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Substituting Addictions

Discussion in 'General Substance Abuse Discussion' started by Rainman, Aug 26, 2015.

  1. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    Many addicts recovering addicts normally find themselves substituting the substance they abused with something else. Much as it can be a great strategy for beating an addiction since you eventually have to fight this new addiction eventually you wouldn't have made any progress.

    Be careful not to substitute an addiction with another. If you can't do it all at once, wean yourself off the drug. That would be more helpful.
  2. Damien Lee

    Damien Lee Community Champion

    I think this is very common. It's so easy for substance abusers to replace one addiction with another. I've noticed this in my community, particularly with drug users. Half way through recovery they'll stop doing meth or crack and move on to weed, thinking because it's safer their addiction is no longer dangerous.
  3. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    Replacing one addiction with another is something that's all to easy to do, and a lot if the time I don't think people even realise that they're doing it.

    It can on rare occasions be helpful but only on a short term basis to get over that initial stage of recovery.
  4. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    I totally get the "replacing one addiction with another" concept. If a person is replacing an addiction to one substance with an addiction to another substance, that's obviously a problem. But if they're replacing an addiction to a substance with another addiction that doesn't involve substances...well, that may be different. Example: I know someone who was addicted to heroin. He kicked that habit, and one of the ways he keeps occupied now is by playing video games. He is a big time gamer, and even he throws around the word "addicted" when he talks about his playing. But from a harm reduction standpoint, I think it's better to be addicted to video games than heroin, right?
    dechantajones and Rainman like this.
  5. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    It is sometimes useful to substitute one addiction for another, eg swapping heroin for methadone or even swapping cigarettes for e-cigs like I have done.

    However, simply discountinuing the use of the thing you were addicted to is only half the battle. One of the keys to maintaining sobriety is to understand and work through the reasons why you became addicted in the first place.
  6. whitenoise

    whitenoise Senior Contributor

    I can confirm this, I once had a friend who were addicted to smoking. For let himself quit smoking he developed an addiction to the chocolate and junk food in general. Now his' weight is 200kg and he's in a special clinic to try to decrease it's weight.
  7. Mzpeaceful1

    Mzpeaceful1 Active Contributor

    I will admit since I quit smoking in March I do crave sugar and by that I mean Ice Cream and I do give into it and I have gained a few pounds. However because I was so sick from benzo withdrawal and weighing 97 pounds, I needed to gain a few pounds. I am now up to 120 and if I keep eating my daily fix of Ice Cream it could become a problem at some point but I am not yet worried about it and am still enjoying my new found addiction. :)
  8. Ali16

    Ali16 Senior Contributor

    I am part of this group too. When I stopped using alchohol and drugs, my addiction to self harm became more severe. I battled with it for years until recently I was able to greatly decrease how often I did it. Then, I found myself binge eating. Those of us with addictive personalities will jump from one addiction to the next if we are t careful and watch our behavior closely. Thankfully, I think I'm getting everything under some semblance of control now.
  9. Tremmie

    Tremmie Community Champion

    I did that, I substituted my harmful addictions for something not as harmful, but still bad in high doses... I'm talking about sugar addiction. I really want to snap out of it... I'm now 10+ kilos heavier than last year. So yes, I need to stop and lose all that weight :( It sucks, I wish I could have become addicted to exercise instead, but I guess I am not that kind of person. Sometimes addiction substitution works against you, but I guess this is better than doing drugs or drinking til blacking out lie I did in the past.
  10. Rosyrain

    Rosyrain Community Champion

    I know a lot of former drug addicts who have substituted the hard stuff with liqueur. This is not in any way helpful at all because instead of getting high, they are getting drunk instead. Drinking constantly leads to addiction as well.
  11. seatones

    seatones Member

    I think sometimes it doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing, at least entirely. For example I know someone who's substitute was video games, which isn't a harmful activity for most people. It can get in the way of more productive aspects of life, sure, but I'd say if someone was able to help quit drinking by consuming themselves with games then that's positive. I also know people who quit hard drugs and became alcoholics, which obviously isn't positive. If you're talking abut substitutes only within the drug world, then yes it's always going to be backtracking. A couple people have mentioned that their substitute is sugar, which I see as laying somewhere in the middle. It's definitely less harmful than drugs/alcohol, but not entirely good for you (especially in high doses.) I would still say this is positive, however.
  12. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    I don't think this is the right solution to beating an addiction, but I know it does work effectively on other people. However, it may take a lot of time before they finally let go of their cravings. Anyway, if we can do it, why can't just we focus on quitting for good instead of finding alternatives/substitutes for our addictions? I believe that's more ideal.
  13. Adrianna

    Adrianna Community Champion

    Yeah you need a back up plan. What you are going to do if you feel the urge? Eating properly will help considerably along with your H20 intake.
  14. Coolkidhere

    Coolkidhere Community Champion

    How I wish that when we substitute our addiction for another it would be fruits or vegetables. But alas, addiction transfer doesn't happen that way. Mostly, we substitute the former substance for another unhealthy substance like junk foods, sugary foods or something like it. I guess for some people, it's the only way to stop the craving or addiction. But the more important thing is, to stop the addiction transfer, you would need to get to the root of the anxiety, the root of why you're craving something. Maybe then, an addiction transfer can be stopped.
  15. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    Right that better to get rid of addiction little by little than substituting it. Finding or trying a substitute could just mean another addiction that could be worse. Better to find real solutions or ways to fight the addiction.
  16. kmars

    kmars Active Contributor

    Tapering off a drug little by little can be quite difficult. The dry spell brings anxiety and frustration. It does not mean that it isn't a possibility however. The objective really is to not substitute a substance but to get rid of the substance out of your body's system completely.
  17. kmars

    kmars Active Contributor

    That's exactly my thought. Why not try to be rid of the addiction for good? Wow, starting drugs actually brought pleasure. Now for good to come back to one's life, one has to go through pains.
  18. dechantajones

    dechantajones Active Contributor

    Like stated by a few other bloggers when I quit drinking I substituted alcohol with soda. Although soda can be harmful in large amounts to your body I don't have to worry about drinking and driving which is a danger to others. Also drinking soda does not alter my thinking and behavior so I'm less of a danger to myself. I think the soda is the less of two evils when it comes to my health and eliminates the risk associated with drinking.
    JonnyMacdonald likes this.
  19. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    Absolutely. It's never going to be easy, but it's all going to be worth it. As long as you are determined and patient, recovery will definitely be possible for you.
  20. JonnyMacdonald

    JonnyMacdonald Community Champion

    I did this too. Yes the sugar is bad for you, but you don't make boneheaded decisions after a can or two of sprite!
    Also when I was drinking a 12 pack of beer could easily be consumed in a sitting, If I have 3 soda's in a day that's rare.

    Sometimes it is better to substitute one thing for another, it all depends on what those things are.
    dechantajones likes this.