Addiction is not a disease where you would find people standing outside your room to take an update on your well-being. It is an incredibly lonely disease where sometimes even the society pays less heed to those suffering from a substance abuse disorder. There are two ways addiction patients are perceived by society. First, they are considered party-freaks who are constantly clubbing and partying while also consuming drugs and substances deemed illegal by the authorities. Second, the lonely individuals who either just stay at home or go out alone in a bar to sit and gulp down two to three jugs of beer. Most commonly all of the addicts fall under this spectrum, but the truth is that they all experience extreme conditions of isolation and seclusion by society.
Anyone who has seen or faced the wrath of addiction knows how cruel this disease is. Once it gets you, you’d be spending years to get back the healthy and sober life you once had. However, the easiest way for it to enter our lives is via loneliness and the feeling of being avoided by those around us. If a person is neglected or he/she wishes to be less social with others, they will find alcohol and drugs to be their best companion. And while the initial decision to try these substances is voluntary, the urge that follows has nothing to do with personal choice. This is where an individual loses control and becomes just another victim of addiction.
Loneliness and Addiction – The Connection
The inability to talk to someone how you feel can have more serious consequences than you you can possibly think of. There are times when you just don’t feel right and you need someone to guide you on the right path. When you find there’s no one around, you take the easy way out. And what’s that? Substance abuse.
You can run out of hope
Isolation and loneliness are hard, and no one should ever experience this. However, most people either choose to live alone, or they are forced to live that way. Either way, people who do not have anyone around can find it difficult to connect with anyone emotionally or physically. The strange feeling when you realize that there is absolutely no one to talk to, and also no one who genuinely cares for you, feels a lot worse when you are alone. Situations like these make it easy for people to find something that can content them, even if it means achieving temporary peace of mind. Drugs and alcohol provide the same euphoric effects and hence people switch to these.
The world we live in has some form of stress embedded in almost everything. Be it at the workplace, home, school, or even problems of life such as financial crisis, relationship issues, and many more. In such cases, there are days when it is common for people to feel anxious, lonely, depressed, and have low self-esteem. And when individuals experience such feelings, they turn to drugs to get the relief they are looking for. Drugs and alcohol can ease the state of mind and make everything look great. But everything comes with a price. The feel-good emotions take no time to elevate into a serious health condition known as substance abuse disorder. Also, many patients consume prescription painkillers to curb their pain caused by injuries or preexisting medical conditions. These prescription medications are also addictive and many patients are known to consume more than what’s prescribed by the doctors.
People who feel lonely and are not very social often experience other health issues during their isolation. The ones who report a feeling of loneliness are twice as likely to develop a substance abuse disorder than those who are more social. Also, lonely people are more likely to have high blood pressure, anxiety attacks, a compromised immune system, and can also experience premature death. Loneliness can also shoot your chance of suffering from a coronary disease up by 30 percent.
Isolation is not only detrimental to one’s physical health, but it also can disturb the usual working of a healthy brain. This causes the individual to experience mental health disorders which are very complex to treat and can even last a lifetime.
Why Socializing is Important
Social support is crucial for us human beings and no matter how much we deny, we always seek someone around us. Having a person who cares for you, listens to you, and encourage you to move forward is not only help to grow as a person, but is also imperative to feel welcomed, loved, and important, and fight off those feelings of loneliness. Those who are suffering from substance abuse disorder often use substances such as drugs and alcohol to artificially replicate these feelings of love, importance, and happiness. Ironically, the same substances that the addicts use to feel good make them feel a lot worse. And this is when it becomes a matter of concern. For starters, these substances can never replace the physical presence of a human being. Second, they are so bad for your health, that sometimes the treatment can even last for years to come.
This alone is sufficient to stress the importance of a social support system. However, is you are still not convinced, here is how a being social can transform your life for good:
Sense of purpose
We as human beings like being acknowledged, and the moment someone do that, we feel the rush of feel-good emotions inside us. This is what a sense of purpose actually means. Whenever someone calls us as their friend or we know that we are loved by the people in our group, it reinforces our sense of value. However, that does not mean that we cannot find a purpose in our lives alone. But since we are social beings, there is always a greater purpose we could find by engaging in a social structure.
The good emotions
Ask any doctor about the role of a happy mind in recovery from any disease, and they will tell you why it is so important to always have one. Various studies have shown that having a support system in the form of friends or family can cause medications to work better. Hugs release oxytocin which causes warm feelings and makes your fear center quiet.
Quality of life
People who live around healthy-minded people like your family and friends are expected to have a longer life. Numerous psychologists suggest that the secret to having good physical health is not a good diet and a workout regime. It is a healthy network of relationships and good social interactions that predicts the longevity of our lives.
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