This is a commonly quoted phrase within the recovery world. While we understand that addiction is a disease of the brain, we also recognize that there are both behavioral causes and manifestations. This is where the concept of connection ties into addiction.

Journalist Johann Hari has a TED talk with over 14 million views to date on the topic. This TED talk is titled, “Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong.” It delves into this subject of addiction and connection--or lack thereof--further. It’s worth watching.

Connection is defined in the Oxford dictionary as “a relationship in which a person, thing or idea is linked or associated with something else.”

Addiction, on the other hand, is an isolating, lonely disease. One fraught with secrets and lies. It is hard to seek or maintain connections when you are obsessed with your next fix or hiding your use.

Once you detox and find yourself in early recovery it is crucial to begin the process of making and redefining healthy connections.

Healthy Connections can be found in many places.

    1. Your recovery community; Sober people helping and understanding each other

    2. Family

    3. Nature

    4. Passions/Hobbies

    5. Religion

    6. Animals/pets

    7. Work

It is important to also acknowledge that many of your old acquaintances and “friends” were not healthy connections. Identifying and letting go of these relationships is crucial. That can be a really hard thing to do, especially if you live in proximity or are involved in a co-dependent relationship with them. But maintaining contact with these unhealthy relationships can drag you right back into the cycle of addiction.

You may need additional support in identifying and breaking ties with certain people, places or things. This is all part of the process of recovery.


If you are in need of medical detoxification from opioids or alcohol, please check out our program. You can call us at 877-773-3869 to learn more. We understand the importance of connection and strive to build that with each and every one of our patients. We would love to help you discover and recover those connections that help you live a life of recovery and connection.

Deborah Reich, MD