Many people seeking drug or alcohol addiction treatment worry that they are serving a lifetime sentence of addiction or that once they get sober, they will “switch addictions” and become addicted to another substance or to compulsive behavior like gambling or shopping. We began exploring whether or not addiction lasts a lifetime in Part One of our series, and now, we’re concluding our answer to this topic.
The good news? Addiction isn’t a lifelong sentence. There is hope and help. At Baystate Recovery Centers, we offer several levels of addiction rehabilitation, no matter how severe your addiction is.
Good News About “Switching Addictions”
An abstinence-only model for drug and alcohol addiction is one of the most common treatment methods, and it’s been successful for generations of alcoholics and drug addicts. But, with more research into the science of addiction and greater advances in treatment options, there are other, more progressive approaches to Substance Use Disorder (SUD).
Even with increased research into addiction, the question of whether or not people with SUD perpetually substitute one addiction for another still hasn’t been conclusively determined. But, a lot of research shows that addiction recovery is a resilience-building process, which means that as you work through treatment and therapy for your initial addiction, you may develop habits and a changed way of thinking that may make you less susceptible to addictive or compulsive behaviors in the future.
The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published an NCBI study in 2014 that reached this conclusion:
“Compared with those who do not recover from a SUD [substance abuse disorder], people who recover have less than half the risk of developing a new SUD. Contrary to clinical lore, achieving remission does not typically lead to drug substitution, but rather is associated with a lower risk of new SUD onset.”
In fact, people who go through structured rehabilitation treatment and learn coping strategies and mindful thinking skills may be better-equipped and protected from the onset of a new substance use disorder. Many rehabilitation programs, like those at Baystate Recovery Centers, aren’t just about physical detoxing but also exploring the nature of addiction and treating the client holistically, focusing on the underlying reasons why the individual started depending on drugs or alcohol.
Addiction Treatment Tools For Managing Stress
The goal of a good addiction treatment program is to help clients make life changes focused on healthier coping mechanisms for life stresses and receiving treatment for underlying mental health issues cormobidly occurring in people with SUD. The NCBI study indicates that people who successfully overcome substance addiction may actually be much better prepared to face life challenges without drinking or using drugs and can manage stress in healthier ways.
Part of the addiction treatment process is helping people develop tools to build healthy relationships and a strong sober support system. And, we work with you to understand stressors and triggers in your life and develop better strategies to handle these incidents as they arise. With consistent participation in individual and group therapy sessions, you can learn how to escape being easily triggered to drink in certain situations and substitute using with more effective coping mechanisms.
Do You Need Help With a Drug or Alcohol Addiction?
If you’re worried about your drug or alcohol use, there is hope. Baystate Recovery Center offers several types of drug and alcohol addiction treatment, no matter how severe your addiction is. We also offer family therapy, which can help you rebuild relationships and work with clients to develop relapse prevention strategies. Call us today for a compassionate evaluation of your options.