Congratulations on getting help for your addiction. This is the first step on your positive journey. But as you recover, it is more important than ever to not let down your guard. As you work toward the recovery from one addiction, say, to alcohol, it is important to make sure you are getting help for the underlying issues that sparked the addiction. Otherwise, you may find yourself still plagued by those problems, which could manifest themselves in another addiction. It is not uncommon for alcoholics or drug abusers to develop secondary addictions to food, sex, or another drug. Getting Help for Addiction To avoid sliding into secondary addiction, the key is getting the right help for your drug or alcohol problem. Proper treatment will include:
- Examining the reasons why you became dependent on drugs and alcohol. This could include avoiding problems by getting drunk or high, coping with a traumatic incident by turning to illegal substances, or masking the troubling symptoms of disorders such as schizophrenia or bipolar.
- Changing behavior patterns, so that you are not self-medicating with alcohol or drugs.
- Acknowledging feelings of pain, isolation, and boredom, and understanding they are a part of every life.
You may achieve this treatment through a variety of different methods. Some people find individual counseling to be most effective, while others enjoy the insights they gain from group therapy sessions. Yet others thrive with Music or Art Therapy, which we offer at The Ranch PA. No matter which method you employ during treatment, the aim is to uncover the reasons behind your addiction. Avoiding a Secondary Addiction Not every rehab program addresses the underlying causes of addiction. If this fails to occur, you may be simply treating the physical symptoms of addiction. When faced with the same triggers that led you to abuse alcohol or drugs, you may choose a different vice to indulge in to escape your problems. Often when you develop a secondary addiction, you are desperate to recreate the high you felt while abusing drugs or alcohol. In those moments, you are seeking to forget your problems and enjoy a moment of pleasure. It is easy to see how, for example, a chocolate donut with sprinkles could bring about that same momentary joy. One donut can lead to two, and suddenly you find yourself craving food in the manner you once craved drugs or alcohol. People struggling with addiction can have trouble with moderation, too. If you are putting all your concentration into avoiding drugs or alcohol, you may feel you “deserve” to have those extra donuts, because you have been so good at rehab. That is one reason it is dangerous to use food, sex, or other chemical substances as a reward. You may find yourself losing control of your relationship with these other vices. Get Help for Addiction Today At The Ranch PA, we have experience steering people on the right way to address their drug and alcohol problems. We treat the underlying issues of your addiction. Contact us today to discuss treatment options. Photo via