The Dangers of Addiction Transfer
Addicts and substance abusers who are able to leave drugs in the rear view mirror have scaled one of the most difficult challenges they will ever face in their lives. Their efforts are to be commended and they should be very proud of their achievement. The dangers, however, do not end after rehab. Everyone knows that there is the possibility of relapse, but fewer people know about a common issue known as addiction transfer.
Addiction is a disease of both the body and the mind and addicts are in recovery for the rest of their lives. There is no cure. When the brain is addicted to a substance, it receives a level of pleasure that it can’t seem to find in “normal” activities. In other words, achievements and other generally positive aspects of a person’s life cannot compare to the euphoria provided by the substance of abuse.
When an addict loses their source of euphoria, they are often left with a void in their lives…an emptiness that must be filled by something that can offer a similar feeling without abusing the same substance. Further, an addict’s self-image and feeling of self-worth can be significantly altered. While they may not be chasing the high from drugs, they may have a distorted view of their lives and bodies.
Addicts and their families must be aware of activities that mimic addiction. These may include anorexia or overeating, over-exercising, performing dangerous activities or other behavioral anomalies. These may all be signs that the addicted individual is looking replace the void that withdrawal from substances of abuse has left behind.
Addiction transfer can be managed and prevented, but it has to be identified first. A course of therapy along with reinforcement from families and friends can begin to minimize and eventually stamp out the effects of addiction transfer.