Loneliness and isolation are so common among men and women suffering from addiction that they could be considered prerequisites for substance abuse. Drugs and alcohol become a substitute for the social interaction and approval that we crave, but ultimately exacerbate our feelings of loneliness and tendencies to isolate from others. Even in sobriety, loneliness can be painful and cause us to consider finding solace in drugs and alcohol once again. For this reason, fellowship, meetings, and involvements with the recovery community are highly recommended to an individual attempting to recover from addiction and alcoholism. Alcoholics Anonymous, in Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, explains, “Almost without exception, alcoholics are tortured by loneliness. Even before our drinking got bad and people began to cut us off, nearly all of us suffered the feelings that we didn’t quite belong. Either we were shy, and dared not draw near others, or we were apt to be noisy good fellows craving attention and companionship, but never getting it—at least to our way of thinking.” We often relied on drugs and alcohol as a way to allow us to interact socially with others without the omnipresent fear of rejection in the back of our minds. When we felt our social needs were not meant, substances stopped being a way to increase our sociability and began to act as an entire replacement for our social lives. Dr. Shahram Heshmat, in a 2014 Psychology Today article entitled Addiction as a Disease of Isolation, explains that attachment anxiety can be a catalyst for addiction: “Anxious attachment is related to substance abuse. For example, insecure attachment among college students was associated both with alcohol consumption in order to cope with stress. Avoidant individuals, who attempt to detach themselves from psychological distress, can use alcohol and drugs as a means of avoiding painful emotions and self-awareness.” When we feel like our social needs are not met, we become reclusive and depend more and more on alcohol and drugs to cope with the stress of loneliness. In recovery, however, we find that there exists an entire community of likeminded people who understand our struggles and can provide the true social support that we have always desired.
Your story doesn’t have to be one of loneliness and isolation as a result of addiction. You can make the decision to seek help now and embark upon the rewarding journey of recovery. Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment facility in beautiful Laguna Beach, was founded with the goal of providing the best care and service possible, at an affordable price, and in a location where people would want to get well. For information about individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777