Even though addiction is a disease of isolation, most alcoholics and addicts do not really want to be lonely. They isolate because they feel ashamed and guilty for their behavior. Sometimes, as the disease progresses, they are alone because they are too sick to take part in any kind of social situation.
At its worst, addiction leads people away from their families and friends. In some cases, however, they may make an attempt to be the life of the party. They go to great lengths to get attention and puff up their egos with bravado and noise. Underneath, though, they are just as alone as the alcoholic hiding in the bathroom with a secret stash of liquor or an addict shooting up in a dark alley.
Rehab and recovery set a completely new dynamic in motion. In treatment, addicts and alcoholics are surrounded by others who have gone before. They know the agony of addiction, and they offer the hope of a supportive community in recovery.
In a recent article in Celebrity News, the hugely popular rap star Macklemore attributed his relapse in part to the fact that he quit spending time with others in recovery who provided his emotional support. He allowed his hectic schedule and celebrity lifestyle to convince him that he could handle his recovery on his own. When a major life occurrence woke him up, he returned to his recovery community, knowing he did not want to be alone.
Treatment Programs Provide Support Options
In much the same way, addiction is a progressive disease that always makes a downward spiral, recovery is a process that is an upward climb, one step at a time. Rehab treatment guides the way for people in recovery through education, individual and group therapy, counseling and other support measures.
As treatment ends, the staff will provide community resources for ongoing support. They will offer a lifeline in order to reduce the risk of relapse. Many treatment centers have alumni programs, which give clients and their families the chance to reconnect with the professional staff who walked them through the early steps. Recovery is not a “do-it-yourself” project.