Whether personally or through a loved one, nearly every person in America will experience the effects of substance abuse in one way or another. For as long as substance abuse has existed in this country, so too has the issue of isolation. When a person isolates themselves, they makes themselves more susceptible to the dangers of addiction. By analyzing why people self-isolate and how isolation impacts substance abuse, we hope to offer insight into how one can combat both isolation and addiction in order to get their life back on track.

What Is Isolation?

Isolation refers to one purposefully removing themselves from most social interactions. This includes interactions with family and friends but can also include work relations, romantic relationships, or any societal interaction. After years of research, psychologists have concluded that, for many people, long-term isolation can be harmful to one’s health. Negative effects of isolation can be both mental and physical. They can have major negative impacts on all areas of one’s life.

How Does Isolation Impact Substance Abuse?

How isolation impacts substance abuse is almost always the same: negatively. No matter how long the abuser has been dependent on a given substance, isolation typically makes their situation worse.

Many users find it more difficult to keep up with day-to-day activities when isolated. Motivation quickly goes out the window, and users often fall into a repetitive cycle. This cycle consists of a user abusing a given substance, isolating themselves, letting the effects of the substance wear off, and then repeating.

By adding isolation into a routine already revolving around substance abuse, one places themselves in any number of unpleasant scenarios. Often, isolation will influence a person to up their dosage. This can lead to accidental overdose, hospitalization, even death. By being alone, one’s chance of lethal overdose increases dramatically. This is due to there being a much lower likelihood that the person will be discovered and helped. If you or a loved one is suffering from substance abuse and is beginning to isolate, acting swiftly can mean the difference between tragedy and a new lease on life.


To understand how isolation impacts substance abuse, it is important to analyze the act of self-medicating. Self-medicating refers to the process by which one copes with a stressful situation or with addiction by self-administering drugs or alcohol. This process is a dangerous one. Many people form full-blown addictions by isolating themselves and not seeking the proper support. The cycle of depression is strongly linked to the cycle of self-medication.

People are often embarrassed or ashamed of the emotions they feel. As a result, they seek solace in drugs and alcohol, or by self-medicating in a way that can be hazardous to their health. This happens because people often seek to hide their dependency from both their loved ones and their doctor or caregiver.

Dependency is never something to feel ashamed about. It is never too late to seek out the appropriate system of support to get one’s life back on track. If you or a loved one is currently struggling with self-medication, finding the proper support system can make all the difference.

How Treatment Can Help Isolation and Substance Abuse

Effective treatment can be tremendously beneficial in helping one to overcome both isolation and substance abuse. When one surrounds themselves with like-minded individuals who have their best interests at heart, one gives themselves the opportunity to begin anew. Isolation can be so detrimental to one’s overall health because human beings are not meant to be solitary. As humans, we thrive when we build relationships with good people who care about us.

By utilizing treatments like peer support group therapy, one can meet others who understand what they are going through. These groups are made up of like-minded individuals who are also coping with the hardships of both isolation and substance abuse. When led by a caring organizer, support groups are a safe environment where people can share stories. Also, they can receive advice and assistance, and even build friendships that can last a lifetime.

Seek Help for Isolation and Substance Abuse in Tenessee

Here at Detox West Tennessee, we are waiting with open arms to help you each step of the way during your personal recovery journey. Located in Memphis, TN, we offer a comfortable, professional, and compassionate, residential drug and alcohol detox and rehabilitation center. We understand the complex nature of drug and alcohol addiction. Because we know how much addiction can turn a person’s life upside down, we have dedicated ourselves to effective treatment that can last a lifetime. There has never been a better time to reclaim your independence from addiction. Contact our admissions page today, and take the first steps in your individualized journey to recovery.