Dealing with Loneliness in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment

Dealing with Loneliness in Drug Abuse Treatment

Seeming to spring out of thin air, loneliness affects many seeking to gain sobriety with drug abuse treatment. Loneliness may even have been the reason that some have turned to drugs or alcohol. These feelings of detachment and solitude can also sprout from having to move on from friends and circumstances that drugs or alcohol provided. Either way, feelings of loneliness can be painful and debilitate growth in drug abuse treatment. Learning techniques and methods to prevent and maintain loneliness can help a struggling individual recover from addiction.

What is Loneliness?

Loneliness doesn’t always arrive when someone is alone. An individual can have feelings of loneliness in a room full of people, just as someone alone in the woods can still maintain a state of content. Loneliness stems from a feeling of detachment from others. Human beings require connections to other humans to feel a sense of belonging. Studies have shown that children that don’t get touched as infants grow to develop psychological disorders and problems bonding with others as they age. Even as infants, humans need a connection to others to value their own self. Loneliness is a powerful emotion that can succumb even the mightiest of recovery warriors and lead to relapse, so it is important to learn how to deal with it during drug abuse treatment.

How to Deal with Loneliness During Drug Abuse Treatment

Loneliness affects every person at one time or another, so it is good to know what to do whenever it arrives, especially for those in addiction recovery. A few methods to preventing and managing loneliness when it arises include:

Grieving your addiction: Many individuals that are affected by loneliness in drug abuse treatment feel so because they are not yet over the loss of their addiction. For many, drugs or alcohol was a way to escape unwanted feelings and circumstances, and recovery has taken that from them. Friend and behaviors that were once associated with this escape can no longer be a part of their life. Grieving the loss of this lifestyle is imperative for these recovering individuals so that they can move on and begin a new chapter in life.

Change things up: Sometimes loneliness can be deterred by keeping your mind active. Take up hobbies that you were interested in before addiction consumed your time. Being active in group activities and meetings can also give you a sense of community and provide you with needed support throughout recovery. Regaining a support system and friends that want to see you succeed during recovery will eliminate loneliness and encourage you to stay on the right path.

Accept your emotions: Undoubtedly, one of the most challenging obstacles in recovery is learning to tolerate all of your emotions. Instead of running to drugs or alcohol to erase painful or unwanted emotions, you will be forced to sit with them. Accept them, and you will eventually learn to manage them and use them as a signal that you should change something in your life that’s unbalanced.