Alcohol and substance use disorders and isolation are quite common. As the disease of addiction worsens, many people damage essential relationships with family, friends, and other loved ones. Losing the connections can make it challenging to find the support one needs in recovery. As such, the dangers of isolation in recovery increase and could impact any progress one has already made.
What is Isolation in Recovery?
Isolation in recovery is attempting to manage one’s addiction without a proper support system in place. People can experience isolation during their recovery for a variety of reasons, including:
- Feeling guilty or experiencing shame about their addiction.
- Wishing to avoid causing further disappointment to family and friends.
- Being afraid of engaging socially because of potential relapse triggers.
- Fearing being put into situations where there is conflict.
- They have a co-occurring mental health disorder that causes them to feel sad, lonely, or depressed.
The Dangers of Isolation in Recovery
Attempting to go through recovery from an alcohol use disorder or substance use disorder alone is never a good idea. The last thing you need is to be alone without interacting with other people for an extended period. If you isolate yourself away, you are putting yourself in a dangerous situation with the following risks:
- Getting the help you need. You may stop attending meetings and support groups and fail to maintain the social connections you developed as part of your addiction treatment programs.
- You start to lose motivation. Isolation can cause you to no longer feel motivated about working on your recovery.
- You can experience boredom. When you are bored, it can cause you to experience more intense cravings for alcohol or drugs.
- Starting to bargain with yourself. At times, you may find your mind wanting to make deals with you and tempting you to give in just this once and drink or use drugs.
It is possible to relapse. You can be your own worse enemy when you attempt to recover in isolation. Eventually, you will no longer be able to resist your cravings and start drinking and using drugs again.
How to Avoid the Dangers of Isolation in Recovery?
An essential part of recovery is having a strong support system in place to help you remain positive about your sobriety and reduce the risk of relapse. There are several effective ways to ensure you have the support you need.
Remain in Contact with Your Sponsor
Your sponsor can be a great source of motivation to help you avoid relapse. They can offer words of encouragement, as well as provide guidance when you feel your lowest.
Attend Recovery Group Meetings
Group meetings are another valuable resource to provide support, encouragement, and motivation during recovery. In addition, you can gain insight into other people’s struggles and what they do to avoid isolation.
You Are Not the Only Person in Recovery
You need to remember you are not alone. More than 23 million adults have had a drug or alcohol addiction and have been able to overcome it. Furthermore, approximately 10 percent of adults are currently in recovery from substance misuse and addiction.
Continue Individual Counseling
Individual counseling allows you to express your feelings and discuss challenges you are facing in recovery. Your therapist is there to guide you and help you uncover the source of issues while continuing to develop effective coping mechanisms.
Work on Rebuilding Damaged Relationships
If you have family members and friends willing to repair the damage your addiction caused to your relationships, take advantage of this situation. Unfortunately, not every family member or friend you once had will be willing to make this effort. So, be appreciative of the ones that are open to giving you a second chance.
Build a New Support System of Sober Friends
Becoming socially active in recovery can be challenging since you no longer want to visit those places or be around people who fueled your addiction. Your best option is to start participating in sober events and gatherings where you can build a new support system of sober friends.
Understand the Difference Between Solitude and Isolation
Periods of solitude are normal during recovery because they allow you time to reflect on your recovery progress. However, you still need to maintain relationships with other individuals who support your recovery.
Avoid Isolation in Recovery with Help in Orange County, CA
The dangers of isolation in recovery are easy to avoid when you get help from Pacific Sands Recovery Center in Orange County, CA. We offer personalized addiction treatment programs whether you are just starting your recovery journey or have completed an initial treatment program and want to maintain a solid support system.
Furthermore, we can assist you in developing an effective aftercare plan that is structured to keep you from getting bored and finding yourself isolated. For further information about our addiction treatment and recovery support programs, please feel free to contact us to speak with an intake specialist today!