. Faces and Voices reports that in recovery volunteering in the community almost triples. People are also much more likely to vote.
Every Journey Begins With a Single Step
Every journey, including the journey of addiction recovery from drugs like amphetamine, begins with a single step. Why not take that first step today? Call our toll-free helpline, and let us answer your questions. We can assist you in identifying your treatment options and finding the one that best meets your needs. We can even check your insurance coverage for you if you wish at no cost or obligation. The helpline is available 24 hours a day, so why put it off? Call now, and begin your new life.
 “Medical Consequences of Drug Abuse,” National Institute on Drug Abuse, December 2012, http://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/medical-consequences-drug-abuse (December 16, 2015).
 “Alcohol’s Effects on the Body,” National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/alcohols-effects-body (December 16, 2015).
 “First-Ever Nationwide Survey Documents Dramatic Improvements in All Areas of Life for People in Recovery from Addiction,” Faces and Voices of Recovery, April 25, 2013, http://www.facesandvoicesofrecovery.org/press/releases/2013/04/first-ever-nationwide-survey-documents-dramatic-improvements-all-areas-life (December 16, 2015).