You’ve heard that voice, “C’mon, go ahead and have a (insert your drug of choice here).” That voice always has at least one really good reason to use. At those times, you may struggle to resist the urge to use. The purpose of this article is to help you fight that addictive voice by giving you ten good reasons to stop using and get into recovery.
1. To save lives
There are more deaths and disabilities annually from substance abuse than from any other cause. Some statistics:
- According to the Center for Disease Control, drugs or alcohol contribute to about 40% of traffic fatalities. That’s one substance-related death every 31 minutes.
- Over 40% of home fire deaths are people with high blood alcohol levels.
- Approximately 25% of all emergency room admissions, over 30% of all suicides, and more than 50% of all homicides and domestic violence incidents are alcohol-related.
2. To stop crime
According to a 2019 study, 65% of arrested or imprisoned adults and juvenile offenders have substance use problems. One study found that 86% of homicide offenders, 37% of assault offenders were drinking during their crime. In domestic violence arrests, 57% of men and 27% of women involved were drinking at the time, either as the victim or the perpetrator.
3. To protect your health
Because chemical substances can affect many organs in the body, using over a long period of time or in increasing quantities leads to a gradual breakdown of virtually every organ and system in the body and results in serious, often fatal, health consequences. It is important to note that studies indicate that women tend to develop substance-related health problems after consuming smaller quantities over shorter periods of time than men. Once you get into recovery, your body begins to heal, sometimes without permanent damage.
4. To protect your unborn children
The harmful effects of prenatal drug and alcohol use on the physical, mental, and emotional development of children are devastating.
- Alcohol use by pregnant women is the number one preventable cause of retardation in children. According to the CDC, between 1,300 – 8,000 babies are born in the U.S. with fetal alcohol syndrome, which causes a cluster of physical and mental birth defects. Often these children need medical care all their lives.
- Other less well-known academic and social effects include:
- Attention deficit disorders.
- Poor social judgment.
- Delayed or damaged emotional development.
- Significant IQ deficits – one study indicated that for every two additional drinks consumed by the mother, there was a 3-point reduction in IQ score for her children.
- Increased risk of depression in children as young as 5, regardless of how the mothers treat their children or whether the mother stopped drinking. Girls are more seriously impacted than boys, especially when their mothers also experience depressive symptoms.
5. To protect your child’s emotional health
Many parents get into recovery while the mother is pregnant but begin using again shortly after. It is estimated that there are over nine million children who are currently living with a parent who is chemically dependent. Effects on the lives of these children are profound.
- A child has an 8 times greater chance of developing an addiction if their parents use drugs or alcohol.
- Child abuse cases doubled from 1986 to 1997. The number one contributing factor is parental substance abuse.
6. To protect your teens
In addition to the problems related to addiction listed in this article, teens are vulnerable to other problems:
- Over 80 percent of college presidents consider alcohol abuse to be the number one problem on campus.
- Teens under 15 who have ever consumed alcohol are twice as likely to have sex as those who have not.
- Nearly 40% of sexually active teens who use alcohol have had sexual intercourse with four or more individuals, greatly increasing their risk for sexually transmitted diseases.
- In 53% of the cases of teen rape, the victim was drinking; the offender was drinking in 64% of these cases.
7. To protect your family
Over 1/3 of all American adults say that drug and alcohol abuse have brought trouble to his or her family. Chemical abuse and dependence often lead to marital conflict and divorce as well as social alienation because of using-related misbehavior. Sometimes the threat of divorce motivates people to get into recovery; many times it is too late to save your marriage.
8. To protect your job
Substance abuse increases the rates of absenteeism, work-related accidents, errors in judgment, legal expenses, health claims, and decreased productivity. Don’t wait until you lose your job or have an accident to get into recovery.
9. To save money
Untreated addiction creates more financial hardship on the addict’s family than heart disease, diabetes, and cancer combined. Other costs to the addict include increased debt, loss of home, legal expenses, and financial problems related to poor decision-making.
10. To save tax dollars
Alcohol and drug abuse costs the American economy an estimated $1.45 trillion per year in lost productivity, health care expenditures, crime, motor vehicle crashes, and other conditions. A conservative estimate is that state governments spend more than $81 billion dollars per year in substance related services.
From a government website: According to several conservative estimates, every dollar invested in addiction treatment programs yields a return of between $4 and $7 in reduced drug-related crime, criminal justice costs, and theft. When you include savings related to healthcare, total savings can exceed costs by a ratio of 12 to 1. Major savings to the individual and to society also stem from fewer interpersonal conflicts; greater workplace productivity; and fewer drug-related accidents, including overdoses and deaths.
If you would like help getting clean, we have several therapists who are experienced in drug and alcohol related illnesses. Please contact us today. We are here to help.