I’m Sober, But Has Another Form of Addiction Developed?

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Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

Addictions are complex disorders that involve multiple aspects, including a person’s biology, environment, family history, social structure and more.

Many individuals who are dealing with an addiction may have experienced multiple factors and situations that triggered the development of these behaviors.

Because addiction involves many different aspects, professional treatment is typically needed for intervention and to help a person finding healing and restoration in their own life.

Dealing with co-occurring addictions can also be a common occurrence among individuals who are dealing with various types of addiction. For example, a person who may be dealing with alcoholism may go on to develop another type of addiction, such as gambling or sexual abuse.

Similarly, a person who is struggling with prescription drug abuse may also misuse alcohol or other types of street drugs. This may be due to the similar nature and roots shared among addictive types of behaviors, including genetics, personality traits, experience of traumatic/abusive experiences and more.

New Addiction

Being aware of the development of a new type of addiction is an important aspect of being in recovery and maintaining sobriety. If you have been sober from a substance that you previously abused but found yourself gravitating towards other types of addictive behaviors, understand that these are red flags that should be taken seriously.

Friends girlsRepeatedly engaging in a behavior to induce a feeling of euphoria or as a means of escape could be a form of addiction, and it is crucial to analyze and evaluate these types of behaviors.

Other forms of addiction can include shopping addiction, sexual addiction, gambling, alcohol use, prescription drug use, and illicit drug use to name a few.

Reaching out for help early on can help intervene with behaviors that can potentially jeopardize your recovery efforts and ultimately, your ability to thrive in life.

You may need additional counseling to help work on and address the root causes related to the addictive behaviors or find and develop more effective coping mechanisms.

Do not look at this as a sign of failure but as an opportunity to grow and be strengthened in your current recovery journey. Speak with someone you trust as soon as possible when you find yourself dealing with other addictive type of behaviors to begin the intervention process.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

Have you struggled with co-occurring addictions or disorders, and if so, what helped you identify that there was multiple issues at hand? What resources have been helpful for you in treating co-occurring addictions?

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Crystal Karges

Crystal is a Masters-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a specialty focus in eating disorders, maternal/child health and wellness, and intuitive eating. Combining clinical experience with a love of social media and writing, Crystal serves as the Special Projects Coordinator for Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope, where her passion to help others find recovery and healing is integrated into each part of her work.

As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Crystal has dedicated her career to helping others establish a healthy relationship with food and body through her work with EDH/AH and nutrition private practice.

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Addiction Hope understand that addictions result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on November 25, 2015
Published on AddictionHope.com