Have you replaced one addiction for another without even realizing it? Believe it or not, substituting one addictive behavior for another is very common, especially for people during the early days of their recovery and they're not even aware they're doing it.
Many people who have stopped drinking or using drugs turn to other unhealthy or negative behaviors as coping devices that are just as detrimental to their health and overall well-being, and some are equally as addictive.
Alcohol Dependence - Not everyone that has a drinking problem smokes cigarettes, uses marijuana or uses other drugs too, but when some people are trying to overcome their alcohol dependence, they turn to other harmful substances as a way of coping. In a short period of time they can become dependent on tobacco, pot, shopping, food or even gambling without realizing they substituted one addiction for another.
Drug Addiction - The same holds true for people recovering from drug addiction, as a way of coping with stress, abstinence, or even boredom many recovering addicts turn to alcohol, tobacco, pot or other addictive behaviors as coping devices. Some people turn to food when they're recovering from alcohol or drug addiction and find themselves compulsively overeating or binge eating which trades one unhealthy compulsive behavior for another.
Compulsive Gamblers - Not everyone that's addicted to gambling drinks or smokes tobacco but some people turn to cigarettes or alcohol as a way of coping with the stress once they stop gambling. Overeating, excessive shopping, excessive smoking or compulsive internet gaming can easily take the place of casino gambling without a person even realizing they trading one addictive behavior for another.
Food Addiction - It's not uncommon for a person that's had a problem with food all their life to go from being a food addict overeating most of the time, to under eating and sometimes even compulsively exercising in order to lose weight. Some people even take up cigarette smoking or begin using stimulant medications or even street drugs in order to lose weight. They don't realize they're trading one unhealthy addictive behavior for another very dangerous behavior which can lead to a devastating addiction or even death.
Don't let this happen to you, if you're addicted to alcohol, drugs, gambling, food, tobacco, shopping or any other addictive behavior and you're ready to overcome your addiction. It's so easy to replace one addictive behavior for another as a way of coping with problems, emotional stress, boredom or just life in general. If you're in treatment, talk with your counselor or therapist if you find yourself substituting one negative behavior for another.
If you're trying to overcome your problem with food and lose weight, gambling, smoking or any other negative behavior on your own, you need to be conscious of how easily you can trade one negative behavior for another and easily become dependent. Seeking help from a physician, support group, counselor or addiction specialist can help you find positive ways to deal with stress so you can avoid replacing one unhealthy addiction for another.
Losing weight is just as difficult for people and if you love food like I do, it's not easy having patience when we're eating right and wanting the weight to come off. We're either consumed with food while we're packing on the pounds or consumed with ways to take them off and we don't realize both can be equally as dangerous. Taking stimulant medications to lose weight, smoking, starving ourselves or becoming obsessed with exercise isn't any healthier and can lead to addiction and other serious health problems. Overeating obviously isn't good for our health and losing weight is never easy but risking addiction to drugs, tobacco or any other substance to drop the weight will destroy your entire life, and it's just not worth it.