Addiction is a relationship. It is an unhealthy relationship with a chemical (drugs, alcohol) and/or an experience where you avoid yourself (feelings and thoughts) and isolate yourself from others. Many who suffer from addiction feel disconnected, lonely, and isolated. These intense feelings can give rise to addictive behaviors. Studies have shown that individuals who feel socially isolated generally deal with increased mental health and substance abuse issues. The opposite holds true as well: Addiction to drugs and alcohol may just be an effect of isolation – but also the cause of isolation.