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Why is Isolation A Problem Among People Who Struggle With Addiction?

It is extremely common for individuals who struggle with addiction to deal with isolation. People often turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with feeling lonely or feeling like they don’t fit in. Unfortunately, substance abuse only furthers an individual’s isolation.

Addiction takes over an individual’s mind and life. Over time, all the person can think about is obtaining and using drugs. This causes their social life to become less important, furthering their isolation and loneliness.

Isolation is extremely dangerous for individuals dealing with addiction. When someone is disconnected from their friends and family, their addiction may go unnoticed. This leads to worsened substance abuse and mental health issues. 

Why Do Individuals Suffering from Addiction Isolate Themselves?

There are many reasons isolation is a problem among individuals struggling with addiction. Let’s take a look at a few.

To Avoid Conflict

When someone is addicted to drugs, their lives become consumed with substance abuse. In the meantime, their friends and family may become concerned. Individuals may isolate themselves from their friends and family to avoid conflict. 

The addicted individual knows that their loved ones will try to get them to stop abusing substances. Their loved ones’ efforts to convince them to go to rehab become a threat to their current method of coping. 

This causes individuals to keep to themselves, drinking or using drugs in private. As a result, their loved ones become shut out from their life.

Hiding Feelings of Shame and Guilt 

Another reason individuals suffering from addiction may isolate themselves is that they feel ashamed. Many people have a hard time admitting when they need help. Some people may even think that showing their addiction or struggles with mental health makes them weak. 

This causes the individual to push their loved ones away so that they can abuse substances without feeling guilty. Unfortunately, they would rather feel lonely than have their friends and family members see them in their current state.

The Unfortunate Consequences of Addiction

Another reason addicts struggle with isolation is due to the way their substance abuse makes them behave. Some people abuse drugs that make them act dangerously impulsive or have frequent bouts of anger. Addiction may also cause people to become manipulative, doing anything they can to get their next fix.

While this behavior is only a symptom of their addiction and not the individual’s true personality, it can be difficult for their loved ones to handle. Their behavior may cause their loved ones to take a step back. While their friends and family members need to take care of themselves, this is a common cause of isolation among addicts.

The Dangers of Isolation and Addiction

When someone is struggling with addiction, they need help and support. Unfortunately, isolation and addiction often go hand in hand. This pairing can be extremely dangerous. 

Increased Risk of Fatal Overdose

When an addict is isolated, they are facing an extreme risk of a fatal overdose. 

If the individual takes too much of a certain substance, they may begin to experience the symptoms of overdose. If no one is there to call 911 or administer Narcan, surviving the overdose is highly unlikely. 

According to the CDC, drug overdose deaths exceed 100,000 annually.[1]

Higher Rates of Co-Occurring Conditions

Isolation tends to cause anxiety and depression. When isolation is coupled with addiction, individuals are extremely likely to develop a mental health condition like social anxiety or major depressive disorder.

The combination of isolation, depression, and addiction is extremely dangerous. Individuals dealing with this trio are at an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. 

Decreased Likelihood of Receiving Treatment

Individuals dealing with addiction are often in denial regarding their need for professional treatment. If the person is isolated from their loved ones, there may not be anyone around to encourage them to seek help. 

Isolation is extremely dangerous for individuals suffering from addiction. While some people realize they need help, they may not have the resources to obtain treatment. This is why isolation often leads to a decreased likelihood of receiving addiction treatment. 

How Addiction Treatment Helps Individuals Overcome Isolation

Addiction treatment connects individuals with the resources they need to heal physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially. Substance abuse treatment is especially great at helping people overcome feelings of isolation. 

When someone enters treatment, they will be surrounded by other patients who are recovering from similar situations. This allows patients to bond with one another, support each other through the recovery process, and create lasting friendships.

Additionally, the therapy individuals attend during treatment will help combat the effects of isolation. Individual therapy will help address social anxiety or depression stemming from isolation while group therapy helps individuals learn how to socialize and communicate effectively after long periods of isolation. 

Get Connected With a Top-Rated Addiction Treatment Program in West Palm Beach Today

If you or a loved one suffer from isolation as a result of your addiction, attending professional treatment can help. At Mandala Healing Center, we emphasize the importance of connection and support for addiction recovery. 

By combining evidence-based behavioral therapy, support groups, and social skills training, we can help you overcome feelings of loneliness and isolation while you recover from the disease of addiction. Contact Mandala Healing Center today for more information on how to get started.