Working on drug and alcohol addictions is hard but rewarding work. However, sometimes it’s easy to replace one addiction with another — and it doesn’t have to involve drugs, either.
Process addictions are based around the same kind of repetitive harmful behaviors involved in chemical addiction, but they don’t involve the physical symptoms caused by drug and alcohol abuse. Rather, they’re often built around physical behaviors. Although uncommon, these addictions can become replacement addictions for those in recovery.
When you’re in addiction recovery, it’s important to be aware of the dangers of replacement addictions. These are activities that you turn to in place of drugs or alcohol, and they can be just as damaging to your sobriety. Gambling, shopping, binge eating, and sex are all capable of creating addictive behaviors.
This blog examines them, and how sober living can help you manage addictions.
When most people think of an addiction that doesn’t involve drug or alcohol use, they’re likely thinking about gambling addiction. According to the National Center for Responsible Gaming, almost 10 percent of young adults experience problems related to gambling.
Another addiction that’s often spoken about is sex addiction. This can manifest in a number of ways, but it typically involves an obsession with sexual thoughts or behaviors. Like other addictions, it can lead to financial problems, relationship difficulties, and employment issues.
It’s an addiction that’s not widely understood, and people dealing with it often face ridicule. Some studies show between 3 and 6% of Americans have compulsive sexual behaviors. Surveys of patients with sex addiction seem to show emotional, sexual, and physical abuse may be underlying causes.
A less-talked-about addiction is shopping addiction. Also known as compulsive buying disorder, this addiction is characterized by an uncontrollable urge to purchase items, even if you can’t afford them. It’s estimated that up to 16 percent of Americans suffer from compulsive buying disorder.
Worse, shopping addiction can be done very easily online — there’s no rule that says you’re only addicted if you’re shopping somewhere in person.
A recent study showed around 5% of the US population was addicted to shopping. It’s an addiction that can cause as many problems as addiction to drugs and alcohol:
- Over half of people addicted to shopping have major debts.
- Just under half felt guilt about their shopping
- Nearly 10% had financial or criminal legal issues related to their shopping
Another addiction that’s often spoken about is gaming addiction. This can manifest in a number of ways, but it typically involves an obsession with video games or other types of gaming. Like other addictions, it can lead to financial problems, relationship difficulties, and employment issues.
Over two billion people play video games globally. In a study published by the National Library of Medicine, 3% of gamers were addicted to video games. While 3% of people may not sound like much, the percentage works out to around 60 million people a year.
Binge Eating Disorder
Last but not least is binge eating disorder. This is a type of food addiction that’s characterized by episodes of overeating followed by feelings of guilt and shame. Binge eating disorder is a serious condition that can lead to obesity and other health problems.
Binge eating disorder affects far more people than other eating disorders — studies have shown it’s more common than breast cancer, schizophrenia, and HIV. In women, binge eating tends to start in the 20s; in men, binge eating manifests more often in middle age.
How Sober Living Helps
If you’re struggling with addiction, sober living is a helpful step in your recovery. Sober living homes provide a structured environment where you can live and recover from addiction without the temptation of drugs or alcohol. In addition, sober living homes typically have rules and regulations that help residents stay on track with their sobriety.
Sober living can help with replacement addictions, too. Sober living is about accountability, and your roommates and house manager can keep an eye on harmful behavior patterns.
If you’re considering sober living, be sure to research different homes in your area to find one that’s right for you. And if you’re not sure if sober living is right for you, talk to your addiction counselor or treatment center. They can help you assess your needs and make a decision that’s best for your recovery.
Finding A Sober Place To Call Home
SoberlLivingNearYou.com is home to thousands of sober home listings. With our site, finding a sober home for your specific needs is easy and efficient. Start your journey towards recovery today with SoberLivingNearYou.com!