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Isolation Red Flag For Addiction Relapse

You may have preferred being a lone wolf when you were addicted to drugs and alcohol. You didn’t butt into anyone else’s business, and other people left you alone with yours.  Yet this isolation allowed your addiction to grow and and endure. Read on to learn more about how isolation can be a big red flag for addiction relapse.

Isolation Keeps Your Focus Too Narrow

Black-and-white thinking is a hallmark of drug and alcohol addiction. It narrows everything down to some sort of extreme. Something either is or it isn’t, no gray area in between. Unfortunately, most things in life quite a bit of gray in them. This makes drug addicts and alcoholics fairly ill-equipped to deal with the realities of everyday life.

This ultra-narrow focus keeps a person from truly getting healthy. Isolation provides a much more conducive environment for this type of narrow thinking to flourish. It can resemble the black-and-white thinking of their active addiction days enough to make relapse more likely.

Isolation Empowers Your Addiction Mind

Much of the reason for social support groups and group treatment is to help recovering addict connect with others. Addiction turns a person’s mind off to other people’s opinions, creating a very selfish outlook on life. Their relationships often end up broken and dysfunctional because of their addiction.

Drug treatment and support groups help them reconnect and learn how to get through rough patches in life support from others. When left to their own devices, an isolated person in recovery may allow their addiction mind to take over. Most likely, this happens so slowly that they don’t notice for some time. But before they know it, they are thinking negatively, feeling rejected, and wondering if their sobriety even matters.

Isolation Can Provoke Emotional Triggers For Relapse

In nearly all situations, a drug addict or alcoholic began their use because of emotional reasons. Child abuse, trauma, family chaos, stress over financial trouble – all of these problems are steeped in emotional upset. When a drug addict or alcoholic in faith these emotional issues with a clear sober mind, they learn to manage their feelings and stress.  The triggers for a person’s addiction may surface frequently, causing them to drink and use to survive through the stress.

When a person is in recovery but isolated, feelings of insignificant or loneliness can seep in.  This general emotional discomfort can start a chain reaction of  provoking other emotional triggers. Without the social support of other recovering or healthy people, the weight of emotional pain can cave in on that person. The urge to use drugs or alcohol may be irresistible at that point, making relapse an imminent problem.

Isolation May Lead To More Support From Drug Treatment

Isolation can seem like personal independence. But be careful, recovering addicts spend very little time in connection with others are add a clear risk for addiction relapse. When you or your family notice that you are spending way too much time and isolation, consider this a big red flag. It may be time to get back in touch with your sponsor, contact your drug rehab alumni group, or even see a counselor again. Remember, your addiction recovery is a lifelong process, not a single event. For more ways to get support during your addiction recovery, contact a drug or alcohol rehab center near you today.

Creative Commons License Photo credit: seantoyer

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