Telomeres Tell All: Addiction And Alcoholism Age You Faster
By: Design for Change Recovery
People look more youthful after they get sober. Before and after transformations are absolutely mind blowing. Cosmetic surgeries, products, supplements, and diets cannot achieve the sparkle of hope, the glow of confidence, and the thousand watt smile that appears on a recovering addict or alcoholic face. Those who face addiction are facing something much greater. They are defying odds stacked against them which have a greater favor toward their death or serious injury rather than their recovery. People who recover are coming back from the darkest areas of life one can imagine, weary from the travel, but stronger for their experience. Recovery is a feat of the impossible. It shows in their eyes, their skin tone, the elasticity of their skin, their muscles, and their overall wellness. That is because addiction is a sickness, not a crime or a moral issue. Recovery isn’t about getting “good” it’s about becoming well again.
Addiction affects the body, the mind, and the spirit, right down to a cellular level. It’s in the telomeres that the effect of addiction on the body is the most obvious. Telomeres are a tiny part of our genetic code that are at the tip of the chromosome. Think of a q-tip, for example. Stress of alcohol and drug abuse have been attributed to changes in the length of telomeres, which creates a more rapid aging process. Part of the reason people look decades younger than they have before after they get sober is because they are recovering on a cellular level. Their telomeres are repairing themselves and reversing the aging effect that drug and alcohol abuse can have on DNA.
Cell renewal starts to occur when drugs and alcohol are taken out of the picture and direct damage isn’t being done to the cells anymore. After the body detoxes much of the color and pigmentation in skin starts to return. The real change is the twinkle in someone’s eye. Sometimes it is described as watching “the lights come on” in someone. Hope, promise, freedom, confidence, belief, and faith all come back to them and lift their spirits, help them feel more optimistic, and has a cellular affect. When someone who didn’t have a hope for staying sober is able to find sobriety in their lives, they are changed at their innermost level.
The first step, according to “The Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, takes place when we “fully concede to our innermost selves that we were alcoholics.” Innermost can mean thoughts and feelings that are private and deep. Our first step, our innermost concession, can also mean the “furthest and; closest to the center”. Nothing is farther inside of ourselves than our very DNA. When we take step one and fully concede to our innermost selves we are alcoholic and that our lives have become unmanageable, we are making a genetic, cellular confession and changing our lives more than one step at a time one day at a time, but one cell- one telomere- at a time.
There is hope for you in recovery. Freedom is a promise. Design For Change offers a life changing treatment experience for men and women seeking refuge from addiction. For information on our treatment programs and recovery services, call us today: (877) 267-3646