There are many addictions that millions of people battle every year—drug addiction, alcohol addiction, sex addiction–even food and gaming addictions are fought on a daily basis throughout the United States. Addiction can apply not only to drugs but even daily habits and activities. Human beings can become addicted to just about anything and no addiction is healthy.
But did you know it is possible to battle more than one addiction? You could be an alcoholic with a sex addiction or a video game addict with a marijuana addiction. This is known as cross-addiction, where you battle multiple addictions at once.
Furthermore, it is also possible to battle one addiction, overcome it, but years later develop another addiction. For example, you may have dealt with a gambling addiction years ago and used video games to cope, but years later develop a gaming addiction. Known as addiction transference, it involves substituting one addiction for another to cope and satisfy the brain’s dopamine reward system.
This compulsive need for addictions might make some victims feel helpless. How does an addiction transference happen, how common is it, and how can it be fixed? In a seemingly hopeless situation, there are still solutions you can seek out for help and guidance.
How Common Is Addiction Transference?
Though addiction transference is not a term that many addicts hear, it might be more common than you think. Millions deal with addiction transference every year, which makes more sense when put in perspective. Technically, addiction transference falls under a category of relapse—“to become ill again after an improvement in health”.
Relapse rates for Substance Use Disorder (SUD) vary from 40 to 60 percent of people who seek recovery. This does not necessarily mean that over 50 percent of people will suffer addiction transference, but an ample number do. Around 21 million people age 12 and older battle cross-addiction each year, which includes addiction transference.
With every addiction, chances are there are participants dealing with a cross-addiction of some kind. For example, over 10 million Americans deal with gambling addictions, and chances are a large percentage have dealt with a past addiction.
How Addiction Transference Happens
Addiction transference develops in people with past addiction trauma. Yet despite having past addiction experience, they still often happen accidentally or without notice. A person with alcohol addiction could become sick and take a prescription, but then become addicted to the medication.
Oftentimes, relapse and addiction transference occur because an addict lacks satisfaction in their current lifestyle. Many relapse patients end up suffering from dual diagnosis: battling both their addiction and another mental disorder such as depression or anxiety. If mental disorders remain untreated, addictions can continue to relapse again and again in many different forms until properly treated.
Treating Addiction Transference
People who deal with problems such as cross-addiction and addiction transference have other issues to address. Whether those issues be depression, anxiety disorders, stressful life circumstances, or other matters, all should be addressed in recovery.
Patients with a history of addiction should also be highlighted in rehabilitation in order to avoid medicated treatment and potential cross-addiction. Ultimately, a person’s roadmap to recovery should be specialized to their needs; in doing so, patients can avoid addiction transference and cross-addiction in the long run.
If you or a loved one is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, contact Discovery Place‘s treatment and rehab alternative in Tennessee. You might be interested in Discovery Place’s own treatment center alternatives, such as our 30 Day Residential Addiction Alternative Recovery Program or our Long Term Alternative Recovery Program in Burns, Tennessee. Call us for a free consultation at 1-800-725-0922.