Many people feel low after a big event, and the holidays are no exception. Dealing with addiction and loneliness in the new year can trigger a drug relapse or cause an addict to start using more than normal. Maybe the addict was not invited to join in on holiday festivities with family or friends. Or perhaps he was invited, but it turned out to be stressful and unfriendly, leaving the addict feeling sad and full of regret. Stress, sadness, depression and trauma all act as triggers that make a person feel the need for an escape. Any negative thought, feeling or event may lead them to repeat destructive behavior patterns that are associated with substance abuse. Problems are usually magnified during and after the holidays, so an addict and his family and friends should be aware of it and try to avoid any negative outcome.
Loneliness is a primary trigger for substance abuse. Addiction usually isolates an addict as they start to drop out of their social circles. Once an addict has begun a program of recovery they start to realize how alone they are. It may be difficult to re-connect with former friends and family members who are unwilling to give the addict another chance. If this happens, the addict may begin to have feelings of loss, grief and regret that may lead to a relapse. The addict should discuss his feelings with his therapist and try to reach a resolution to accept the problem for what it is. Regardless of what former associates may think, an addict can start again by making new friends and acquaintances. Group therapy acts as a first step in re-socializing addicts. The entire group may be suffering from feelings of loss and loneliness. It is to their advantage that they interact with one another, and they usually begin to build strong bonds with each other. Addicts can help one another along the path of recovery by being a strong support for each other. They can share their story with each other and offer advice that has worked for them. After the holidays, an addict should increase their attendance at 12-step meetings and any other kind of socializing. They should put themselves in situations where they can interact with other people and avoid the negative feelings of loneliness. Family and friends of an addict should also try to socially engage the addict after the holidays.
Getting Help for Addiction and Loneliness
Someone who is still using should realize that the loneliness they feel during the holidays is temporary. On the other hand, the feelings of isolation and loneliness that were there before the holidays will still be there because of their addiction. By seeking substance abuse treatment at a rehab center, you can give yourself a chance at a new life. You will be able to make new friends and eventually may even be able to repair some damaged relationships from the past. A rehab facility has the treatment programs you need to address all the issues you are facing. It will also prepare you for life outside the facility, where you may encounter some temptations. Recovery is a process that takes one day at a time to build a new life.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.