The importance of social skills in overcoming addictions

Emphasis is often placed on the idea that getting out of an addictive disorder is a kind of personal struggle waged alone, a mission that everyone must face alone, because it is a simple matter of “will”. main battles are being fought in his mind.

This belief, however, could not be more wrong. First, because the existence of addictions denies the importance of a concept like the will, because if something characterizes this kind of pathology, it is its capacity to make people lose control of their actions. And secondly, because addictions are not overcome simply by introspection, but the social dimension of the problem (i.e. how we relate to others) also becomes very important.

So in this article we will see what role does social skills training play in overcoming addictions.

    Why are personal relationships so important in overcoming an addiction disorder?

    In any addiction, whether based on drug addiction or addictive behavior, there is a learned behavioral element. That is to say, an element that goes beyond pure chemical dependence (the mechanisms of dependence that occur in the brain when the nervous system is repeatedly exposed to certain substances that interact with neurons), and which has to do with the habits internalized by the person. , their way of finding friends and maintaining friendships, strategies for coping with abstinence, etc.

    In this sense, some of the aspects that may cause a person to progress or not progress in their attempts to overcome an addiction have to do with the way he interacts with those around him on a daily basis. And it is that neither drug use, nor referents for knowing what to do with anxiety or monkey, nor exposure to places that predispose to relapse are experiences that occur in isolation and individual. In all of them, there is room for maneuver to improve or expose yourself to unnecessary risks of falling back into addiction.

      What is social skills training in drug treatment?

      From what we’ve seen so far, we’re starting to guess what role social skills can play in the challenge of overcoming an addiction. The higher our capacity to develop in contexts in which we need to relate to others, the more resources we will have to avoid obstacles in any therapeutic process, especially in addictions, because external influence plays a role. an important role in maintaining or strengthening the latter. class of disorders.

      Fortunately, social skills can be trained and improved through experience, which is much easier and more effective if we have professional psychotherapy support.

      Let’s take a closer look at how social skills training helps you overcome an addiction.

      1. It helps develop assertiveness in the face of unwanted offers

      Knowing that not at key times is essential to getting rid of an addiction. Developing assertiveness helps a lot in this regard, because it consists in being respected but without seeking confrontation.

        2. Helps manage conflicts and their implications for consumption

        Drug addiction predisposes people to enter a state of irritability in which it is very easy to get angry at any embarrassment. On another side, using drugs to relieve anger is one way in which those who have developed an addiction “usually fall”.

        Social skills help channel anger in a way that does not involve entering into confrontational dynamics when interacting with others, which also minimizes the risk of relapses.

          3. It allows you to consolidate new friendships away from the elements of addiction

          Have the ability to establish new friendships away from social circles frequented by the addict (in which drug use or potentially addictive activities have been normalized) helps to break out of this vicious cycle of falling partly because of social pressure and constant exposure to temptation.

          4. Helps develop new ways of dealing with discomfort

          Social skills can lead to new ways of dealing with discomfort, both those generated by abstinence and those generated by other emotionally painful aspects of life. Share our ideas, concerns and feelings with others it is a resource that relieves discomfort through what is called emotional labeling: translating what we feel into words.

            Do you want to benefit from professional support to overcome an addiction?

            If you are looking for therapeutic support to overcome an addiction problem, contact us. A Plow light there you will find a team of professionals specializing in the treatment of addictive disorders, both from psychotherapy and medicine.

            We support our patients in all phases of the process of getting out of dependence on a psychoactive substance or addictive behavior, and we have fully equipped facilities to intervene through admission and residential treatment of short, medium or long stay. You can find us in Picassent (Valence).

            Bibliographical references

            • American Psychiatric Association (APA). (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.
            • Angelico, AP; Crippa, JAS; Louriero, SR (2013). Social anxiety disorder and social skills: a critical review of the literature. International Journal of Counseling and Behavioral Therapy. 7 (4): p. 16 – 33.
            • Cavall, V. (1983). Social skills training and assessment manual. Madrid: 21st century.
            • Kalivas, PW, Volkow, ND (2005). The neuronal bases of addiction: a pathology of motivation and choice. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 162 (8): p. 1403 – 1413.
            • O’Donohue, W. (2003). Psychological skills training: issues and controversies. The Behavior Analyst Today, 4 (3), p. 331 – 335
            • Iruarrizaga, I.; Gómez-Segura, J.; Criat, T .; Zuazo, M.; Sastre, I. (1999). Reduce anxiety through social skills training. Electronic journal of motivation and emotion.

            Leave a Comment