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Killing addiction entirely (instead of replacing...)

Discussion in 'General Substance Abuse Discussion' started by Jane, Apr 13, 2015.

  1. Jane

    Jane Active Contributor

    So from a negative standpoint, it's not uncommon for an addict to move up to more extreme substances over time in order to keep getting their fix. For example, someone who starts off with the occasional drink, may eventually become an alcoholic, and then in turn, may turn to harder drugs down the line.

    On the flip side, those who try to quit one addiction may turn to a "lesser evil" addiction. For example, I had a friend who quit drinking entirely (yay!), but now eats 5x as much fast food as he used to because he now buys a hamburger every time he has the craving to drink (boo!).

    So how do you quit the addiction entirely? Being hooked on burgers might be less dangerous than alcohol, but it's still not a good habit, ya know?
    Joseph likes this.
  2. JessiFox

    JessiFox Active Contributor

    You bring up a very good and very interesting point...people do often trade addictions for other addictions. I think the thing is to 1.) recognize addictive behaviors, thinking and patterns in your thoughts/behaviors and 2.) transfer that energy into a healthy "addiction". I know some people who switch drug/alcohol addictions for good behaviors that they would still describe as their new "addiction" in it's place- exercise, music, etc.

    I think anything could be an addiction, or function as one, and if you can find a positive one it's not a bad trade off.
  3. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    Right that getting rid of an addiction by having another addiction even it is lesser evil will not be a good thing still. It is like saying that a problem is cannot be solved by another problem. Better to really quite entirely than replacing it with another addiction.
  4. xTinx

    xTinx Community Champion

    Recovery or changing yourself for the better is ultimately a work in progress. In other words, you get there one day at a time. Complete recovery may set it but people can just as easily revert back to the way they once were. If you really want to maintain a clean lifestyle, then you have be motivated enough to continue what you started. Some people adopt a healthy way of life through exercise and dieting. Others invest in their spirituality. There are many different ways to get there but I think what's most important is that you're willing to kill your addiction entirely.
  5. TommyVercetti

    TommyVercetti Community Champion

    It takes a lot of help and a lot of your own willpower. Severe addictions are usually treated by weening them over time; several replacement addictions can occur, and that's not necessarily a bad thing in the short term, not if you're original addiction is so much more destructive that the one you replaced it with. That being said, in the long run, it's best to destroy all forms of addiction entirely.
  6. amethyst

    amethyst Community Champion

    I think that one can't judge addicts to harshly when it comes to replacing one addiction with another. It takes time to overcome psychological dependency. During the healing process it often happens that one tries to find some other way of excess such as overeating or excessive sport, or some form of compulsive obsessive behavior.
    When you stop abusing a certain substance, it often leaves a big hole inside you. It's almost like a "friend" has suddenly left you. And you need something to compensate for this loss.
  7. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    For some people it's impossible to quit without having a crutch to lean. It could be anything. They do it hoping that once they are strong enough they'll ditch the crutch but still be able to stay on their feet = staying clean/sober. One needs an iron will to be able to leave drugs behind and never look back. That IMHO is the only way to beat an addiction without replacing it with another "less harmful" addiction.
  8. juno

    juno Community Champion

    It can be a matter of having an addictive personality and a person may need to work with a therapist to find the balance in life. The key is no to replace the addiction, but get to the root of the addictin and for this counseling or therapy ishighly recommended. If you can get to the reasons for the feelings that cause you to use, then you can work through those reasons and hopefully end that need to use.
  9. FuZyOn

    FuZyOn Community Champion

    It really depends on the person. Your friend seems to be easily manipulated by everything and that won't fix anytime soon since it's engrained in his personality.
    You need a strong mind to not be addicted to anything, but it's definitely possible.
  10. imperivm1

    imperivm1 Community Champion

    You're right about eating hamburgers not being a good habit. It's definitely bad but I don't think it's worse than being an alcoholic. Virtually everything is harmful when taken in excessive amounts. It would be great if he could substitute the hamburgers with, say, jogging or doing something healthy instead. I hope he has a change of heart for the sake of his wellbeing.
  11. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    I've said this before and I'll say it again - you need to look for the root cause of your addictions if you are to successfully beat them. Simply substituting one thing for another does nothing to address the underlying problem and until this happens, the addict will never be truly free.
  12. Christian

    Christian Community Organizer Community Listener

    There is bit of a difference between an addict/alcoholic and someone that has addictive tendencies. An addict uses to feel "normal" or to change their perception of the world around them and their place in it. Someone that has addictive tendencies might go over board here and there but it doesn't effect them to the level and or nature that it does with the addict/alcoholic.
    With that being said when you switch addictions or one habit to another your only supplanting one thing for another and not really dealing with the issue(s) at hand. While eating too much is an improvement from drinking too much, it's still an unhealthy habit as you stated. While integrating healthier habits is a good thing and I'm a strong advocate for healthy living, inevitably those issues that cause someone to use to escape or as coping mechanism are still there and tend to come out in other dysfunctional or destructive habits. Cultivating balance between the emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual aspects of our lives is something that takes practice and we all need to fine tune, even if we're not addicts or struggle with addiction.
    Through working with a therapist and getting some counseling to understand yourself and gain some perspective on some of the underlying causes and conditions that lead someone to search out and act out in an addictive nature the ground work can be set for real change and a healthy, happy life.
    Joseph likes this.
  13. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    Replacing an addiction with another one that is as bad as before is not really a good idea. If you're going to divert your attention on another thing/activity, make sure it's going to be beneficial to you.
  14. Jane

    Jane Active Contributor

    I think you're long as that positive addiction isn't morphed into something bad as well. For example, a person who becomes obsessive over exercise, does it too much, can't go a day without it, etc, etc, is still indulging in a negative addiction, even if it started out as positive. It can be a slippery slope for some people unfortunately.
  15. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    The best way is to get to the core of the problem which is usually psychological and emotional. If a person is able to discern which parts of their history contributes to their current state then they are more likely able to face it head on and deal with it, because if it is left unchecked it may manifest itself in different ways. This is exactly the reason why I am not in favor of using religion to combat these types of problems because to me that just seems like another substitution or just another way to sweep everything under the rug.
  16. deewanna

    deewanna Senior Contributor

    There are many reasons why different people get addicted. The variations differ widely. Addictions also manifest in various forms in different individuals. In most cases, these different variations are combined, some are interlocked. Addiction to drugs is complex and that is why is so hard to break.

    Anyone addicted to drugs must first examine himself. Beyond the addiction, what is the root of the problem? Something must have triggered the use of those drugs.

    My point is that opting for a lesser evil might not be the right solution, especially if it is something you can also get addicted to easily.
  17. sunflogun

    sunflogun Community Champion

    I think it's fairly difficult that we kill the addiction, I even have a hard time to determine what addiction is. For me it was always more easy to focus on behavior and behavior consumes time, so we need to replace the time we spend consuming drugs by doing something else, that was what worked for me.
  18. JessiFox

    JessiFox Active Contributor

    Yes, I think addiction itself is inherently problematic in that way- it can be channeled in a good way but it's a fine line with anything, no matter how healthy initially. It's a balancing act.
  19. sunflogun

    sunflogun Community Champion

    That is why it's so important that we get surrounded by good people and activities. Inside ourselves still lives what lead us to consumption, we should never forget that and we should never feel that we are home free, we need to keep our guard high.
  20. Clairelouise84

    Clairelouise84 Senior Contributor

    Yes I agree, I started eating so much after I stopped drinking, I gained around 6 stone (84lbs) and ate everything in sight, then I decided to stop eating so much and then I ended up not eating enough! I think I have got the balance right now but I still find it hard sometimes!
    sunflogun likes this.