Loneliness can affect all aspects of your life, from your physical health to your mental well-being. In fact, one study has shown that people who feel lonely are likely to abuse substances more often than those who don’t feel the same level of isolation. With addiction being one of the biggest problems facing American society today, it’s important to understand the relationship between loneliness and addictions in order to address both issues simultaneously.
The Link Between Addiction and Loneliness
Most people who struggle with drug or alcohol addiction seek help after multiple failed attempts to stop, but it’s not hard to understand why so many addicts relapse—especially when they feel lonely. Studies have shown that social isolation can trigger cravings for alcohol and drugs. An experiment involving rats showed that those who were placed in isolation for 24 hours were far more likely to self-administer alcohol than their counterparts who were living communally. This goes to show how quickly loneliness can lead to a desire for escapism, and there’s no better way to escape from your reality than through a substance or addictive behavior. Moreover, people who suffer from chronic loneliness tend to be less productive at work and are more vulnerable to illness due to a weakened immune system.
What is Addiction?
It’s impossible to talk about loneliness without talking about addiction. Addiction occurs when someone experiences physical cravings, an inability to cope with emotions, and repeated use despite negative consequences. These three factors—physical withdrawal symptoms, emotional pain, and continued use in spite of personal hardship—are common indicators that someone may be battling addiction. It is not uncommon for addiction to occur alongside another mental health disorder, such as anxiety or depression; however, it is also possible for people who are otherwise mentally healthy to become addicted.
How to Overcome Addiction
If you are lonely, you’re more likely to become addicted to drugs or alcohol. This is because drugs and alcohol help provide a temporary sense of comfort in an individual when they are feeling alone. If you need help overcoming drug or alcohol addiction, contact your local addiction rehab center today. They can assist you in developing healthy habits to keep loneliness at bay. Reaching out for help can be one of the most challenging things for anyone dealing with addiction, but it’s very worthwhile. Just know that there is always someone willing to listen and help if you ask for it!
Tips for Overcoming Addiction
If you’re struggling with addiction, it’s important to understand that you can get better. Addiction can take a toll on your health and your relationships, but if you want to overcome addiction, there are resources out there to help. For example, organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous provide free support groups for people looking to fight addiction. There are also rehab centers in nearly every major city where people struggling with addiction go for a combination of therapy and medication options. If you think you have an issue with substance abuse or addiction, talk to a doctor about possible treatment options. Many insurance plans cover at least part of rehabilitation costs; check yours before choosing which rehab center is right for you.