The power of community is undeniably vital in recovery from addiction and alcoholism. Although there are different ways to describe it, the disease of addiction is absolutely a disease of loneliness and isolation. Naturally beginning as a feeling of “different than”, “separate from” or “not measuring up to” others, the illness is therefore perpetuated by loneliness, isolation, fear, social anxiety and depression, therefore becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. This is why “community” is absolutely essential to recover, no matter the level the addiction has taken or where the suffer falls on the spectrum of substance use disorders. Community through human connections formed in treatment, recovery houses, 12 Step meetings, recovery activities and the like cannot be devalued. Even for those seemingly hopeless addicts and alcoholics in need of a spiritual awakening through the 12 Steps to get well, the end result is “helping others” and practicing principles of altruistic, unselfish behavior (basically, behavior to learn to connect with others.) An addict and alcoholic will fight tooth and nail to “do it their own way”, “do it themselves” or give every excuse of why treatment, recovery homes, meetings and similar community-oriented actions are unnecessary. However, until that mindset changes to one of at least partial open-mindedness, fueling actions that demonstrate engagement is those types of recovery-oriented activities, true long-term recovery is seemingly out of reach. Until the pain of isolation and loneliness becomes so great that the addict is willing to partake in such uncomfortable, frightening yet imperative community-driven actions, the addiction will continue and the addict will stay sick.
It is for this reason that treatment professionals, therapists, family and friends must learn to band together and hold lines with suffering addicts and alcoholics, learn healthy boundaries and stop enabling behaviors. Cut loose the safety nets that addicts and alcoholics create in order to continue their isolation and reinforce barriers to community engagement. Human beings naturally crave fellowship, kindship and connections. Addiction and the addicted brain tell the suffering addict otherwise, so it is absolutely imperative to create an environment, however uncomfortable, where an addict and alcoholic is forced to engage and reengage with community. Their recovery depends on it.
If you or someone you know is in need of an intervention or help because of drug and/or alcohol abuse, please give us a call. Maryland Addiction Recovery Center offers the most comprehensive addiction treatment in the Baltimore City, Baltimore County and entire Maryland and Washington, D.C. area. If we aren’t the best fit for you or your loved one, we will take the necessary time to work with you to find a treatment center or provider that better fits your needs. Please give us a call at (410) 773-0500 or email our team at [email protected]. For more information on all of our drug addiction and alcohol addiction services and recovery resources, please visit our web site at www.marylandaddictionrecovery.com.