It is common for those struggling with addiction to be resistant to the idea of getting help. The process of alcohol and drug abuse has the effect of isolating – even those not naturally introverts could start to dislike being around others. The power of addiction will always be stronger when individuals face it alone. Here are six reasons why you are likely to need positive social support to break free:
1. Other People Are a Source of Advice
It would be very hard for humans to survive in the modern world without advice. It would mean each person needing to learn everything from scratch through a process of trial and error; this would be a very dangerous and painful way to learn. Plenty of people have already successfully quit addictions and gone on to live a good life. By learning from the experiences of these individuals, you can approach recovery in way that gives you the best chance of success. It would mean that you do not have to make every painful mistake as others have done the learning for you.
2. Social Support Provides an Important Feedback Mechanism
Humans are very bad at assessing their own behaviour. This is why it is so important to have some type of feedback mechanism. Others can provide this function – because of not only what they say but also how they react. This is particularly important in recovery because this social support group can spot the signs that you are off track long before you notice.
3. Social Support is Important for Mental Health
Social support can make individuals far more resilient to the pressures of daily living. It can also be an invaluable resource for those facing hard times or dealing with tragedy. Lack of social support has been shown to worsen mental health problems such as depression; individuals are far less able to cope if they feel they are dealing with something painful alone.
4. Social Support is Necessary for Physical Health
Research has shown that lack of social support does not only exacerbate mental health problems, but it can also lead to a deterioration in physical health. It has been shown that those not benefitting from this type of interpersonal communication could experience chemical changes in their body, in particular oxytocin and vasopressin. There is even evidence to suggest that those not having this support are three times more likely to have heart attacks.
5. Social Support Helps People Deal Better with Stress
Stress is a huge problem in the modern world, playing a key role in many types of illness and disease. Spending time with others could make it easier to deal with stress. It provides you with a sense of community and belonging so you no longer feel like you are facing your problems alone. Other people could also be a nice distraction so you are not ruminating on your difficulties too much.
6. Social Support can be a Source of Practical Help
A social support group is not only capable of providing you with emotional support; it can also be the source of practical help. For example, if you are unemployed, somebody in this group may be able to help you find a job, or these people could help with practical things like moving furniture. Trying to survive in the modern world with a social network can be very difficult; so much these days depend on the support of others.
Breaking free of addiction is a serious undertaking and you are unlikely to be giving yourself the best chance of success if you try to go it alone. There are many different types of positive social support to choose from, including sober friends, recovery fellowship, or online recovery community.