One of the more commonalities of severe substance use disorders involves isolation. Some people may feel shame in their use and further and further isolate themselves from friends and family in order to hide their substance abuse and the effects of being intoxicated. Others may find themselves pushing away people who do know about their addiction because they threaten further use of the substance itself. Still others might have always preferred to be less social, with substance use in isolation being as normal as when they watch a movie alone on an uneventful Friday night.

Often times, it can be a mixture of all these situations and more. No single case of substance abuse is exactly like any other, just like one case of the cold is exactly like another. Many behaviors associated with addiction may also have other factors involved, even down to a person’s normal behavior before developing substance use disorders. For some people, trauma may lead to ‘self medication’ which manifests into a disorder because the trauma was never addressed. Others may experience trauma after realizing they are an addict to some substance, such as cocaine.

Isolating oneself when using can be internalized. Keeping a secret from even your closest of family members can isolate a person emotionally from someone they respect and trust even if the relationship itself continues daily, with conversation and even laughter.

This can even spill over into a person’s workplace. Many jobs don’t exactly offer an exceptional social atmosphere as it is, with co-workers often having to smile at each other publicly but know that it will have to become cutthroat if the company is downsizing or offering up a promotion where space is limited. Some workplaces are social petri-dishes, too, where when someone in one side of the building gets an unexpected phone call, within three minutes, there are fifty conspiracy theories as to who the call was from and why it came at 1:30pm. Throwing a substance use problem into the mix, and the feelings of isolation can become an inescapable aspect affecting a person’s life non-stop.

Discovery InstituteA user may find themselves daily getting up in the morning and spend time just figuring out how to hide this aspect of their lives which, for whatever reason, is slowly spiraling out of control. One of the more common stories of those surviving someone who lost their life to an addiction will state that they had no clue that there was a problem. A person who shuts off from the world shuts out possible help. We live in a country that fettishizes individuality and rugged individualism and self motivation, but when a chronic illness like addiction is involve, it almost always ends in tragedy.

Sober living in New Jersey for people suffering from substance use disorder requires seeking addiction treatment. Call Discovery Institute at 844-478-6563 to speak with specialists in the best New Jersey rehab.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MDDr. Jeffrey Berman is a psychiatrist in Teaneck, New Jersey and is affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He received his medical degree from State University of New York Upstate Medical University and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He also speaks multiple languages, including French and Hebrew.

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