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INDIANAPOLIS — Social distancing has become the new norm in 2020, but many people also face the danger of social isolation.

Stephanie Anderson, CEO of Recovery Centers of America in Indianapolis, explain what social isolation is on the WIBC Morning News.

“Social isolation is really this concept that people are alone,” says Anderson.  “They’re spending more and more of their time, specifically with this pandemic, away from social supports, their family, their co-workers.”

Anderson describes social isolation as a consistent pattern of actions, unlike loneliness, which she describes as random periods some people experience. She says the signs of social isolation come down to a chance in behavior.

“Maybe you’re drinking a little more alcohol than you normally would, or you’re drinking at times in the day that you typically wouldn’t even think of having an alcoholic beverage,” Anderson continues, “you’re using some other form of substance or sleeping more than usual.”

Anderson also talks about how young people can also experience social isolation, not just adults. She says sometimes it’s more difficult to spot a young person struggling with isolation because of their use of electronics. Their use of electronics could appear normal on the surface, but she says that isn’t the case.

Anderson says “that need to connect with their [young people] peers is so significant.”

The battle against social isolation is more challenging this year than ever thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, as many people aren’t reaching out to others in fear of contracting the virus.

Anderson says the key to combating social isolation is to constantly reach out to trusted friends and confidants.

She also stresses the availability of resources like the Recovery Centers of America, which are open 24-hours a day, seven-days a week.

If you or someone you know is struggling with social isolation, you can find help on the Recovery Centers of America website.