Are All Addictions the Same?

Posted on :  January 22nd, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Even though drug addiction has been a part of human life for millennia, researchers have finally begun to understand why addictions occur. As researchers get closer looks at the human brain, they have found that addictions actually change the way the brain works and that reversing those changes is difficult.

With the number of people with addictions, like the millions of heroin, cocaine, alcohol, and nicotine addicts, there are many brains that have been altered so much that they are difficult to repair. Fortunately, now that we know how the brain responds to addictive drugs, we have a better understanding of treatments that work.

Interestingly, people who are being treated for opioid addictions often develop a new addiction. This is more common than people think and it is not a cause for worry. The best way to avoid developing a new addiction is to develop self-awareness so you can recognize if the new behavior is really a new addiction. These are a few of the more common addictive behaviors. Most of them involve some form of compulsivity, which makes them highly recognizable. Like drug addiction, these addictions might seem harmless at first, but as the addiction develops, it can be difficult to break free.

Exercise: It might not seem like exercise could be a negative thing, but exercise addictions can be dangerous. Because exercise involves endorphin rushes, many people quickly become addicted to that natural high. The more you exercise, the harder it is to achieve that natural high – so you have to keep exercising. Instead of constantly focusing on exercising, you can schedule a certain amount of time each day and use your exercise to aid in your recovery.

Food and eating disorders: During drug recovery programs, many people will experience weight gain or loss. Food can quickly become a satisfying substitute for drugs, especially food that is full of sugar. Overeating is an addiction in the same way that bulimia is. Instead of chowing down at the all-you-can-eat buffet, work on eating only when you are hungry and eat only real, unprocessed food. You will see your weight stay healthy and you will feel fantastic, too.

Gambling: There is a big thrill when you win big while gambling. The brain is stimulated in the same way it is when taking opioids. When gambling becomes a problem, the gambler can no longer stop. The impulsivity of gambling has led many people to lose their money, their jobs, and their families. If you know you are prone to addictions, it is best to simply avoid visiting casinos and getting close to any type of betting.

Organizational commitments: When people are working on their recovery from opioids, they tend to want to try new things. This might mean visiting a new church, volunteering for a political campaign, or working at a charity organization. The thrill that can come from helping people and meeting new people can actually become addictive. While this might not sound like a big deal, there are many people who give all of their time and all of their money to these groups, only to regret the decision later.

Sex: Opioid addicts who are working on recovery should avoid working on sexual relationships. These relationships can be rather stressful and they can actually slow recovery. Since people who abuse drugs tend to be promiscuous, they can become addicted to the feelings associated with a budding relationship. This addiction can get in the way of recovery and it can lead to disappointment and depression.

Shopping: Credit cards make it easy to become a shopping addict. While you are in recovery, you should hide your credit cards or cut them up so you do not go on any unnecessary shopping binges. Like gambling, a shopping addiction can cost a significant amount of money as well as stress from disappointed family members.

At Towards Recovery Clinics, we understand the challenges that come with a methadone-based recovery therapy. We are here for you during every step of the way so you can return to a normal and healthy life. If you have any questions, contact us via phone at 905-527-2042.

Who We Serve ?

  • Individuals using/abusing street narcotics (e.g. heroin).
  • Patients abusing prescription narcotics(i.e., Codeine, Talwin, Percocet/Percodan, Dilaudid, Morphine or Demerol, et cetera).
  • Individuals displaying any of the following behaviours: Compulsive drug use or drug seeking/craving.