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Substance use disorder (SUD) can be an isolating experience. When you make the life-changing decision to enter treatment, you might feel even more overwhelmed and alone. When you learn how to lean on other individuals for support and accountability, you will find that the road to recovery offers a valuable opportunity for human connection.

Understand That You Are Not Alone

Whether you are beginning substance use treatment for the very first time or re-entering a treatment program after a relapse, one of the most important things to remember is that you are not alone in your journey. There are so many people who will empower and support you during your treatment and recovery journey, including peers who are attending the same addiction treatment program as you.

Group Therapy

One of the biggest advantages of a substance use treatment program is the fact that group therapy is a widely-used component. Group therapy allows you to build bonds and strong connections with others who are going through similar experiences. It will allow you to find greater success as you support each other through the process of healing. 

Small group therapy is typically the most successful because it allows you to form more intimate bonds with the people around you. In a small group setting, your unique struggles and needs can truly be voiced. At Lighthouse Recovery Texas, group therapy is held in groups of no more than eight individuals, which gives you the chance to get the most out of your group therapy experience.

Handling Feelings of Isolation

In 2020, as the COVID-19 virus spread throughout the world, a record number of people turned to drugs and alcohol to deal with increased feelings of fear, depression, anxiety, and isolation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the COVID-19 pandemic led to an increased number of people misusing drugs and dying from drug overdoses, with a 30% increase in the number of overdose deaths from the previous year.

When you are struggling with addiction, feelings of isolation can be all too common, and, as seen from the data above, feelings of isolation were only exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Feeling isolated and cutting your addiction struggles off from the world can hurt you even further, and potentially make you more susceptible to relapse. 

A July 2021 study titled The Role of Social Isolation in Opioid Addiction by the Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience journal states, “Humans are social animals: social isolation hurts people both psychologically and physically. Strong, positive social bonds help people to live longer and healthier lives compared with their more isolated peers.” When it comes to substance abuse recovery, creating and reinforcing these strong, positive bonds with supportive people in your circle will help you stay even more motivated throughout the process.

Ways to Strengthen Human Connection During Treatment

Group therapy is not the only place where you can build strong bonds during treatment and recovery. If you are struggling with SUD or undergoing addiction treatment, you can find true human connection in every area of your life.

Family Bonds

Familial connection is one of the most important components when it comes to addiction recovery. Oftentimes, due to substance use, family bonds may be strained. Throughout recovery, you might feel like your family does not understand you, which can lead to greater feelings of isolation and loneliness. You can start to rebuild family bonds by being open and honest with your loved ones about your struggles. Let them know that you need their support and that you are serious about your recovery.

Quality addiction recovery programs will utilize family therapy as a tool to strengthen family connections and help you through the process. Family support in the intervention process contributes to a higher rate of recovery success among individuals working to achieve and sustain sobriety. When you engage your family during your recovery, you will feel much more confident knowing that you have people around you who are rooting for your success. Being open with your family about your struggles will also make you feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders, especially if you have been hiding your addiction.

Connect With Treatment Staff

The medical professionals and staff involved with your substance abuse treatment program are there to help you and guide you in the best ways possible. When you are able to open up and really talk about your specific struggles, doctors and staff members will know how to approach your treatment in an individualized way that is tailored to your unique needs.

You will feel much safer when you know that you have a strong support network of highly-trained professionals who have your back. These individuals know what they are talking about when it comes to medications, withdrawal symptoms, psychological struggles, and so much more. If you have isolated yourself for awhile while struggling with your addiction, you will feel more comfortable when you know that you have professional people to speak to about everything you are going through.

No matter who it is that you build positive bonds with, human connection is more important than ever when you are seeking addiction treatment. 

Human connection in substance abuse recovery is absolutely essential for successful treatment. When a person who is struggling with addiction decides to enter a substance abuse treatment program, feelings of loneliness and isolation can be intensified. Many people turn to alcohol and other drugs to self-medicate these feelings and other distress, which exacerbates mental health problems. At Lighthouse Recovery Texas, we support strong human connections throughout the recovery process by incorporating intensive small group therapy into our programs. Our group therapy consists of no more than eight people, which gives everyone the chance to be heard and allows our patients to forge strong connections and accountability with one another. We also utilize family therapy to enhance and rebuild important bonds, and we have a highly trained staff that is here to support you along your journey. Call us today at (214) 717-5884.