Consciously refraining from drug and/or alcohol consumption can be helpful in improving mental health. As you are probably aware, mental health issues and substance abuse often go hand-in-hand. The terms ‘co-occurring disorders’ or ‘dual diagnosis’ are often used in psychological circles to describe this pattern.
Many people begin to drink or take other drugs to cover up the way they are feeling. At first, some people do get relief from symptoms such as depression or anxiety, as it’s been shown that certain substances may in fact release serotonin, which makes the person feel much better. The problem is, the person then is at risk to become dependent on this rush of the feel-good neurotransmitter and then rapidly deplete their supply.
Ceasing intake of alcohol and drugs has been known to improve mental health quickly, mostly due to the fact that toxins are no longer entering the body. The liver can begin the process of cleaning up and removing harmful toxins that have built up and caused inflammation, which may have compounded the initial reasons for imbibing.
Sobriety can allow space for a clear mind to face and feel emotions that have been previously avoided.
If you are interested in learning about the biochemical factors involved in addiction, a wonderful book is: Seven Weeks to Sobriety: The Proven Program to Fight Alcoholism Through Nutrition by Joan Mathews Larson, PhD.
This blog entitled “Depression and Addiction,” provides several resources as well.
A psychological approach that may appeal to those who wish to approach sobriety from a cognitive viewpoint is Jason Vale’s Kick The Drink… Easily!
Sober Instagram inspiration:
Do you have other sobriety resources that you’d like to share? Please leave a comment below!