Trading One Dangerous Addiction for Another?

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Smoking cigarettes or using marijuana to help you not think about drinking. Becoming obsessed with food, binge eating or shopping compulsively as a way to cope with no longer doing drugs. Taking up gambling or becoming too involved in a relationship to get your mind off alcohol. Have you ever done this? It can happen without you even realizing it. During the early staging of recovery or even later in sobriety, it is very common to trade one addiction for another unhealthy addiction. Obviously some substitutions may be less damaging than others but not focusing on why you have addictions will lead you to drink or use eventually. Trading one addiction or a dangerous activity for another only prolongs recovery – prolongs your new life from starting. Don’t take the focus off treatment by trading addictions.

The AA book says,”I know I must get along without liquor, how can I? Have you a sufficient substitute?” There is a substitute and it is not clothing or furniture or that perfect dessert, cigarettes, or gambling – it is the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. The AA book says, “Yes, there is a substitute and it is vastly more than that. It is a fellowship in Alcoholics Anonymous. There you will find release from care, boredom and worry. Your imagination will be fired. Life will mean something at last. The most satisfactory years of your existence lie ahead. Thus we find the fellowship, and so will you.” (p. 152)

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