Human connection is essential to recovery. In truth, it’s the secret behind successful recovery from addiction.
Many believe that staying sober is the key to recovery, but it goes much deeper than that.
When you realize how complex addiction is, you begin to understand what successful recovery looks like.
While maintenance therapy can undoubtedly work for some, dependence on a substance is commonly just a symptom of an underlying issue to a multidimensional problem. Here’s a look at the surprising secret behind addiction recovery.
Find Human Connection
Humans are an intrinsically social species, and it’s ingrained in our DNA to have social connections with other human beings. Lasting relationships are essential for us to live happy and fulfilled lives, and it can be a critical part of recovery. A feeling of belonging is exceedingly important because it can reduce the chances of relapse.
When you have a good support system, there is a sense that you are not in this alone and others are rooting for you to succeed. Support can be especially necessary during rehabilitation when that person may not even believe in themselves.
Share Your Story
When an addict is allowed to discuss their own stories, achievements, and battles with others, real healing can take place. Being able to consult about experiences with people who offer consideration and compassion has a tremendous influence on positive emotions like joyfulness, happiness, and contentment.
This feeling of connection is why many recovery programs offer group therapy or group settings that allow the sharing of experiences with one another—and it works! This holds especially true considering how a vast majority of the people in treatment are dealing with similar struggles. You develop relationships, friendships, and trust with others who offer empathy.
Understand Your Brain
There are three main chemicals released from the brain that are responsible for the immense need for human interaction and connection while in recovery. These chemicals are oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphin.
They each play a pivotal role in why we crave these connections. These chemicals are responsible for the strong emotional bonds being created. When we lack these chemicals, it can affect our overall mood—causing various problems like insomnia, anxiety, and depression to arise.
If you or someone you love is dealing with addiction or starting on the journey to recovery, it is essential to look at all aspects of the disease. Never underestimate the value of a reliable support system during the healing process.
Resources and References:
Why Sharing Stories Brings People Together | Psychology Today
What to Expect When You Go to Rehab | CureHacks
Combining Medicinal, Behavioral, Motivational Approaches | Midwest Institute for Addiction
6 Facts About the Opioid Crisis in America | The Weekday Times
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