As anyone who has ever suffered from an addiction knows, recovery can be a challenging journey. Fortunately, with work and professional assistance, there is no question that recovery from alcoholism or any other addiction is possible. Recovery is a journey, not an end state, and if you are in recovery, you must constantly work to ensure that you stay in recovery. With help on this journey, there is no doubt it is possible.
Individuals who are in recovery must work to ensure they don’t relapse. They also must monitor themselves to ensure that they don’t switch from addiction to addiction – something often referred to as addiction swapping.
This begs the question: What is addiction swapping, and how can it be prevented? At Olympus Recovery, we have worked with clients with various substance use disorder issues, and we can help you recover from your addiction and stop addiction swapping. If you need help, contact us today.
What is Addiction Swapping?
Addiction swapping happens when someone who recovers from one addiction becomes addicted to something else. To be clear, not everyone who suffers from an addiction will addiction swap, but the risk of addiction swapping does exist. The danger can be two-fold. First, a person who suffers from an addiction to drugs or alcohol may become addicted to another illicit or addictive substance, like drugs. Some people may also addiction swap by switching from being addicted to a substance to being “addicted” to another person, hobby, or habit. This addiction is undoubtedly less dangerous than being addicted to drugs or alcohol, but it can still be highly disruptive to someone’s life. Taken to an extreme, addiction swapping can make it difficult for an individual to function.
Why is Addiction Swapping Dangerous?
One of the chief challenges of addiction swapping is that it ultimately stops a person from living a full and happy life. Addiction-swapping people likely have underlying issues that they need to address. This can only be done by engaging in a full and complete treatment program.
Furthermore, if a person is swapping addictions, they haven’t recovered. Yes, changing addictions to something less dangerous may be more physically healthy, but it means that there are still psychological issues that must be addressed. This can be dangerous in and of itself, as it may mean that someone will risk relapsing into their dangerous behavior.
What Are Some Examples of Addiction Swapping?
Addiction swapping can exist on multiple levels. First, a person may trade an addiction from one substance to another. In many cases, this leads to a relapse of the original addiction. For example, they may recover from alcoholism, only to become addicted to drugs. This is obviously the most dangerous type of addiction swapping a person engages in.
People may also become addicted to a less destructive by still disruptive behavior. These addictions may include video games, shopping, or other compulsive behaviors. While not as dangerous, these addictions can still be highly disruptive. Depending on the circumstances, someone may find that they cannot function without engaging in their new hobby or recreational activity.
Finally, people can also become addicted to others. This issue is known as developing a co-dependency on a person. In these cases, a person may find that they need a loved one to function. The individual in question may struggle without this moral and psychological support. This lack of self-confidence may make it difficult for a person to function in society.
As you can see, addiction swapping is dangerous for many people who are suffering from a substance use disorder. It comes in many forms, and you must get treatment to address any issues that may lead you to turn to an addictive substance or lifestyle again. At Olympus Treatment Center, we offer a wide array of treatment options. We are also highly experienced in addiction swapping and understand the need to address the problem comprehensively. Contact us today for more information on how we can help you or a loved one.
How Can You Combat Addiction Swapping?
Each person who suffers from an addiction is different and may require different treatment methods. Thankfully, addiction swapping can be defeated. The specific method used to defeat addiction swapping ultimately depends on you. Below are some of the more common treatment methods.
You will likely immediately notice a common thread, as all the methods mentioned below involve working with trained professionals. In doing so they allow a person suffering from an addiction to get to the root cause of their problems and continue the recovery process.
Intensive Outpatient Program
An Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) allows a person to receive addiction treatment. However, it also lets that person remain at home and tries to minimize the disruptions to a person’s life. A properly executed IOP will first help an individual create a personalized treatment plan. That person will then undergo an array of customized treatment modalities. This may include medication, individualized therapy, group therapy, or more.
IOP is a time commitment. It may require that a person spend multiple hours a day or week in treatment. However, someone in an IOP can go home at the end of the day. This program allows someone to sleep in their own bed and continue to go to work or school.
Partial Hospitalization Program
An IOP is not for everyone. In some cases, an individual may benefit from more intensive treatment and a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) may be a more appropriate solution. A PHP operates similarly to an Intensive Outpatient Program. The main difference is the time commitment as an individual must spend several hours a day in treatment with a PHP. This program involves more supervised activities and more time at the treatment center in question.
There are many benefits to a PHP. They allow for more treatment options, ensure more supervision, and can help a person fully concentrate on their recovery. However, at the end of the day, a person in a PHP will go home. Work or school may be difficult during such a program. However, a PHP is more appropriate when you or your loved one must address more serious addiction issues.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of the most popular and effective forms of therapy. It is used for various psychological problems, including mental illness and addiction treatment. With CBT, a person works with a trained therapist to analyze their feelings, then note the impact that those feelings will have on a person’s emotions and behaviors.
A trained therapist will work with the patient to help them understand the feelings that they are experiencing. The therapist will work with them to help them better understand the root cause of those feelings. This therapy may involve working through past trauma or addressing mood swings. This can lead to a better understanding the psychological “wound” that makes a person turn to an addiction. From there, a person will be taught healthier habits. These healthier habits will allow people to manage their emotions without turning to an addictive substance.
Medication Assisted Treatment
Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) involves the supervised use of medication to combat certain addictions. MAT is most commonly used for opioid use disorder. There is ample evidence to demonstrate that MAT, combined with supervised clinical use and therapy, can be the gold standard for defeating an opioid use disorder. Medicated-assisted treatment helps a person reduce their cravings. This makes it easier for that person to function in society. It also allows a therapist to get to the root cause of all addictions. This enables a more comprehensive recovery.
There is some debate within the treatment community about the effectiveness of MAT. Some argue that MAT is simply addiction swapping. However, such an idea is an outdated one. MAT is regulated by the Food & Drug Administration and acts to allow a person to live a healthy life and to make make a full and long-term recovery. The idea that using MAT to manage addictions represents addiction swapping implies there is something wrong with medication for opioid use disorder. The truth is that no one is addicted to medicines for addiction anymore than anyone gets addicted to taking medication. If MAT is an addiction, so is the use of anti-depressants or heart medication.
Get the Help You Need
If you suffer from a substance use disorder or addiction swapping, you should know that recovery is possible. There are many options to get the treatment that you need. At Olympus Treatment Center, we can help. We offer a variety of treatments that can get to the root of your addiction. We can help you overcome any traumatic experiences and ensure that you can lead the life you deserve. Call one of our addiction specialists today at 888-727-1063 to begin your recovery journey.