The use of technology to address loneliness and social isolation among older adults: the role of social care providers Full Text

Our holistic approach to recovery addresses not just the physical aspects of addiction but also the emotional and social factors that contribute to isolation. Isolation doesn’t just exacerbate feelings of loneliness; it can also pose a significant threat to recovery. There are a lot of wonderful resources for substance use and alcohol recovery to help you along the way. Whether you would like some additional support on your own journey out of loneliness or you need help encouraging your loved one to begin the journey, reach out.

And, of course, loneliness can occur when people are surrounded by others—on the subway, in a classroom, or even with their spouses and children, according to Rokach, who adds that loneliness is not synonymous with chosen isolation or solitude. Rather, loneliness is defined by people’s levels of satisfaction with their connectedness, or their perceived social isolation. Drinking this much  can reduce the feelings of being intoxicated until people seek more alcohol. For example, some binge drinkers can transition into heavy drinking because the amount of alcohol just doesn’t cut it anymore. Moreover, since alcohol alters the chemistry in the brain, long-term alcohol use can be extremely difficult to stop. Going cold turkey may prove to be extremely difficult as alcohol withdrawal symptoms like cravings, nausea, vomiting, and hallucinations can encourage prolonged drinking.

Be Accepting of Your Own Feelings

Findings from the analyses of both phases were reviewed by all authors. Mindfulness practices like yoga or journaling can help you stay connected to your feelings and avoid falling into negative thinking patterns. Addicts often feel shame due to substance abuse, leading to avoiding others to protect themselves from being seen.

Those struggling with addiction are hurting – and in turn, they hurt those around them. As the disease of addiction progresses, many people lose friends and damage relationships with family members, leaving them alone – physically, mentally and spiritually. At Whispering Oaks Lodge, we understand the profound impact of loneliness on substance abuse. We’ve explored the intricate connection between the two and uncovered the obstacles they present on the path to recovery. Breaking the cycle of loneliness and substance abuse is a process that takes time. Remember that every step forward is progress, and every effort you make counts.

If you or someone you know could benefit from our services please do not hesitate to contact us.

Loneliness can act as a powerful trigger for substance abuse, leading us down a dangerous path. You might be wondering, why does loneliness matter in the context of substance abuse? Loneliness and substance abuse often go hand in hand, feeding off each other like two peas in a pod. We’re wired to be social creatures, seeking warmth and companionship. But sometimes, life throws us a curveball, and we find ourselves feeling isolated and disconnected. David Scourfield is a Camino Recovery team member since 2017, focused on facilitating communication with Clinical and other professionals to ensure a comprehensive understanding of Camino’s program.

  • It can be difficult to understand who you are outside of your addiction and how to start living a fulfilling life without substances.
  • The Anonymous programs and other 12-step programs welcome anyone who is committed to recovery, and these organizations can give you a readymade group of peers who are committed to recovery.
  • Sign up for that art class you’ve been thinking about, take music lessons, or hit the gym.
  • It is important to note that being alone and feeling lonely are two separate things.

In 2018, 22 percent of U.S. adults reported they often or always felt lonely. In late 2020, after social distancing became a way of life, 36 percent of U.S. adults reported experiencing “serious loneliness.” That’s more than 93 million people. The Sobering Center is a short-term therapeutic shelter for individuals 18 years of age or older with a substance abuse and/or co-occurring mental health disorders. During active addiction, drugs and alcohol can seem like your best friends, the ones who were there for you in the darkness and the loneliness. It’s understandable that the loss of that relationship may cause you pain, anger, and loneliness in your early recovery.

Loneliness and Substance Abuse: Breaking the Isolation Cycle

We need people who understand what we’re going through, who can provide guidance, encouragement, and a listening ear. So now you’ve taken the brave step to break free from substance abuse, but you find yourself facing another challenge. It’s like an unwelcome companion on your road to recovery, making the journey even more difficult.

addiction isolation and the cycle of loneliness

We are dedicated to transforming the despair of addiction into a purposeful life of confidence, self-respect and happiness. We want to give recovering addicts the tools to return to the outside world completely substance-free and successful. To learn more about addiction recovery, please contact an Ark Behavioral Health specialist.

Service providers

Psychology Today defines loneliness as a “function of the affective need for companionship and belonging.” Left unaddressed, it can negatively affect a person’s self-worth and lead to depression. Loneliness is a serious loneliness in sobriety epidemic that is overshadowed in the modern world. According to a recent survey, nearly 75% of Americans are lonely, and Forbes reports show that the number of lonely people has tripled in the last four decades.

addiction isolation and the cycle of loneliness

The samples for both the survey and interviews in this study were diverse in terms of job roles, locations and ages of participants, representing a wide range of service providers. The input of service users’ relatives in such assessments may also be important; we found that relatives can act as both facilitators and barriers to older adults’ adoption of technology. However, involving relatives could, at least initially, increase burden on service providers if they have to support both the service user and their family. Previous work on personalising technology-assisted interventions for older adults has also highlighted the limited time care providers have for gathering background information on people and engaging with their families [53]. Further work may thus be needed to identify feasible ways to include service users’ relatives in their service plans in ways that minimise pressure on service providers.

Involve your friends and family, stay active and healthy, learn something new, and take advantage of the support systems available to you. It’s also important to remember that recovery takes time, so don’t be discouraged if you initially feel lost. Yes, it’s normal to feel lost in early sobriety, especially when dealing with mental illness alongside addiction. This feeling comes up as you adjust to not drinking or using drugs and explore life without them. But it’s important to remember that isolation during addiction recovery is only temporary. Mindfulness involves paying attention to our present-moment experiences (thoughts, feelings, observations of the outside world) without judging them.

  • When this happens, you may continue to engage in worse behaviors, further affecting your physical, social and mental well-being.
  • While training and financial assistance could substantially aid organisations in using technology to reduce loneliness among older adults, whole system change will be required in order to make a lasting difference at scale.
  • Perhaps they feel that drugs or alcohol are their only means to improve their moods and give them the energy to get through their days.
  • This alarm system helped safeguard the survival of our species, but it creates problems for humans living in contemporary society.
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