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CBT and DBT
11.01.2021

Cocaine Is My Problem, Not Drinking. So Why Is My Therapist Telling Me I Should Stop Everything?

Individuals undergoing substance abuse treatment deserve praise. Said subjects have finally admitted that they possess a serious sickness necessitating aggressive and professional assistance. That said, the physical and mental withdrawals associated with ceasing an addictive habit could prove challenging.

In many cases, those conquering such dependencies turn to other vices as a coping mechanism. For example, one overcoming a cocaine addiction might still hold the desire to consume alcohol in moderation.

Oftentimes, skilled professionals, such as physicians, treatment specialists, and therapists strongly caution against such actions.

Reasons Professionals Stress Stopping All Vices

Many of those employed in the addiction recovery profession maintain that healing souls should cease all vices. Common but sometimes overlooked habits include:

  • Food
  • Gambling
  • Sex
  • Alcohol
  • Exercise
  • Work
  • Smoking
  • Caffeine
  • Shopping

Chemical dependency industry insiders stress concern over a concept known as addiction replacement, which may also be referred to as addiction transfer. This behavior is loosely defined as replacing one substance with another. Researchers suggest that this action typically commences either during or immediately after a recovering addict completes a treatment program.

Scientists believe the problem results from certain notable causes. Arguably, the most notable underlying factor is stress relief. Achieving and maintaining sobriety often proves to be a continual challenge. Associated tension of returning to everyday life, tending to typical adult responsibilities, and avoiding temptation could bring about the need to engage in anxiety-relieving endeavors.

Additionally, improving individuals often experience brain chemistry alterations. Long-term substance abusers may encounter released levels of a mood-impacting chemical called dopamine.

Such events might result in sadness and depression. However, increasing one’s participation in another potentially addictive habit often counters these feelings making said subjects regain a certain degree of happiness, excitement, and tranquility.

Recovering persons or their loved ones are firmly encouraged to remain vigilant to the signs of addiction transfer including:

  • Performance issues in professional or scholastic settings
  • Self-care neglect
  • Sleep loss
  • Becoming more engaged, possibly even obsessed with the growing dependency
  • Feelings of angst if one cannot partake in the transferred addiction

The most severe presentations might precipitate marked depression or even suicidal thoughts.

Other Beneficial Aspects Of Ceasing Potentially Addictive Vices

In addition to avoiding the throes of addiction replacement and transfer, breaking one’s association with dependency-inducing vices could result in other favorable outcomes including:

Improved General Health

Cessation of habits, such as alcohol consumption, overeating, and cigarette smoking often leads to better overall health. Those eliminating these vices almost invariably lose weight, obtain lower blood pressure and cholesterol readings, enjoy better breathing capacities, and cleaner nutrient-filled and oxygen-laden blood.

Heightened Productivity

Persons not focused on satisfying their next fix are often more productive. Good health often spawns greater energy levels. Sober subjects often channel this newfound health and energy into partaking in positive, productive activities.

Enhanced Cognitive Function

The minds of the substance of habit dependents are often jumbled and clouded. However, clean and sober individuals typically enjoy clearer heads possessing a greater capacity to carry out important cognitive functions like memory and concentration.

Improved Sleep

Many people might not realize that addicts usually sleep less than sober persons. Vices often either interfere with normal sleeping patterns or precipitate rest-inhibiting symptoms like insomnia or restlessness.

Heightened Aesthetics

Chemical substances and items like unhealthy foods could adversely impact one’s physical appearance. Issues like pronounced weight gain or loss, muscle wasting, skin problems, and an aged appearance are common in those continually ingesting hazardous substances.

Financial Preservation

Those kicking bad habits often save large sums of money. Partaking in a specific action or habit with greater frequency often means you have to spend increased amounts of cash to feed the ever-growing need.

Longevity

Clean living’s end result could be significant longevity. It is not surprising that those refraining from chemical dependencies and other potentially unhealthy habits are healthier, wealthier, wiser and live long lives.

Preventing Or Overcoming Bad Habits

Preventing the development of or breaking a bad habit can prove difficult. This is especially true for persons with addictive histories or personalities. Fortunately, this task might be rendered easier through efforts like:

  • Identifying people, places, and events triggering said behaviors and avoid such influences
  • Focus on the benefits of changing
  • Do not set lofty goals immediately
  • Alter surrounding environments
  • Reward oneself for taking small steps

Above all, impacted individuals must also realize that slip-ups may happen. However, said occurrences can be overcome. People are human and mistakes are normal. The trick is not allowing an error to lay the foundation for relapsing back into addictive behavior.

Reaching Out To Us

Those seeking to end a chemical dependency are implored to contact us. Our experienced southern Florida facility has aided countless individuals hailing from different backgrounds to beat such demons. We yearn to do the same for you. For further information, contact us today at 844-903-2111.