Addiction Replacement

Addiction Replacement: The Disease of Substitution

The disease of substitution is a condition in which an individual substitutes one addiction for another. For instance, someone addicted to alcohol or prescription opioids may begin using benzodiazepines instead to achieve the desired effects. Although they are different, both substances are effective for self-medicating or numbing unwanted feelings. Replacing an addiction for another can be extremely dangerous, as it can lead to a rapid increase in tolerance and dependence on the new substance. It can also be challenging to break the cycle of addiction, as the person will likely feel like they need both substances to function.

There are many different addiction replacement drugs, which can be difficult to overcome without professional help. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use disorder due to addiction treatment substitute drugs, please seek treatment immediately. There are many excellent treatment programs available that can help you achieve sobriety. 

Understanding Addiction Replacement

Many people view addiction as a moral failing, but addiction is actually a physiological condition that can affect anybody at any time; when someone becomes addicted to a substance or behavior, their brain changes in ways that make it difficult for them to stop.

Addiction is not about willpower or strength; it is about biology and chemistry. People with addiction need treatment because they are unable to control their drug use or addictive behavior on their own. An effective treatment program can help people recover from addiction and lead healthy, productive lives.

Addiction replacement therapy is one methodology of treatment that can help people with addiction. For example, Suboxone is a drug given to treat opioid addiction, but it is only a temporary solution, and it is not the best route of staying sober. The main drawback of Suboxone is that it is an opioid drug and addictive itself, so while it can help people improve lifestyles and behaviors, it will keep them dependent on opioids. In our opinion, Suboxone is best when used only as a short-term measure. Once the person has become emotionally able to sustain an opioid-free life, they should ideally taper off Suboxone and eventually stop taking it altogether. There are also other potential reported side effects of Suboxone, including depression, so it is important to talk to your doctor before starting this medication.

Why Addiction Replacement Occurs 

 Addiction replacement will often occur if the root problem has not been dealt with; this means that the individual will become addicted to a new substance or behavior in order to cope with the underlying problem. For example, someone who is struggling with anxiety may start using drugs or alcohol as a way to self-medicate and relieve their symptoms. Alternatively, someone who is struggling with depression may turn to food as a way to comfort themselves and fill the emotional void.

Addiction replacement can be incredibly dangerous, as it can mask the underlying problem and make it more challenging to diagnose or treat. It is important to seek professional help if you are struggling with addiction or any other type of behavioral health issue. Addiction replacement can offer a sense of comfort and familiarity for an individual in recovery, and it can be challenging to break the pattern.

Dangers of Trading Addictions

The Dangers of Trading One Addiction for Another

It can be very dangerous to trade one addiction for another, especially if the new addiction becomes just as or even more challenging to break than the first. This is often an endless cycle that can be very hard to break free from.

Addictions can take over our lives and control our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. They can drain us of our energy and make it difficult to think or focus on anything else. We can become so obsessed with satisfying our cravings that we lose sight of what is important in life. We may start to neglect our responsibilities and relationships, and eventually, addiction can lead to depression, anxiety, and even suicide. 

How to Prevent and Treat Addiction Replacements

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best way to prevent and treat addiction replacements will vary from person to person. Some things that will likely be important in finding an individualized solution include understanding the person’s unique biology and psychology and taking into account any past experiences with addiction or recovery.

In general, however, some approaches that may be useful for preventing or treating addiction replacements include behavioral therapies, medications, and self-care strategies. It’s also important to have a strong support system in place during treatment, as this can be key in helping a person stay on track with their recovery.

How Can Family and Friends Help a Loved One Struggling with Addiction?

There are a few key things that family and friends can do to help loved ones struggling with addiction:

  • Educate yourself about addiction. This will help you better understand what your loved one is going through and how best to support them. 
  • Offer support and encouragement. Addiction is a difficult journey, and loved ones need all the support they can get from family and friends.
  • Seek professional help if you need it. Addiction is a complex issue, and there may be times when you need professional assistance to help get where you want to be.


Addiction is often a consequence of an untreated issue such as depression, anxiety, or trauma. Addicts turn to alcohol or drugs to self-medicate, and when the addiction becomes chronic, it is difficult to stop. Addiction treatment should address the underlying issue and provide support for sobriety. Staying sober is a challenge that requires effort and perseverance. 

While self-medicating may provide temporary relief, it can also lead to further emotional problems and addiction.

Self-medicating with drugs or alcohol is often done to avoid dealing with emotional issues. It can provide a temporary sense of numbness or euphoria, and it can worsen the underlying emotional problems in the long term. This is because self-medicating often just masks the symptoms without dealing with the root cause of the problem. As a result, people can find themselves in a vicious cycle of using drugs or alcohol to mask their emotions, leading to further emotional distress. It is not easy to break the cycle of addiction, but it is possible with adequate help.

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Reviewed by Clare Waismann, RAS / SSUDCC, Founder of Domus Retreat®
All topics for the blog are selected and written based on high editorial quality standards and cited source material. Clare Waismann, Registered Addiction Specialist (RAS), Substance Use Disorder Certified Counselor (SUDCC), and founder of Domus Retreat and Waismann Method®, reviews articles for accuracy, credibility, and relevancy. Clare Waismann is an authority and expert on opioid dependence and related topics covered on the blog. Please see our Terms of Service for additional information and disclaimers regarding third-party sources and content for informational purposes only.