Avoiding Trade Up Addictions
Jan 2014

Trade up addictions are started with good intentions. If you do not know what a trade up addiction is, here is a quick overview. A trade up addiction starts off as a replacement to an unhealthy addiction. A good example would be yoga as a replacement for a drug addiction. These replacements often times are the best answer to helping someone cope with and move on from an addiction. However, there are some cases in which the addict simply moves the addiction to the replacement. This is called a trade up addiction. So, how do you avoid a trade up addiction during rehab or therapy?

Avoid a One Stop Fix

If you are offered a replacement to your current addiction, take it. Just make sure you are taking it and incorporating other coping devices as well. For example, if yoga is the replacement to your drug addiction then take it and use it. Also take meditation, writing, therapy, and other options as well. Incorporate them all into your plan. The reason you do this will be to avoid having only one out or one replacement when an urge to succumb to your addiction occurs.

Create a Network

Make sure you have a network of supporters in your life. This does not have to be just friends, just family, or just therapists. Your network can be offline or online. As long as you have someone to turn to when an urge hits, you will be fine. Activities are great and they help as does a replacement to your addiction. However, nothing can compare to having that network as well. This network can also be created or connected to a support group. Support groups are a great way to branch out and network with others going through the same issues as you.

Set Limits

Make sure that you set limits. Setting limits will help to avoid a trade up addiction. If you are using yoga as your replacement option, then set time limits or money limits. Tell yourself to only spend one or two hours a day on yoga. Tell yourself to only spend a certain amount of money, and nothing more, on yoga items. These limits will help keep you from getting into the replacement too deep. It will help you maintain a normal level of involvement and it will help you to stay away from another addiction.

The bottom line is, if you are avoiding a trade up addiction, you need to work with several methods of coping skills. You need a network, activities, and any option that will let you deal with the urge that caused your original addiction. You need to be open to asking for help, taking help, and using that help. Whatever it takes to make sure that you avoid the urges and avoid the addiction is what you need to do, within reason. At the end of the day your goal is to avoid and move on from an addictive past and to move onto a happier healthier lifestyle.


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