Substituting Substance Addiction
This article was written by Nitara Osbourne and published by American Addiction Centers
There are concerning instances when some individuals struggling with a substance addiction first get sober. Even though they work through recovery, some replace the time spent previously dedicated to misuse of alcohol or drugs with different compulsive or otherwise problematic behaviors in another area of their life. For example, excessive exercising, compulsive gambling, or perhaps even a shopping addiction, to name just a few. To others, these behavioral substitutions may not always seem as serious or immediately debilitating when compared to substance addiction. The individual struggling may neglect to get the help they need. Continuing this behavior may also lead back to drug or alcohol use, creating a continuous cycle of addiction.
American Addiction Centers (AAC) is a nationwide leader in addiction treatment that provides medical detox, treatment, and aftercare planning. We even offer specialized programs dedicated specifically for the unique needs of veterans, working professionals, among other groups. If you’re struggling with a substance use disorder (SUD) or an alcohol use disorder (AUD), please reach out for the help that you need today.
Addictions, Treatments, & Substance Addiction
Oftentimes, those in recovery are encouraged to focus on making healthy and productive life choices. And although what’s considered healthy and productive is also referred to as a balanced lifestyle, there are times when activities can evolve into compulsive behaviors.
Let’s look at some examples. Having the responsibility of a full-time job is productive and allows individuals to support themselves and their families. Becoming obsessed with overworking to the point of it interfering with personal friendships, relationships, and any other areas of their life may be a cause for concern. Likewise, exercising, or working out at the gym, 3-5 times a week for an hour or so can be healthy and can contribute to a balanced lifestyle. However, working out for hours multiple times a week and allowing the activity to interfere with the stability of a job, school, or family activities may be troublesome.
There are several types of addictions that aren’t necessarily recognized by The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, (DSM-5), but there are healthcare professionals that believe these addictions are valid and treatable.
The DSM-5 is the latest version of the American Psychiatric Associations’ standard for names, diagnostics, and symptoms of mental illnesses, which includes substance addictions.
The majority of the following behavioral addictions are not recognized by the DSM-5, but doesn’t make them any less real to those battling the addictions:
- Video game addiction.
- Exercise addiction.
- Tattoo addiction.
- Work addiction.
- Internet addiction.
- Food addiction.
- Gambling addiction.
- Porn addiction.
- Shopping addiction.
- Love addiction.
Treatments for behavioral addictions tend to include:
- Self-help groups.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy.
- Couple’s counseling.
- One-on-one counseling.
- Group therapy.
Just like a substance addiction, therapy, and sometimes prescribed medications, can help bring the addiction under control.
If you’re battling an addiction to substances and are experiencing any co-occurring disorders as well, you’re not alone. AAC is here to help you to achieve long-term sobriety and to live a productive, balanced, and healthy life . If you’re struggling, please reach out for the help that you need today.
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