Human beings are social creatures. Although we may not always like it, we need each other. For recovering addicts, who likely lost a lot of old drug-using friends when they got sober, this can be a particularly painful realization. Without conscious effort, early recovery can be a lonely time.
This is where one tried and true component of addiction treatment – a strong social support system – can bolster long-term recovery. A social network can keep recovering addicts invested in their recovery program even if they lose motivation, get discouraged, or become complacent or over-confident.
Research suggests that social relationships provide emotional support, a sense of belonging and stress relief. While higher levels of social connection improve quality of life, lower levels have been linked to relapse.