Replacing One Addiction With Another
Obsession with finding a replacement “high” can become a factor in any person’s addiction recovery.
Addiction recovery can be a tricky process, and many have experienced the phenomenon of substitute addiction–replacing one addiction with another–in an effort to fill an emotional hole or escape physical or emotional pain.
Substitute addictions can include eating, smoking, exercise, shopping, working, sex, gambling–any behavior that becomes excessive and keeps the person from having to deal with difficult emotions and/or a sense of emptiness.
Recognizing a tendency toward excessive behavior is the first step in managing a healthy balance in recovery.
For instance, exercise is a healthy activity in most cases, and exercising can be a wonderful way for people in recovery to get a natural “high” from the dopamine exercise releases. Yet exercise can also become a substitute addiction. If you become obsessed with your physique, your fitness level, or your feats of strength to the point that exercise takes away time from other responsibilities and relationships, your exercise can become unhealthy.
To help prevent substitute addictions from developing, learning how to deal with difficult emotions is essential. Therapy and support groups can go a long way in helping those in recovery stay on track instead of seeking ways to escape challenging situations and feelings.
If you or someone you love needs help overcoming addiction, please contact us anytime at (337) 456.9111.
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