Swapping or Co-Occurring Addictions

Swapping or co-occurring addictions can best be understood with the following: You go from smoking to eating; from drinking to shopping; from sex to chocolate to working; from eating to exercise. You’re substituting one addiction for another in an attempt to compensate for a perceived lack of emotional needs. Tobacco use, alcohol use, illicit drug use, binge eating, gambling, Internet use, love, sex, exercise, work, cosmetic medical procedures, diet, weight loss procedures, and shopping are common addictions that can occur alone or simultaneously.

One addiction takes the place of a previous addictive behavior to serve the same purpose. Swapping or co-occurring addictions aim to serve the same purpose as the original addiction. Often you will substitute one addiction for another before, during, or after beginning the recovery process from your original addiction.

Beginning a recovery process, you begin to have feelings about a present or past situation you have not been able to express or talk about. Giving up eating disorder behaviors, substance use, or alcohol use tends to start to feel something they need to get some relief to “feel better”. The Eating Disorder person will typically begin to, exercise, shop, or look for ways to release the pressure. Some people retain feelings, stress, or muscle tension in parts of their body causing pain, disease, muscle aches, or stomach bloating. They are typically bottling up the feelings inside. Do many people feel like they are to become addicts and struggle for life, battling a never-ending cycle of recovery and relapse? Many of you have seen people gain and lose weight; drink and stop drinking, and smoke and stop smoking. The cycle goes on and on. The goal is to start to express the underlying emotions verbally without suppressing the feelings with the addictions.

Some beliefs are that once you have had one addiction, you’re at greater risk of developing another addiction or what we call swapping or co-occurring. There is no single set of characteristics that people who become addicted have, but there are some that are more common among people with addictions.

A recovering alcoholic may turn to food as a source of reward and pleasure. The relationship with alcohol was substituted with food which could develop into a substitute addiction. Many Alcohol addicts feel this may be a safer addiction to have, but it is still damaging.

In the binge-eating world, there has been a dramatic rise in bariatric surgeries. Once they lose weight, they end up with new or swapping food addictions for alcohol, gambling addiction, sex addiction, internet addiction, love, or compulsive shopping. Former Binge Eating individuals may use drugs and often engage in other activities as a replacement for a binge eating food addiction.

At WD Recovery and Wellness we understand you. We help you learn not to substitute one addiction for another during or after the recovery process.

We help you get to the core of what drives your addiction which is your key to lasting recovery. We educate you about the dangers of swapping or co-occurring, at the beginning of your recovery with our treatment processes.

We help you take an active role in your recovery by learning how to identify triggers; Identify, manage, and change the core thoughts and feelings that are part of addictive thinking patterns. Our team will help you recover and heal preventing relapse, co-occurring, or swapping of your addictions.