One of the most common uses of drugs and alcohol is to improve sociability. Social drinking and recreational drug use are both great examples of how people use substances to enhance their social skills – at least temporarily.
What many people don’t recognize is that impaired social skills can actually be a serious risk factor in the development of addiction. People who have underdeveloped social skills may come to rely on drugs or alcohol as a crutch. They may feel entirely unable to socialize without using these substances.
In the long-term, this can lead to serious drug or alcohol dependencies. This can also make it more difficult for the individual to improve their social skills on their own. These issues, compounded, can be disastrous for an individual’s social well-being and mental health.
In this article, we’re going to talk about how socialization is a key factor for any individual and how proper social skills can help reduce the chances of developing an addiction.
The Importance of Social Skills
Many people grow up in environments where they are not educated about social skills or properly socialized. These people may develop issues with socializing, such as social anxiety, or they may become extremely shy. In some cases, they may even develop problems with self-worth and self-confidence.
Unfortunately, the world that we live in is incredibly social. Unless they’re willing to isolate themselves and live away from the majority of society, most people need to learn how to socialize properly. If they don’t, they will face difficulty building connections, finding opportunities, or even getting jobs or succeeding in school.
Unfortunately, the importance of social skills is not always stressed, and people who do not learn these skills on their own or at home are often forced to enter the social world unprepared. Many children learn to socialize during school properly, but many others have a great deal of difficulty and struggle with anxiety, shame, or feelings of rejection.
Many of these children become more likely to develop drug addictions or alcohol problems. Many people find that drugs and alcohol can help to improve their social skills in the short-term, and people who face issues with anxiety or self-esteem often come to rely on drugs or alcohol as a band-aid approach to these problems.
Learning to Socialize and Avoid Drug or Alcohol Problems
The most important thing for these people, however, is to remain sober. The only way that they will overcome their social anxiety or social problems permanently is to learn how to socialize properly. Drugs and alcohol may temporarily provide the illusion of being able to socialize properly; however, this can create problems in the long-run and lead to addiction and dependence.
The most important thing to do is to make sure that you – or any loved ones who struggle with addiction – are aware that drugs and alcohol are not effective long-term solutions to social problems. The only way to work through these issues is to do so soberly, and the best way to do this is with the guidance of a counselor or a therapist.
If you or a loved one are using drugs or alcohol to overcome a social problem, the best thing for you to do is to seek help from a therapist after attending rehab.
Doing this will help tackle the root issue of the problems that led to addiction in the first place. This is more effective than simply getting sober through some form of rehab, because it will prevent relapses from occurring in the future.
Written By Nigel Ford