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Addiction and Isolation are Closely Connected

Addiction and isolation are very closely related. Sometimes feelings of isolation can cause a person to turn to substance abuse, while long-term substance abuse and addiction can further exacerbate isolation.

This can easily lead a person feeling completely detached from the people around them, overall society and even themselves.

Addiction and isolation

Addiction and Isolation

When we isolate ourselves through substance abuse, we begin to lose touch with our own self-worth and start to question many aspects of ourselves, including whether we belong or whether anyone even cares about us.

This is often because we have feelings of guilt and shame that come with being addicted. It’s easier to hide and abuse substances than it is to do it out in the open.

As the grips of addiction begin to tighten around us, we also start eliminating anything that might stand in the way of using, including the people we care about and who care about us.

Addiction vs Connection

The longer we remain in the hands of addiction, the more we drift away from social interactions. We may feel judged; we tell ourselves that people don’t understand what we’re going through or we are too afraid to admit that we're in the middle of a battle with substance abuse.

Furthermore, our behaviours can be extremely destructive when we are addicted to drugs or alcohol. Our friends and family may have made several attempts to help or intervene, which have been met with false promises and lies.

These behaviours are not ours; they belong to our addiction. However, in the name of self-preservation, the people who have tried to help us begin to distance themselves from us.

This gradual process of losing connection to the ones we love can have devastating effects in the long run.

There is the belief that the opposite of addiction is not sobriety, but connection. To feel safe, loved and supported are some of the most fundamental human desires and these are all important parts of our general well-being.

Sometimes, when people don’t have these desires fulfilled, they use substances to synthesize their feelings of importance and self-worth, thereby creating a perpetual cycle of addiction and isolation.

The Importance of Social Connection

Social connection provides us with a sense of purpose; it allows us to be called upon in times of need, giving us the opportunity to help someone in need.

It makes us feel like we have a place in the network of life and encourages us to be the best version of ourselves that we can possibly be.

Connection helps us stay focused on our life goals and it makes us want to achieve great things so that we can make our friends and family proud.

Some say that human connection is also extremely beneficial for our physical health and well-being. For example, long and meaningful hugs have been said to release Oxycontin, which is a hormone that allows us to feel safe.

Simply by having a strong, loving connection with someone, the brain releases slightly more Oxycontin than normal, which further encourages trust, calmness and other pro-social behaviours.

Oxytocin is also responsible for reducing stress and anxiety which are often precursors for substance abuse.

Step Away - Rehabilitation Centre South Africa

Our team of compassionate staff is committed to delivering only the highest quality care for patients in addiction recovery.

For more information about our recovery programmes, please feel free to contact us.

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