When the pitfalls of addiction recovery are listed, one issue may be somewhat overlooked, which is the danger of switching from one addiction to another. Addicts, particularly long-term ones, have become accustomed to using their dependency as a crutch, and relying on it as a major part of their life. And a combination of genetics and an addictive personality can enable someone to seek out another outlet when trying to combat the current addiction. However, in the long-term, what this does is create an endless cycle of problems that can ultimately leave the addict at square one after years of trying to overcome one’s problems.
Swapping The Substance, But Not The Problem
Whether the substance is drugs, alcohol, or even food, the reasons why someone develops an addiction are often similar. A troubled, fractured childhood, outside influences, genetic predisposition, and lifestyle can all greatly contribute to someone developing an addiction. And while someone may have the best intentions when deciding to conquer an addiction, one may unintentionally start developing another addiction in the meantime. The effects can be gradual, and over time the cumulative dangers can become more apparent. For example, someone may be battling a drug problem, but instead start drinking alcohol more frequently.
Abusing one’s body with drugs or alcohol can have dangerous, potentially fatal consequences. The laundry list of problems that drugs and alcohol make even go beyond physical problems, to perhaps even worse, the emotional toll it takes and how it can fracture every meaningful relationship in someone’s life. The dangerous consequences include:
- Liver disease
- Blood poisoning
- Brain damage
- Severe aching
- Job loss
Moreover, intimate relationships, and dissension created in family can cause irreparable damage, particularly if children are involved. And addicts can even lose their lives if they lose control over their addictions. What someone with an addictive personality needs to realize is that they need to understand the root of their addiction and try to focus on resolving those issues, rather than just on conquering one dependency, while slowly indulging in another.
Steps To Regain Control
When someone tries to stop smoking, they may start eating more to fill the emptiness left by not smoking. Therein lies one of the major problems people have when trying to overcome one issue, they then turn to something else to try to fill the emptiness they feel. Instead, they should seek ways to fill the void with other healthier, and more positive means. Another upside of this approach is that this method can be used on all addictions, because it addresses the person and not the addiction.
The person should look at how they can strengthen and develop other parts of their lives that have been missing, such as their spiritual life, eating, and exercise habits. Someone who has a rich, meaningful spiritual life will find themselves less prone to turning to another addiction, because they have found another way to fill their void. Whether it’s meditating, attending church, or discovering a new outlet such as painting, finding a deeper expression of being can add layers of new meaning to one’s life that had been missing before.
Likewise, choosing to eat healthier and to exercise goes beyond just the physical improvements that will manifest in, but also the attitude with which one approaches life. Instead of self-loathing and self-destruction, someone recovering from addiction is saying that they care about themselves, their health, and their future. By making these affirmative steps, this will help ward off the phantoms of another addiction that may threaten a full recovery. Long-term, this will help a person live a sober life, because it will give them the tools to find that life can be enjoyed without the dark filter of addiction.