trading addictions

Despite what some might believe, a cure does not manifest after going through rehab. Rehab by design is a program to help get a patient clean and create a strong foundation for them to build upon. It is common for most patients to encounter challenges and even setbacks. Recovery has its trial and errors to an extent, but it is really about creating achievable goals, careful planning, and building strong support. However, problems might arise during the process that a person going through recovery might not even realize. 


Addiction Replacement

Sometimes when we find something that feels like a handy solution to get us through our recovery. In the early phase of recovery, we might latch on because we might still be vulnerable during our adjustment, and our judgment can be somewhat skewed. As a result, we might actually be doing more harm than good. 


Example of Replacing One Addiction for Another Include:

  • Eating
  • Shopping
  • Tobacco 
  • Working 
  • Gambling 
  • Sex


What Causes an Addiction Replacement? 

  • The management of emotions: As previously mentioned, a patient might still feel vulnerable during early recovery and might find it difficult to manage their emotions. This can cause displacement and compulsive behavior, leading a patient to feel as though they need the safety of another vice to get their mind off of their addiction. 


  • Craving fulfillment: Sometimes what seems like an easily adopted remedy could be a deception. Addictive behavior causes cravings for fulfillment. However, when the cravings cannot be satisfied with substance use, the urges tell our emotions that we need to find other ways to satisfy the craving. This is why replacement often happens. They transfer and transition into another addictive habit, and the tricky part is that a person in recovery might not realize this.



Look for Signs to Avoid Addiction Replacement

  • Manage your emotions: Emotions will peak and valley early on during recovery. That is why it is important to sit with your emotions early on in recovery. You might keep a journal, talk with a therapist, counselor, and even friends. These social outlets of support can help us process and get to know where we are emotional.


  • Track your behaviors and habits: By tracking our behaviors and habits we might be able to identify our triggers and discover a developing problem at the source. 


Examples of this include but are not limited to:


  • Eating habits: Have you noticed an increase in your eating habits? Are they going beyond what you require to maintain a good diet?


  • Shopping: Do you find yourself ordering from online more than you need to be or filling your house with unnecessary items? 


  • Tobacco: Have you increased/taken up smoking/chewing tobacco during the times you feel alone or anxious or sad?


  • Working too much: Are you spending too much time at the office to avoid people and places that might trigger your addiction? 


  • Gambling: Are you finding yourself spending your paychecks at casinos? Are you becoming more and more dependent on the emotional stimulation a casino can have? 


  • Sex: Have you met your emotional needs in relationships with no mutual respect for a positive room for growth? 


How to Get Over These Obstacles

Once you can identify the developing habit, you can begin to work on your compulsive behaviors. 

  • A therapist is one of the best remedies to help explore compulsive behaviors. In addition, a therapist might help us to explore our unconscious emotions that could enable our cravings.   


  • Explore your triggers and create ways to combat them. To do this, you can work with a therapist, counselor, or sponsor. Identifying triggers when they arise increases your chances of finding ways to manage them. 


  • Be honest, be proactive. One of the hardest obstacles to overcome during recovery is denial. We must remember to be honest during our recovery in order to take the actions our recovery requires. 


Knowing yourself is the strongest asset you can have moving forward in recovery. Obstacles and setbacks are a normal part of the process, knowing when to ask for help when is also essential to improving your recovery. Understanding that you are going to make mistakes allows you to forgive yourself if a mistake happens. Being able to forgive, and learn from a situation creates growth in a person going through recovery.  


True Recovery knows that with recovery will come obstacles to overcome, they also realize that sometimes a patient needs help to get through them. If you are feeling like you might be developing another addiction to replace the void left from your last addiction, please call us at (866) 399-6528.