It’s important to connect with others in recovery to have a support system and not relapse back into the loneliness of drug addiction which is often a lonely disease and isolated existence. Isolating and being lonely have an overwhelming effect on alcoholism and addiction. Studies show that people who feel lonely or more socially isolated deal with increased substance abuse and mental health issues. In the interim, addiction and alcoholism may also cause isolation. Many people turn to substances because they are lonely, and many people are lonely because they are addicted to substances.
Isolation in Addiction Recovery
Once a person decides to get help for their addiction, it’s really hard to break bad habits. One of those bad habits in isolation. It is dangerous to isolate when in recovery from addiction. Loneliness and isolation are very common contributors to relapsing. When a person is alone their minds tend to wander and negative thoughts start filling their heads. This makes it very difficult to stay motivated and keep away from the shame and guilt that are associated with substance abuse. It is critical to avoid isolation in recovery, especially in early recovery.
Importance of Making Connections While Sober
Social connection plays a huge role perhaps the most important role in recovery from addiction. Having a great support system makes all the difference in contributing to the success of a person’s long-term recovery. A good support system consists of family, friends, and others that are in recovery from addiction. The National Institute of Health “Benefits of peer support groups in the treatment of addiction” discusses the benefits of peer support in substance abuse disorders.
Peer support can be defined as the process of giving and receiving nonprofessional, nonclinical assistance from individuals with similar conditions or circumstances to achieve long-term recovery from psychiatric, alcohol, and/or other drug-related problems. Historically, peer support has been shown to be a key component of many existing addiction treatment and recovery approaches such as the community reinforcement approach, therapeutic communities, and 12-step programs;the community reinforcement approach has demonstrated the importance of valued social roles in maintaining abstinence, which is the foundation of the peer support relationship. (NIH)
Healthy relationships lower stress, provide security, promote a positive self-image, and offer acceptance. The social connection theory of addiction says that recovery is more likely when people are surrounded by others. Staying sober is ultimately up to individual choice, however, there is strong evidence that suggests staying involved in the community decreases the likelihood of relapse. Support groups help alleviate mental health symptoms and offer people the chance to embrace what some may consider as being the most shameful things they have done in their addictions. Also having others that can identify with your same struggles is liberating.
How to Build Connections in Sobriety
Building connections and conversation helps people to overcome negative thinking, recognize their problems no matter how big and pervasive, and accept their struggles. Connection gives people a place to breathe and reconnect. How does one build healthy connections in recovery? The first way is by finding and attending support groups. Attending AA and NA meetings regularly is a great way to build relationships. Attending workshops or volunteering in your community is another great way to meet people and make connections. Group therapy meetings within a treatment facility are another way to develop relationships. Having a small group of friends that you can call each day that will keep you accountable is also very important. When building connections in recovery, it’s important to use your judgment. Not everyone wants what’s best for you, even some people in the rooms of AA and NA. If you meet someone and feel like they could potentially bring you down, stay away from them. Only surround yourself with good, positive people that are strong in their recovery.
Recovering From Substance Abuse
Evoke Wellness Coconut Creek is a premier treatment facility committed to providing the best care for anyone battling drug and alcohol addiction. Your safety and comfort are our top priority, and life in sobriety is our primary mission. Our team of professionals is some of the most experienced, compassionate, non-judgmental, and understanding people in the addiction field. We will treat you with the kindness and respect you deserve and help you start healing and moving forward on your path to long-term recovery. Help is only one phone call away. Give us a call today for professional addiction treatment.