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Friday, June 21, 2019

When Getting Sober Reveals Another Illness

As you settle into your sobriety, you may initially marvel at how much better you feel. Not only will you experience sharper mental clarity, but your time in an accredited drug and alcohol treatment facility will teach you how to reestablish a healthy sleep schedule, how to exercise and how to eat a balanced diet.

However, despite the initial burst of wellness you feel, you shouldn’t ignore the fact that prolonged drug and alcohol misuse takes a toll on your physical and emotional well-being. For some people, their addiction masks other health issues that only rise to the surface after they achieve sobriety. Here’s what you should be aware of.

Why Haven’t You Noticed This Problem Until Now?

Those in the grip of active addiction prioritize obtaining and using their substance of choice beyond all else. As the addiction worsens, they fail to keep up with other responsibilities. Those with behavioral or mood disorders like substance misuse and depression often ignore fundamental personal hygiene. They also avoid visiting the doctor or dentist because they want to hide the extent of their substance misuse. Because of factors like these, you may begin noticing health problems when you are sober that never appeared on your radar when you were actively drinking or using.

Drug Use Causes Health Issues

Long-term drug and alcohol use affects every major system in the body, weakening your immune system and putting you at a higher risk of developing an illness or infection. With prolonged drug or alcohol use, you may also develop conditions such as:
  • Heart arrhythmia
  • Liver damage
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Insomnia
  • Impaired decision-making ability
  • Anxiety or depression
The earlier you get your addiction under control, the sooner you will be able to work with health care providers to begin undoing the damage you did to your physical and mental health.

Prioritizing Your Health in Sobriety

Once you have moved out of your initial residential treatment phase, restoring your physical and mental well-being should be a fundamental part of your aftercare plan.
  • Visit your general practitioner. Make sure to be upfront with them about the fact that you have gone through a rehabilitation program. Ask for a full checkup, including screenings for any health problems you are at particular risk of.
  • Get a dental checkup. Your oral health and your overall wellness are more closely linked than you may have realized. Your dentist may be able to spot emerging health issues and alert you to them.
  • Make an appointment with a psychiatrist. Don’t neglect your mental health as part of your self-care strategy. By visiting a mental health professional, you can give yourself an outlet to talk about any emotional imbalances you are experiencing after achieving your sobriety.
  • Eat well. You are what you eat, after all. By cutting processed foods out of your diet in favor of fresh, colorful produce and lean protein sources, you’ll have more energy and will feel better about yourself. If you’re not sure where to get started, reach out to a nutritionist.

The Rest of Your Life Is Waiting for You

At Canyon Crossing, we are here to help you achieve lifelong freedom from drugs and alcohol with our women’s-only treatment program in Prescott, AZ. You deserve to discover your full potential, and our comprehensive programming will teach you how to live a rewarding life outside the cycle of addiction. Contact us to begin the admissions process today.

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