Have you ever known someone that is addicted to something? This addiction does not have to be drugs or alcohol, it can be food, sex, gaming, gambling, or even shopping. The behavior of the addict seems to fade only to be replaced with a newer and often even more destructive addiction. This is called addiction transfer.
This was the case with Melody. She was morbidly obese and her addiction was food. Melody had gastric bypass surgery and after she lost literally hundreds of pounds she became addicted to Vicodin after a bout with shingles.
Another story finds Jody addicted to Vicodin who goes on Suboxone to come off of the opiates and suddenly finds herself addicted to Suboxone and Ritalin. The Ritalin was prescribed to give her energy because the Suboxone made her tired all the time.
Rick is an alcoholic. Alcohol relaxed him and helped him sleep. Once Rick stopped drinking he couldn’t sleep and had a lot of anxiety. The doctor prescribed him Xanax and now Rick is hooked on them.
Trading One Addiction for Another
These are all examples of addiction transfer. Addiction Transfer happens when the initial addiction was never dealt with. In Melody’s case that was food, Jody it was Vicodin, and with Rick it was alcohol. There is still an addiction element left in the brain that was not resolved which warrants way for a new addiction to replace the former one.
There are core undiagnosed mental disorders that fuel addiction in the first place. Until these disorders are diagnosed correctly and treated there will always be another “go to” in a person’s life. Rick may stop taking Xanax and Jody may stop taking Ritalin and Suboxone but it is almost guaranteed that another substance or behavior will replace it.
This is why it is so important for people that are suffering from addiction to seek the help of a treatment center that specializes in treating concurring disorders. Without this the addictive behaviors will continue and the pattern will never end. The initial problem must be addressed in order to break free and live a life that is free of addiction.