Substituting one drug for another is still dangerous and can make recovery even harder.
It’s common for people with substance abuse to substitute during recovery. They may believe that being addicted to a lesser drug means they are improving, but the truth is just the opposite.
Addiction substitution only reinforces addictive behavior and makes the process of recovery even more challenging.
What Are The Origins Of Addiction?
It’s easy to think that a problem with addiction stems from just one drug, but the causes of addiction go deeper than that. Underlying thoughts, and behaviors, places, emotions, and people act as triggers for drug use. The only way to successfully treat an addiction is by delving into these triggers and finding healthy ways to cope with them.
Thinking that drugs aid in relaxation, help unleash creativity or excitement, or solve the problems of emotional trauma is really avoiding the true problem. When drug use begins interfering with and leading to neglect of daily life activities, it’s a sign that addiction has taken hold of the brain and body.
How Does Addiction Substitution Begin?
Some addicts will try to minimize the seriousness of their condition by attempting to switch from one drug to another. By doing this successfully, they view this as proof that they were never really addicted at all and have total control over their drug use. By switching between drugs, addicts also put off the effects of withdrawal or change the type of high they get.
The Effects Of Substitution
Substitution only creates a false impression of being free from the hold of addiction. The temporary effect or high caused by a new combination of drugs only provides a temporary sense of control or relief. The underlying causes are still there, and can in fact be buried further in a tangle of deluded thinking. Drugs can also be substituted by addictive behaviors that provide a similar sense of a high.
Gambling, impulsive sexual activity, or overeating can all take the place of a drug. During recovery, an addict can be substance free but still engage in addictive behaviors in one of these ways. Even so-called healthy activities like exercising or recovery itself can become addictive behaviors. By switching between behaviors, an addict can convince themselves that they are still in control and have conquered an addiction.
What You Can Do About Addiction Substitution
The only way to truly recovery is under the supervision of an addiction specialist. With the help of a specialist, along with a therapist and a treatment program, you can go to the root of your addiction. This could be a trauma from childhood, mental disorder, or other trigger.
It’s important to address the origins of an addiction. Every individual will be unique in this area of recovery. With the help of a treatment program, new thoughts and behaviors are created to displace the old patterns of addiction. An addiction is a complex thing that needs the proper kind of treatment.
Cindy Nichols is an addiction specialist and specializes in drug rehab referrals at Recovery Now TV.