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How to Live in Recovery without Developing Other Addictions
It has widely been believed that when an individual had battled an addiction, he or she may be more susceptible to other addictions, such as a sexual addiction to a chocolate addiction.
This is not a guarantee and oftentimes, addicts are warned to be cautious of potentially addictive behaviors. However, not all addicts are as careful as others are and it is entirely possible for an individual to substitute one addiction for another.
According to the NCBI, there is no clear understanding for the role of substitute addictions but prevention education and treatment may be a good way to decrease the chances of developing a substitute addiction.
The best way to live in recovery without developing other additions is to become educated in what it means to substitute one addiction for another.
What is Substitute Addiction?
A substitute addiction is when an individual shifts from one addiction to another. According to Health Direct in Australia, an addiction is when a person had no control over the use of something to the point where it can become harmful to him or her.
It can occur when the addict feels as though they are missing something from their previous addiction, for example from smoking to eating. It is an important practice to be able to distinguish the addictions as they co-occur and substitute addictions. Substitute addictions are used in place to serve the same purpose as the original addiction.
Many people feel a lack for the feelings their past addiction(s) gave them and choose to use another substitute to replace it. A solution for this is to turn towards more positive substitutions such as reading or exercise as opposed to negative ones such as sex or gambling.
For substance abuse, it has been found that overeating is the common substitute, which can cause bulimia or obesity. It would be a wise choice to fill the whole left behind by the addiction with something that is not as harmful or addictive while the individual is recovering from a previous addiction.
Personality Is a Factor
Not every addict has the same traits or personality but there may be factors that overlap that can influence a person to become addicted to drugs or action. Genetics, and neurochemistry as well as environmental and social factors have been found to be able to affect the tendency to become addicted.
Like people, there is no one definitive type of addictive personality and no one person is more likely to become an addict over another. Many people who are more susceptible to the effects of addiction suffer from anxiety, depression or PTSD, and while this does not doom the individual to develop an addiction, it can put them at a higher risk for one.
Be Cautious of Positive Substitutes
While positive substitutes are best, it is still important to remember to monitor them as carefully as negative substitutes. While substituting food for a substance abuse addiction can be an all right way of coping, it can also become addicting and turn into obesity or bulimia.
Another example for why it is a good idea to practice caution with positive substitutes would be in faith or religion. While it is not a bad thing in normal measures, it needs to be done in moderation, as an addict can become obsessed with the idea that a magical thinking will fix them without any action taken.
Living in recovery without developing other addictions can be hard and taking the proper precautions is essential to live a productive life. When an addict substitutes one addiction for another, it can cause just as much damage and require as much recovery as previous addictions.
While personality does not always factor into an addiction, it is important to note the similar traits exhibited by addicts and to monitor a habit that can become addictive to keep from reliving the addiction all over again. If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction and needs help, call 800-256-3490 to speak with a caring specialist that can assist you. Your life may depend on it.