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Stopping Drugs and Alcohol: 8 Benefits of Quitting Addiction

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Imagine embarking on a transformative journey, one where you reclaim control over your life and begin sowing seeds for a healthier future. Overcoming addiction isn’t just about the risks of substance use. It’s about the positive ripple effects that stopping drugs and alcohol can have on your physical health, mental well-being, and relationships. Ready to explore this road less taken?

Short Summary

  • Understand Substance Use Disorders and recognize signs of abuse to take proactive steps.

  • Develop healthier habits, seek support & prepare for withdrawal symptoms to quit drugs/alcohol successfully.

  • Embrace the power of new hobbies, practice mindfulness & relaxation techniques for improved physical/mental health + better relationships.

Understanding Substance Use Disorders

                                                               A person struggling with drug abuse

Substance use disorders, a group of conditions related to the use of drugs or alcohol, carry a major impact on your life. They encompass drug abuse, alcohol abuse, and addiction. However, seeking help and starting your journey towards recovery can bring positive changes to your life. It’s important to remember that each disorder is a unique challenge, and understanding the different types between them is the first step towards freedom.

These disorders can have a detrimental effect on mental health, potentially leading to an increased risk of depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand how to recognize the signs of substance abuse and the connection between substance use and mental illness.

Recognizing the signs of substance abuse

Physical changes such as bloodshot eyes, changes in appetite or sleep patterns, and deterioration of physical appearance can be signs of substance abuse. It’s crucial to be proactive in identifying these signs not only in yourself but also in your loved ones.

If you or a loved one find yourselves grappling with drug dependence, dealing with withdrawal symptoms, or engaging in risky behaviors that compromise your well-being, it might be a clear sign that addictive substances have started to pose a problem. Acknowledging these warning signs marks the initial stride towards seeking expert outpatient treatment in Greenville, and ultimately paving the way for a positive and transformative journey in life.

The connection between substance use and mental illness

Substance use can lead to the emergence or exacerbation of serious mental illnesses such as depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. People who use substances to self-medicate may be at a heightened risk of developing a co-occurring disorder, a mental health disorder that can occur alongside a substance use disorder.

It’s important to understand this connection to better address the root cause of the addiction and seek the right treatment.

Strategies for Quitting Drugs and Alcohol

                                                                A person quitting drugs and alcohol

Stopping substance use may seem like a daunting task, but with the right strategies, a life of sobriety is within reach. Seeking support can be invaluable, providing the right tools and guidance for addressing drug use. By taking a look at your drug use and seeking support are great steps to make a positive change and address drug use.

Overcoming addiction is not just about quitting drugs or alcohol, but also about replacing these substances with healthier habits and coping mechanisms. This involves preparing for withdrawal symptoms and finding the right treatment options, which we will delve into in the following sections.

Preparing for withdrawal symptoms

Withdrawal is a challenging phase in the journey towards sobriety. During this period, you may experience difficulty sleeping, irritability, mood swings, depression, anxiety, physical discomfort, and fatigue. However, managing these symptoms safely can significantly reduce the risk of relapse and make the quitting process much more comfortable and successful for you.

Speaking to a professional before stopping use suddenly is crucial to manage withdrawal symptoms in a careful and secure manner. Detoxification is an important first step in tackling substance abuse. It helps clear the body of drugs, as well as manage withdrawal symptoms.

Finding the right treatment options

Treatment options for drug addiction are as diverse as the individuals seeking them. Medications can be part of an effective treatment plan to manage withdrawal symptoms and prevent relapse. They can also help treat any co-occurring mental health conditions including depression and anxiety. However, it’s also important to remember the potential risks of prescription drug abuse and to seek alternatives whenever possible.

Long-term follow-up can also be essential in helping people stay on track with their sobriety and avoid relapse. Remember, the best treatment option is one tailored to your unique needs and circumstances, and choosing it involves open discussion with your healthcare provider.

Building a Support Network for Recovery

                                                     A family member supporting a person in recovery

One of the most significant pillars of recovery is having a robust support network. This network can include therapists, friends and family, self-help groups, healthcare providers, and any other relationships that can help you along your journey.

Close friends and family members can be a valuable part of your support system, offering encouragement and understanding during your journey of addiction recovery.

Leaning on family members and friends

Family and friends can play a pivotal role in your recovery journey. Open and honest communication about your struggles can help them understand what you are going through and provide the support you need. They can also provide resources and support groups that can assist in your recovery journey.

Family therapy can also be an invaluable resource in the recovery process. It can provide insight into understanding the addiction and how it affects family members, as well as how to best support the person in recovery.

Connecting with others in recovery

Connecting with others in recovery can be a powerful tool in your journey to sobriety. It can help you stay on track, reduce the risk of relapse, and benefit from the collective wisdom of the group. Regular in-person support groups or online meetings can empower you to prevent relapse and helps you other about others’ stories of quitting alcohol.

Joining a 12-step recovery support group, such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA), can be a truly empowering experience. “Studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of 12-step groups for the treatment of substance abuse following treatment and prior research of 12-step groups has shown reductions in alcohol and drug use,” as stated by peer-reviewed scientific study. (Benefits of peer support groups in the treatment of addiction, Tracy, Wallace, 2016)

With these groups you can gain insight from the shared experiences of the group members and learn how others have stayed sober.

Healthy Coping Mechanisms for Stress and Cravings

                                                        A person developing new hobbies and interests

Coping with stress and cravings is a crucial part of overcoming addiction. Developing healthy coping mechanisms can help you manage these challenges without resorting to substance use. This can involve developing new hobbies and interests and practicing mindfulness and relaxation techniques.

These activities can help you stay focused on your recovery goals and provide a distraction from cravings.

Developing new hobbies and interests

New hobbies and interests can serve as powerful distractions, replacing substance use with rewarding and fulfilling activities. This can range from learning a musical instrument, a foreign language, or trying a new sport.

These activities can not only keep your mind engaged, but also help you build a sense of accomplishment and self-worth.

Practicing mindfulness and relaxation techniques

A person practicing mindfulness and relaxation techniques as a way of stopping drugs and alcohol addiction.

Mindfulness and relaxation techniques can be a great way to reduce stress and increase self-awareness. Techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, progressive muscle relaxation, visualization, and others can help activate the relaxation response, leading to a decrease in stress and cravings.

Something as simple as focus on your breathing, manifesting or visualizing scenarios on how quitting alcohol changed my life, can help you stay motivated on this journey. These techniques can be used in a variety of settings, from the comfort of your own home.

Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Quitting

                                   A person experiencing improved heart health and reduced disease risk

Quitting substance use can bring about numerous positive impacts on both your physical and mental health. This includes looking younger, losing weight, rejuvenating the body, having healthier skin, improving physical health, boosting self-esteem, and enjoying healthier relationships.

Most of your organs like stomach and liver will start recovering when you quit alcohol consumption after prolonged use. Moreover, it can lead to a more joyful, liberated, and healthier life, free from the burden of negative consequences.

Improved heart health and reduced disease risk

By quitting drugs and alcohol, you reduce the risk of developing heart disease, liver problems, and various types of cancers. Having a healthier heart can result in better blood circulation, a lower risk of heart disease, enhanced physical fitness, and lower blood pressure. Quit drinking and you’ll experience these benefits too.

Moreover, quitting can also open up exciting new possibilities for having more money and being able to pay bills and afford things that you may have thought were out of reach.

Enhanced self-esteem and emotional stability

Quitting drugs and alcohol can also have a profound impact on your mental health. It can empower you to restore your self-esteem and create a more positive sense of self.

Enhanced self-esteem can bring about numerous positive outcomes, such as improved mental health, better relationships, greater resilience, enhanced social skills, and increased confidence.

Strengthening Relationships After Quitting

Stopping substance use can also lead to healthier, more fulfilling relationships with friends and family members. By prioritizing relationships over addiction, you can have more meaningful conversations and spend more quality time together.

Rebuilding trust and strengthening these relationships after quitting addiction is an achievable goal with patience, humility, honesty, and consistently keeping your word.

Overcoming Relapse and Maintaining Sobriety

The journey towards sobriety is not always a straight path. Relapse is a common part of the process, but it’s crucial to view it as an opportunity rather than a failure. A relapse can provide valuable insight into your past attempts, recognize potential triggers, and adjust your treatment plan accordingly.

Being aware of the various factors that can trigger a relapse is critical to staying on track. Identifying and addressing these triggers can help you stay on the path to sobriety and prevent sobriety.


At Lantana Recovery we understand that overcoming addiction is a transformative journey that goes beyond quitting substance use. It’s about cultivating healthier habits, building a strong support network, managing stress and cravings, and reaping the numerous physical and mental health benefits of sobriety. Each step, each stumble, and each success on this journey brings you closer to a healthier, more fulfilling life.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the 3 steps of overcoming addiction?

Take charge of your recovery by progressing through the five steps of addiction recovery: precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action and maintenance. Commit to the process, stay motivated and don’t give up!

Recovery is a journey that requires dedication and perseverance. It is important to remember that you are in control of your own recovery and that you have the power to make positive changes in your life. Set realistic goals and take action.

What happens when you get rid of addiction?

When addiction is addressed, drug withdrawal symptoms can resolve within one week, and other effects such as irritability, anxiety and insomnia can linger for up to a month.

Quitting drugs can lead to many positive changes in your life!

What is a long term benefit of quitting dependence on drugs?

Quitting drug dependency can lead to a longer, healthier life. Reduced risk of heart attack and liver problems are just some of the long-term benefits to look forward to from abstaining from drugs and alcohol.

How many days are required to get rid of addiction?

Breaking an addiction can take anywhere between 21 and 260 days, depending on the severity of the addiction and how dedicated the patient is to getting rid of it.

This process will be a journey of self-healing in the first few weeks or months.

What are some common signs of substance abuse?

Physical and behavioral changes such as bloodshot eyes, changes in appetite or sleep patterns, deterioration of physical appearance, extreme personality change, changes in attendance or performance at work or school, and depression and anxiety can all be signs of substance abuse.

These changes can be difficult to spot, but it is important to be aware of them and to take action if you suspect someone is struggling with substance abuse. It is important to talk to the person and seek professional help if necessary.

Substance abuse can have serious consequences, both for the person struggling with substance abuse.


Warren Phillips

Warren is a Licensed Master Social Worker, who specializes in substance abuse and mental health treatment. Clinically, Warren has developed a therapeutic skillset that utilizes a strengths-based perspective, Twelve Step philosophies, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Motivational Interviewing.

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Charleston South Carolina

Charleston South Carolina

Located on the historic peninsula of Charleston, South Carolina, Lantana Recovery takes a modern approach to Substance Use Disorder treatment, offering intensive clinical care while also immersing our clients in local Charleston culture.