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The Health Benefits of Sobriety Are Physical and Emotional

Medically Reviewed by Fritz L. Hershey, PsyD, MFT on February 03, 2021
From healthier-looking skin to increased mental stability, here are the health benefits of sobriety.

If you or someone you know have struggled with addiction, committing to sobriety presents the best chance for living your happiest, healthiest life.

"When people get sober they sleep better, have more energy, and can think more clearly," says Dr. Dr. Brian Wind, Ph.D., Chief Clinical Officer at JourneyPure. "Best of all, sober people aren't damaging nearly every part of their bodies on a daily basis and aren't waking up with hangovers or withdrawals."

Sobriety isn't and won't be easy. Some benefits will be noticeable immediately, while others take time. If you have a substance abuse problem you may initially go through physical symptoms of withdrawal, but the benefits of sobriety certainly outweigh any potentially negative effects of withdrawal.

Physical benefits

  • Increased general health
  • Improved mental clarity (focus, critical thinking, memory)
  • Longer and deeper sleep
  • Increased energy
  • Healthier skin and complexion
  • Decreased risk of long-term health issues including cancer
  • Better weight management and eating habits

"The before and after photos depicting recovery from substance use are very compelling," says Dr. Lori Ryland, Chief Clinical Officer at Pinnacle Treatment Centers. "As substance use reduces, you begin taking better care of yourself by eating healthy instead of using, better activity, and often better healthcare adherence in comparison to periods of use."

While sobriety will have a positive effect on your physical well-being, the benefits are equally as important to your emotional state. Emotional stability—which affects everything from your relationships, motivation, and general mood—will vastly improve.

"In general, an individual is significantly more emotionally stable and balanced in recovery than during an active addiction," says Dr. Dean Drosnes, Medical Director at Caron Treatment Centers. "People in recovery may still experience anxiety and depression at times. However, quality treatment providers teach patients how to manage these issues in a healthy and empowering way."

Emotional benefits

  • Increased confidence
  • Emotional stability
  • Better overall well-being
  • Improved relationships
  • More motivation
  • Depression relief
  • Anxiety relief

"With all these benefits, sobriety is a clear choice for overall improved physical and mental health," says Dr. Steven Ey, chief of service for the Hoag Addiction Treatment Centers.

Understanding Addiction: General Information