The Many Advantages of Living a Sober Lifestyle

Mother and Son

One of the reasons many people hesitate about living a sober life is that they fear they will be missing out on things. There is a lie that too many people have bought into that drugs or alcohol are a necessary way to have fun. If anything, substance abuse is what causes us to miss out on opportunities in life, not sobriety.

A list that contained all of the benefits of living a sober lifestyle could go on forever but to save us all some time we’ll stick to these ones for now.

Improved physical health.

Drugs and alcohol wreak havoc on a person’s body and cause all sorts of health problems. When a person quits drinking and using, their body begins to heal and they begin to experience increased health.

The ability to handle life on life’s terms.

There is something that is empowering about being able to work through the ups and downs of life without the use of drugs or alcohol to cope. A person who doesn’t need to rely on toxic substances to work through their problems is someone who is truly free.

Freedom from social crutches.

Some people can’t imagine going to a social event without a drink in their hand. This is a very sad way to live. By learning to be comfortable in one’s own skin without needing anything else to do so, a person is better able to connect with others.

Coworkers at work

Improved mental health.

Substance abuse exacerbates negative emotions. Whether it’s guilt and shame from lying about drug use, stealing to support a habit or even just the rollercoaster of getting high and coming down, drugs take a toll on a person mentally. Over time a person in recovery is able to regain control of their mental health and establish stability in their lives.

The ability to inspire others.

There is something very inspirational about a person who has overcome a substance abuse problem. Anyone who doesn’t think so doesn’t understand addiction. By sharing our stories of recovery we are able to inspire others to do the same and give hope to those who are still suffering.

Freedom from chemical dependence.

Not having to ingest something just to feel normal or not get sick is a wonderful thing. Let’s face it, every addiction will eventually lead to the point where it simply becomes “maintenance” and it is no longer fun. How wonderful it is to wake up and not have to worry about how to get that next fix.

Improved emotional well being.

Much like mental health, a person’s emotions will take a beating when they are caught up in a life of addiction. Mood swings, cravings, and desperation are all normal aspects of living a life of active addiction. Once a person is able to kick their habit and put in the work needed to get better they will begin to experience emotional equilibrium.

The ability to overcome adversity.

Addiction recovery is not easy but it makes a person stronger, more appreciative and better able to face any challenge that life throws at them. Make no mistake, people who are in recovery are not only survivors, they are conquerors.

Freedom from the habitual need to lie.

Addiction causes people to lie. Unless someone has completely cut themselves off from every other person on the planet there is no way around it. It’s not always intentional, it’s just a side effect of the situation. A life of recovery is built around honesty, and it feels so great to no longer have to keep track of the lies, or worry about someone uncovering the truth.

Improved mornings.

No more waking up with hangovers or watching the sunrise knowing it will be a terrible day after being up all night. No more having to figure out how to scrounge up enough money to get high. No more having to fight through the day just to get to that next drink.

Father and Daughter

The ability to be fully present.

It is impossible for someone to be fully aware of their life or available to those who they love while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Habitually going through withdrawal or having a hangover steals away precious time from life. When a person adopts a sober lifestyle they are better able to fully experience what life has to offer.

Freedom from constant guilt and shame.

Substance abuse makes people say and do things they normally never would have if they had not been under the influence. Continually waking up after a blackout and hearing about all the embarrassing things that were done the night before is a hard way to live. Having to lie, cheat and steal to support a habit adds fuel to the fire of the desire to use. Escaping from these constant emotions and way of life provides a sense of peace that cannot be beaten.

Improved finances.

Addiction can take everything away from a person including their money. When a drug really has a hold on a person they will devote all of their resources towards getting their next fix despite the negative consequences that will occur. When addiction is removed from the equation a person has taken a vital step towards fixing their finances.

The ability to build more meaningful relationships.

As hurtful as it may be to realize, drinking and using buddies are usually just fair-weather friends. Sure you may have had a lot of good times with them but when the going gets tough they probably won’t stick around. When we are able to build deeper relationships we learn the true meaning of friendship.

Woman in hammock at the beach

Freedom from the slavery of addiction.

Even if there are fun moments here and there, a life of addiction becomes a life of chemical slavery. It is a rollercoaster ride with more downs than ups—a life of misery and pain that puts drugs above all else. The most important benefit of living a life of sobriety is being able to finally break away from it all and experience what it really means to live free.



After overcoming her own addiction in 2012 Julie went on to become certified as an addiction counselor in order to help others achieve a life of recovery. She worked in the addiction field for 8 years and now uses both her personal and professional experiences with addiction as an influence for her writing.