The Danger Of Trading Your Addictions
Many view addiction as being temporarily tied to a single vice.
Whether it is a dependence on drugs, alcohol, or gambling, the general assumption is that, once a person enters treatment for an addiction, they should be cured of all compulsions. However, the prevalence of addiction replacement showcases the true nature of addiction for what it is: a disease.
Addiction replacement is classified by an individual in recovery substituting any given addiction for another. This typically occurs during or after the treatment process for the original addiction.
Preventing & Treating Addiction Replacements
The key to treating addiction replacement is addressing the underlying cause of the compulsive behavior, thoughts, and actions through therapy. If addiction is seen more as a permanent condition than a temporary dependence on a single substance, it could help reduce rates of relapsing.
Rather than identifying patients by their drug of choice, which may be transitory, research suggests we institute a broader conceptualisation of this complex brain disease.
– Chelsea Carmona, Aljazeera
The only way to fully put a stop to replacement addictions is by addressing any unconscious emotions and working through them with a therapist rather than projecting them onto different substances or activities.
Proactively educating individuals in rehab centers of the very real risk of transferring addictive habits onto other things is another way to prevent a new addiction from developing. Also, working with a counselor or sponsor to learn how to better identify your triggers and addictive patterns of thoughts is extremely important in preventing a substitute addiction from developing.
Helping Someone With Drug Or Alcohol Addiction
If you have a loved one who is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, it can be difficult to watch them. It can also make you feel unsure as to how to help them. Here, we will talk about the signs of drug and alcohol use disorders, what you can expect when your loved one is dealing with a substance use disorder, how to handle the difficulties of trying to help them, and how having a loved one with a substance use disorder affects you.
The first thing that you need to know is that the difficulties involved with stopping the use of substances is complex. Using drugs or alcohol affects areas of the brain associated with self-control. As an individual keeps using drugs or alcohol, the way these areas of the brain function are changed, making it difficult to stop or otherwise control compulsive substance use.1 It is also important to know that it is unlikely that you alone can make them quit, however, there are ways you may be able to help support their motivation to change.1
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Diagnosis Of Sex Addiction
The diagnosis of CSBD or hypersexuality is sometimes challenging. This stems, in part, from the lack of consistency in fitting some of these behaviors within one mental health condition.
Although excluded from the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , compulsive sexual behavior and what many call sex addiction are frequently seen in clinical settings.
The decision to remove it from the manual was controversial. Some mental health professionals who often see it firsthand and care for people living with symptoms didnt agree with the exclusion.
Hypersexuality can still be diagnosed using the manual, though, by assigning it to the Other specified sexual dysfunction category.
On the other hand, the International Classification of Diseases, 11th Edition , includes compulsive sexual behavior disorder as a formal diagnosis. It is classified under impulse-control disorders, not addictions.
The ICD-11 is a diagnostic manual maintained by the World Health Organization to provide a global language for reporting and diagnosing diseases.
The ICD is not commonly used by mental health professionals in the United States. However, its consulted in many instances where the DSM-5 doesnt offer specific diagnostic criteria for a given condition, such as in this case.
You Turn To Your Phone Whenever Things Get Awkward
Do you find yourself relying on your phone a little too often whenever things get awkward?
If your answer is yes, then you are probably addicted to your phone.
Sure, the phone can be your savior every once in a while, but if you find yourself relying on it a little too often, then you might just have a problem.
Most people would be using their phone even when they are at a spa and trying to de-stress and melt away their worries for the day.
People get a massage for relaxation purposes, and phones are one of the primary stress causing machines.
Therefore, in order to unwind properly, it is essential that the phones are kept as far away as possible during the process.
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Causes And Effects Of Smartphone And Internet Addiction
While you can experience impulse-control problems with a laptop or desktop computer, the size and convenience of smartphones and tablets means that we can take them just about anywhere and gratify our compulsions at any time. In fact, most of us are rarely ever more than five feet from our smartphones. Like the use of drugs and alcohol, they can trigger the release of the brain chemical dopamine and alter your mood. You can also rapidly build up tolerance so that it takes more and more time in front of these screens to derive the same pleasurable reward.
Heavy smartphone use can often be symptomatic of other underlying problems, such as stress, anxiety, depression, or loneliness. At the same time, it can also exacerbate these problems. If you use your smartphone as a security blanket to relieve feelings of anxiety, loneliness, or awkwardness in social situations, for example, youll succeed only in cutting yourself off further from people around you. Staring at your phone will deny you the face-to-face interactions that can help to meaningfully connect you to others, alleviate anxiety, and boost your mood. In other words, the remedy youre choosing for your anxiety , is actually making your anxiety worse.
How To Talk To Someone With An Addiction
Start by trying to talk to the person about their addiction. Having a one-on-one conversation may be less intimidating than staging an intervention with several people.
Find a time when you can be alone together and free of distractions or interruptions. Tell them that youre concerned about their behavior and ask if theyre open to hearing your thoughts. Try to use non-blaming language and avoid raising your voice or getting angry. They will likely respond better if you communicate from a place of compassionate concern. It may also help to talk about specific behaviors or incidents related to their addiction that have directly affected you.
If theyre receptive to hearing your thoughts and concerns, ask if they would be willing to seek professional help. They may not be open to discussing this option. They may become defensive. If this happens, let it go for the time being. Dont threaten or shame them. Instead, start talking with other family members and concerned parties to begin planning an intervention.
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Who Is At Risk For Drug Addiction
Various risk factors can make you more likely to become addicted to drugs, including:
- Your biology. People can react to drugs differently. Some people like the feeling the first time they try a drug and want more. Others hate how it feels and never try it again.
- Mental health problems. People who have untreated mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder are more likely to become addicted. This can happen because drug use and mental health problems affect the same parts of the brain. Also, people with these problems may use drugs to try to feel better.
- Trouble at home. If your home is an unhappy place or was when you were growing up, you might be more likely to have a drug problem.
- Trouble in school, at work, or with making friends. You might use drugs to get your mind off these problems.
- Hanging around other people who use drugs. They might encourage you to try drugs.
- Starting drug use when you’re young. When kids use drugs, it affects how their bodies and brains finish growing. This increases your chances of becoming addicted when you’re an adult.
A Romantic Fantasy Will Crack And Eventually Crumble Sometimes Fast Sometimes Little By Little
Love addicts eventually discover the person they imagined their romantic partner to be is NOT that person at all, but a person who proves continually incapable of meeting their true needs for intimacy and mutual connection.
Its unavoidable– a romantic fantasy formed in a relationship will, at some point– blow up. It happens in all addictive relationships.
Robin and her fantasy relationship experience:
Robin, a love addict was addicted to a fantasy about David. Her fantasy started meeting David on a dating site.
Robin was instantly attracted to David when she first laid her eyes on David– he was equally attracted to Robin. She was mesmerized by the hazel eyes that stared so intently into her own.
He was charming, attentive, and seemingly very affectionate– and he constantly lavished praise and adulation on Robin– which made her feel very special. “He honestly was so sweet and endearing”.
David and Robin quickly developed an intense romantic relationship. Robins fantasy was sparked on the first date, but was only starting Within three weeks her fantasy accelerated into high gear
Jenny, I love him so much, and I genuinely know he loves me as much. I know we are going to be, forever, together, I just feel it. We’re already talking about our future together.
Overtime, he didn’t respond to her texts and phone calls like he use to, where before he would usually respond within a couple of hours, changed to maybe 24, sometimes 48 hours.
If a fantasy can talk!
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S To Take If An Alcoholic Or Addict Refuses Treatment
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How To Talk To Someone With A Substance Use Disorder
When you talk with your loved one about their substance use, there are things that you can do, and not do, which can help the conversation be more productive and potentially result in a positive outcome.7, 8
- Express your concerns and state facts, not opinions.
- Be patient.
- Offer help, including information about treatment, how it works, and how it can help.
- Offer to go with them to the doctor or to an appointment.
- Neglect your own needs. Take care of yourself, regardless of the outcome.
- Donât yell or act angry.
- Enable the person.
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Do I Need Health Insurance To Receive This Service
The referral service is free of charge. If you have no insurance or are underinsured, we will refer you to your state office, which is responsible for state-funded treatment programs. In addition, we can often refer you to facilities that charge on a sliding fee scale or accept Medicare or Medicaid. If you have health insurance, you are encouraged to contact your insurer for a list of participating health care providers and facilities.
Approaching And Helping An Addict
Trying to help someone with an addiction can be a long, challenging, and painful process. Unlike someone with a physical health condition, such as cancer, a person with an addiction might not recognize the true danger of their illness or understand the risks of not treating it.
Its important to remember that they are ultimately responsible for their own recovery. Typically, they must first recognize that they have an addictive disorder. Then, they must be ready and willing to address their addiction before their recovery can even begin. Setting realistic expectations and boundaries can help you provide support, while protecting your own well-being.
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Words Matter: The Language Of Addiction
Addiction is a disease. Its important that we use language that frames it as a health issue and shows respect to people with addiction and their families who are impacted. Just like we would with any other disease, like diabetes or asthma.
A person shouldnt be defined or labeled by his or her disease or illness, it is something they have. For example: Instead of calling someone a diabetic, its preferable to use person-first language and say someone with diabetes. The same goes with the word addict.
We have a choice when we communicate. We can use words that perpetuate the negative stigma around substance use words that label people with an addiction in a negative, shameful and judgmental way. Or we can use words that are compassionate, supportive and respectful words that help others understand substance use disorder as the health issue that it is.
The Associated Press took an important step to stop using stigmatizing language toward people struggling with a substance use disorder, recognizing that words have power. We invite you to do the same.
How To Identify An Addiction Replacement Has Occurred
An addiction doesnt require becoming dependent on a consumable substance, such as drugs or alcohol. Many individuals transfer their addiction into seemingly harmless or even healthy activities, such as exercise, work, or shopping.
Im through with drugs, but now Im running down the list of addictionsAt the moment Im obsessed with shopping. I steal my parents credit cards and go on weeklong sprees. I have dozens of shoes and bags and jewelry that I dont look at twice once theyre in my closet. I know this isnt healthy sober behavior but I dont think I can stop shopping until my moms credit card is finally declined.
– Kate, recovering drug and shopping addict, The Fix
So while on the surface an activity like shopping can appear as a healthier alternative than abusing drugs, both addictions can produce similar consequences. Signs that an addiction replacement has taken place are:
- Constantly thinking about your new activity or vice
- Losing sleep to participate in new activity
- Trouble at work, school, or at home
- Relationship issues with spouse or loved ones
- Neglecting self-care and personal hygiene
- Experiencing stress or anxiety if unable to complete new activity
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Help For Families Of Drug Addicts Or Alcoholics
Seeking support for yourself is just as important as getting your loved one help with drug addiction. Your needs are just as important as anyone elses.
Families often take part in family therapy as a way of obtaining support, and it is often a component of addiction treatment programs.3 Family therapy can address underlying communication issues or other concerns to help support behavior change.3
Additional forms of support can include mutual support groups for families and loved ones of people with addiction, such as Al-anon, Nar-anon, SMART Recovery for Family and Friends, or Codependents Anonymous .2, 17, 18
Where Can I Find More Help
www.something-fishy.com A website for people struggling with anorexia or bulimia
www.eatright.org The American Dietetic Association.
www.eatrightohio.org The Ohio Dietetic Association
www.nationaleatingdisorders.org The National Eating Disorders Association.
www.edreferral.com A listing of eating disorder treatment centers by state
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Individual Vs Group Therapy
While any counseling therapy for drug abuse treatment is better than none, group therapy is generally preferred over individual therapy. In group therapy, youâre more likely to be both challenged and supported by peers who are also going through rehab.
Twelve-step programs like Narcotics or Alcoholics Anonymous are also peer support groups. They can be a useful part of your recovery program. But keep in mind that they arenât led by a trained psychotherapist and, thus, arenât the same as group therapy.
Individual therapy can help when you have depression, bipolar disorder, or another significant mental health condition that requires treatment in its own right, separate from your substance use disorder.
Do: Seek Counseling Or Therapy
Addiction affects everyone, from the person in treatment to their loved ones. Its important to ensure youre well enough to manage the potential stress of helping someone dealing with addiction. Acknowledging that you may be in over your head and in need of professional help is normal and healthy. Its also necessary for you to help your loved one to the best of your abilities.
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Addiction Glossary Of Terms Phrases And Definitions
- Self-Help Group: Group of individuals dealing with similar issues that meets to support each other and share helpful information
- Side Effects: Secondary effects of a drug these are usually undesirable
- Societal Denial: Societys denial of the historical value of drug-induced pleasure and euphoria
- Stimulant: Drugs that act on the CNS, resulting in alertness, excitation, and wakefulness
- Straight-Edge: A term for people who don t use drugs
- Sublingual: Drugs that enter the blood through the membranes under the tongue
- Substance Abuse : A maladaptive pattern of recurrent substance use that leads to impairment or distress that is clinically significant
- Substance Dependence:
Does Everyone Who Takes Drugs Become Addicted
Not everyone who uses drugs becomes addicted. Everyone’s bodies and brains are different, so their reactions to drugs can also be different. Some people may become addicted quickly, or it may happen over time. Other people never become addicted. Whether or not someone becomes addicted depends on many factors. They include genetic, environmental, and developmental factors.
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