According to a new study, scientists have recently started understanding how loneliness is tied to addiction and how the two negative behaviors feed upon each other.
Loneliness, along with mental health issues, like anxiety and depression, is a growing problem in the U.S. So much in fact, that there are now steps being taken to help address the rising dilemma, such as mental health laws and regulations. The problem, however, does not end there since the country is also currently facing a crisis in addiction (including opioids and other drugs) that seems to have no end.
And now, scientists are beginning to understand that while they may not seem related at surface glance, both addiction and loneliness can easily feed upon each other, creating an even bigger problem that can target and affect just about anyone.
One such scientist is Stanford neuroscience researcher Anne-Pascale Le Berre, who has been studying how people who are in recovery and people who are heavily using alcohol can be impaired in basic social abilities, which can then lead into a downward spiral that just keeps repeating itself.
According to Le Berre, as well as other scientists from the U.K. who have done similar research, one of the biggest factors behind loneliness is childhood trauma and neglect, which eventually leads to drug problems. The problem, however, is drugs are addicting and provide a false sense of relief, leading the person to just keep repeating the process over and over. And once someone gets addicted, studies show that they’re less likely to recognize emotions, causing them to push people even further away.
Thankfully, there are solutions as well as facilities that can help provide the help people need. After all, getting sober is one thing, maintaining it and getting ahold of your life again is another thing entirely. And while it’s positive, getting sober doesn’t solve everything because it requires additional, continuous effort. Usually, recovering patients might first find it hard to enjoy things and regain social abilities (as well as recreate family relationships) again. However, research shows that given time and consistency, every person has a chance to get back at life.