Lack of ultimate meaning in life is directly associated with alcohol abuse, drug addiction and mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, according to a study done at Florida Atlantic University.

Naelys Diaz, E. Gail Horton, Tammy Malloy. Attachment Style, Spirituality, and Depressive Symptoms Among Individuals in Substance Abuse Treatment. Journal of Social Service Research, 2014; 40 (3): 313 DOI: 10.1080/01488376.2014.896851

This is significant.

The second Early Warning Sign of Alcoholism is: “You have started to think about where your next drink is coming from and/or you plan social or work events around access to alcohol.”

So what this study demonstrates is that people without an adequate feeling of meaning to their life (you could also call this “a sense of direction”) will have more time on their hands to potentially focus on planning their next drink.

Study authors Horton, Luna and Malloy developed a research model that looks at how creativity, service and solitude can be used in addiction treatment to help create purpose and meaning in life.

They found that encouraging people’s creative talents (painting, writing, playing an instrument, etc), giving people opportunities to serve others, and helping people to connect to their core values and their true self through spiritual outlets such as prayer and meditation helped them to discover an ultimate purpose and meaning as part of their recovery process.

How Can I Use This Information?

If you identify with feelings like having no sense of direction in your life or feeling like you don’t matter to anyone, this may be making your situation with alcohol far worse than you realized.

If you’re at the point where you’re ready to get help, you may want to start here: http://www.aa.org/

As always, we’re here for you and with you all the way.

To your good health.