Select Page

Isolation and Addiction

The disease of addiction is a baffling and often lethal disorder. It is a disease of loneliness and despair. Chemicals in the brain that are necessary to feel right are depleted, and depression increases. Without help, the suffering individual uses more and more substances and grows ever more isolated.

In times like these, addiction and the associated isolation tend to get worse. Remember, we appeared to be nearing the end of a global pandemic and then riots broke out across much of the world. Even people who do not suffer with addiction are struggling emotionally. For many, these troubling times are the worst they have experienced in their lifetimes. And they are much more troubling for those suffering from drugs and alcohol addiction.

Addiction and Isolation

Scrambled brain

The brain of the suffering addict is literally scrambled. Areas responsible for judgment are largely blocked. Without the artificial high created by the substances they use, addicts are left with a sense of impending doom that is almost indescribably horrific. This is only exacerbated by stress, and these are some of the most stressful times that humanity has ever been through.

Without the ability to cope with anything, let alone a global pandemic and civil unrest, the suffering addict isolates and consumes more and more of the only “friend” they feel they have – the substance or substances they are familiar with. Isolating allows the struggling person to “tune out” the outside world physically while drugs lets them “tune out” the outside world mentally and emotionally. This is ripe grounds for overdose. It should be no surprise that drug overdoses and relapses are on the rise.

 

Helping others

Even for those in recovery, isolation is something to be aware of. For whatever reason, many in recovery often have a desire to isolate, and it is something they need to continuously overcome. Here’s why – when a person in recovery isolates, they tend to get away from a key part of their recovery program, which is helping others suffering with addiction. Most people’s recovery also includes this type of daily interaction with friends and acquaintances in recovery.

For those in recovery, getting away from any component of their program is very risky. The key elements of a strong recovery program are to help keep the individual’s mind, thoughts and actions healthy. When critical recovery components are skipped for any length of time, such as interacting with fellow people in recovery or those seeking help, their old default “unhealthy” thinking begins to return. For many, this unhealthy or uncomfortable thinking was the primary reason they began using substances, i.e. self-medicating.

 

Worse, never better

When a person goes through an effective recovery process, they are essentially reprogramming their brains. But isolation feeds the disease, and it becomes much more difficult to ask for help from the dense fog of serious addiction. For the person in recovery, isolation tends to increase the likelihood of relapse as the uncomfortable thinking of active addiction begins to return. 

Remember this, addiction is a progressive disease. It gets worse, never better. The person in active addiction and almost total isolation is at great risk for overdosing and possible death. Isolation can bring on a relapse for the person in recovery.

Given the progressive nature of the disease, people who have been in recovery for 10, 20 or 30 plus years who relapse tend to pick right up where they left off with their addiction. Almost invariably, these people are sicker than ever within a few days or weeks and, in some cases, are even dead within a very short time.

Recent Posts

Healthy Distractions in Recovery

One of the most important steps in recovery is taking care of yourself. Regaining your life is more than returning to daily routines. It is important to discover personal interests that build confidence and self-esteem and make you feel good about life. Healthy...

13 Strategies To Help With Insomnia During Substance Withdrawal

Recovery from addiction brings uncomfortable physical and psychological symptoms. If you're on this journey and experiencing withdrawal symptoms, you may notice that you have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep at night. In fact, a 2014 study published in the...

Beware of the Kindling Effect

The kindling effect occurs when a person goes through repeated alcohol withdrawals, and the symptoms become more severe with each relapse. The name is derived from materials used to start a fire. The more kindling added the fire burns hotter and faster. The same is...

Talking to Children About Mom’s Addiction

Having someone in the family who suffers from addiction to drugs and/or alcohol can be very painful for all concerned. But in can be even more difficult if the person suffering is a mother with young children.Children may see their mother act out in all sorts of...

Drug Abuse and Heart Health

The heart is the largest muscle in the body. It is responsible for pumping blood throughout the body, while the blood delivers oxygen and vital nutrients that people require to stay healthy. When there is a problem with the heart, the rest of the body suffers as well....