Most of us have experienced a connection to someone else, whether it’s an intimate partner, family member, friend, or colleague. Yet, many people don’t think about the power that these relationships can have on our lives and especially our recovery from addiction.
Attachment styles are key aspects of our interpersonal relationships that exert influence over how people interact with each other in their everyday lives – things such as trust building and communication skills.
It is critical for anyone looking to better understand addiction or cultivate change within themselves and those around them to consider attachment styles and assessment for deeper insight into interacting effectively with others while attempting lasting behavior change during recovery from substance abuse disorder (SUD).
Read on to learn more about attachment styles, how they impact SUDs, and what you can start doing today toward finding successful pathways of sustainable recovery!
What is Attachment Theory and How Does it Relate to Addiction & Recovery
Attachment theory is a psychological framework that explores how we form and maintain relationships throughout our lives. At its core, attachment theory suggests that the quality of our earliest attachments, particularly with our primary caregivers, significantly shapes our ability to form healthy connections as adults.
When these foundational relationships are strong and secure, we develop better self-esteem, emotional regulation, and overall mental health. However, when our early attachments are tumultuous or disrupted, we may struggle with feeling secure and forming lasting relationships.
This vulnerability to insecurity and emotional distress can sometimes fuel addiction. However, with the right support and resources, addiction recovery can offer an opportunity to build new, healthy attachments and reclaim a sense of security and stability.
The Different Types of Attachment Styles & How They Interact with Substance Abuse
In general, there are three primary attachment styles: secure, anxious-ambivalent, and avoidant. Each type has its traits, and they impact our lives differently. These attachment styles are also connected with substance abuse, making it crucial to understand them and how they relate to addiction.
For instance, studies have shown that individuals with avoidant attachment styles are more likely to engage in substance abuse as a way of coping with emotional pain. Moreover, those with anxious-ambivalent attachment styles tend to experience increased anxiety and stress, which may lead them to substance use as a coping mechanism.
Exploring Secure Attachment Style and Its Role in Addiction Prevention
Secure attachment style, in particular, is crucial in the context of addiction prevention. This attachment style is characterized by individuals who are comfortable both with intimacy and independence, leading to a sense of trust in relationships.
Studies have shown that those with secure attachment styles are less likely to develop an addiction, as they are better equipped to manage stress and emotions. By exploring and promoting this type of attachment style, we can help individuals develop the skills and habits necessary to maintain healthy relationships and cope with life’s challenges.
Examining Avoidant & Anxious-Ambivalent Attachment Styles and Their Influence on Addictive Behaviors
Our attachment styles, formed in early childhood, can significantly influence how we approach relationships as adults. Two common attachment styles are avoidant and anxious-ambivalent.
Avoidant individuals tend to avoid getting too close to others while anxious-ambivalent individuals crave closeness but may also fear rejection. When it comes to addiction, these attachment styles can have a significant impact.
Avoidant individuals may turn to addictive behaviors as a way to cope with emotional distress while anxious-ambivalent individuals may use addiction as a means of seeking emotional relief and feeling a sense of control.
Contact Grand Falls Center for Recovery Today
Understanding one’s own relationship history and relationship style can provide invaluable information when considering why an individual may be struggling or could potentially come off track in their recovery process.
Contact Grand Falls Center for Recovery today if you feel like you need help addressing your attachment style and its role in addiction/recovery. Working with a qualified therapist can provide great insight into our addiction stories so that we’re better equipped to move forward toward lasting sobriety and self-acceptance.