Getting addiction treatment is a big step toward sobriety. However, the question now is, how to avoid substituting one addiction to another? Addiction itself is overwhelming and challenging since you need to be mindful of the challenges that will come along the way—considering that certain behaviors can be classified as substituting your addiction. At first, it may just be normal behavior, but in some cases, it is a way of telling that “no, your body is still feeding the satisfaction of your addiction,” and that is something we don’t want. In today’s article, we will be discussing that matter, on how to avoid replacing one addiction from one another.

How To Avoid Substituting One Addiction to Another
How To Avoid Substituting One Addiction to Another

Understanding Addiction Substitution

The first way to understand how to avoid substituting one addiction for another is to understand its root. Like an addict who aims for sobriety, the challenge now is how I should do something that will no longer feed the satisfaction of my addiction? The simple answer is, know yourself. Be mindful of specific behaviors that bring familiar satisfaction that reminds you of your addiction.

The worst part of substituting addiction is when the rehab process is put to waste. The primary purpose of rehabilitation is to control, lessen and treat your addiction. However, if we substitute a particular behavior that brings familiar satisfaction, you need to undergo rehab again. In this case, even though you are already sober, that certain satisfaction is something we do not want to happen.

When Can We Say an Addict is Substituting Addiction

We need to know the indicators before answering the question, “how to avoid substituting one addiction to another?”. These indicators are present when a sober patient is slowly substituting a certain behavior that is familiar from its previous addiction.

  • Exercising – making yourself healthy sounds good. However, exercising can also be a good substitute for addiction. Certain drugs elevate adrenaline and excitement. That is why exercising reminds them of the feeling. They exercise too much as a form of satisfaction with a certain feeling of addiction.
  • Gambling – illegal as it sounds, but this is an indicator that a certain individual is also gambling its addiction. They may be sober towards their addiction, but the moment they gamble themselves as a form of satisfaction. Poker, casino, and e-gambling are a few examples of gambling. These activities bring excitement. Therefore gambling can be a good candidate for substituting addiction.
  • Pornography – certain drugs bring a euphoric feeling. Through pornography, they can find satisfaction, which can be a good substitute for substituting addiction.
  • Over-the-counter drugs – certain sober addicts make an excuse in using OTC drugs like painkillers and use it as a substitute. Over-the-counter drugs can be a good substitute since it is accessible. Certain OTCs can bring euphoric and addictive feelings towards sober addicts. In this way, OTC is a good candidate as a substitute for addiction.
  • Shopping – weird as may it sounds, but shopping can also be an alternative substitute towards addiction. Sober people can either replace addiction by spending too much money on shopping since this brings a familiar feeling, satisfaction.
  • Gaming – video and interactive games can be a good candidate for substituting one addiction for another.
  • Romance – the idea of being in a relationship can be a good way to substitute for one addiction. Sober addicts love the idea of being complete through addiction. However, the idea of being complete through relationships can help you find motivation and divert your focus against addiction.

These substitutes are clear indicators that a certain individual is replacing its addiction towards these stated behaviors.

What Can I Do: Combating Addiction Substitution
What Can I Do: Combating Addiction Substitution

What Can I Do: Combating Addiction Substitution

There are certain ways on how to avoid substituting one addiction to another. These are common ways on how we can help sober addicts in choosing the best behaviors. Through this, we can avoid the occurrences of another addiction. Let’s know them.

  • Addressing One’s Behavior

The primary aim is to get sober towards the addiction. However, getting sober doesn’t stop there. The responsibility in taking care of one’s emotion is in the hands of the sobered addict. Its responsibility is to know its behavior itself and manage it, to avoid substituting previous addiction to another.

  • Knowing Unconscious Emotions

Aside from controlling one’s behavior, it is also important to assess one’s unconscious emotions. Considering this one, sober addicts will understand and prevent leading behaviors that will substitute for their addiction.

  • Know Your Likes

Making sure that you know your likes, like hobbies, is a good way to prevent addiction substitution. However, you have to make sure that these hobbies you like are not familiar with your addiction nor bring familiar satisfaction.

  • Join Voluntary Movements

Participating in voluntary movements is an excellent way to distract yourself from behaviors or activities that prevent you from substituting your addiction. Volunteering in a humanitarian organization can be a good way or join an organization that protects the environment. Through these activities, you are diverting your attention towards thinking about substituting your addiction.

  • Meditation and Journal Writing

This kind of activity is considered a way to slow down compulsive behaviors through meditation and reflection through a journal. In this way, your unconscious behaviors are addressed, and unexpressed thoughts are reflected. Aside from that, you have the chance to reflect on your goals in life. Realign your goals and wants through meditation and journal writing.

Through these interventions, a sober addict can divert its attention in preventing activities that will root to substituting addiction. By doing these activities, an addict can live a sober life free from addiction.

Points to Ponder

Compulsive behavior is what leads to substituting one addiction for another. The best way to do that is to access oneself; why is there a reason you need to get sober? For a job? For self-improvement? Self-development? You have to know yourself for you to avoid substituting an addiction for another.
How to avoid substituting one addiction to another? Simply by addressing unconscious emotions, managing these, and reflecting on them. In this way, you can assess these factors and prevent certain behaviors that will substitute one addiction for another.

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