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kewpiedoll 06-24-2005 11:33 AM

Behavior Substitution to Stop Addiction
People say that to stop bad habits & addictions you should replace the undesired, destructive behavior with a new, more constructive one.

What behaviors do you substitute for your addictions?

dwp512 06-24-2005 11:54 AM

Re: Behavior Substitution to Stop Addiction
Good question!

I have found since I quit (4/1), that I have sooooo much more time. I always did my drugs at night, so about 5 or so everything would come to a stop so that I could do my thing.

Now, I have all this time...I swim, play tennis with my kids, take the dog for evening hikes, take out the telescope, watch the moonrise, sunset bike rides, started learning spanish, doing yoga (dang, is that crap HARD!), cook healthy meals, plant flowers and a veggie garden, pick bugs off flowers and veggie garden, etc, etc, etc.

You are right...staying busy is important, at least to me...idle hands and all that.


Sylvia224 06-24-2005 01:21 PM

Re: Behavior Substitution to Stop Addiction
Good question - I hope I get ideas!
To stop myself from drinking (I'd take pills anywhere so I'm not sure I've replaced that with anything really) I spend a lot of time at the library just browsing through books and magazines and listening to the story time with the kids. Libraries have always soothed me for some reason.

scaryskimomm 06-25-2005 06:10 PM

Re: Behavior Substitution to Stop Addiction
Wow dwp. :eek: ..I am sooo tired just reading your post- can i be you? LOL thanks for the info and I agree wholeheartedly. Keep up the good!!!

reality07 06-25-2005 07:35 PM

Re: Behavior Substitution to Stop Addiction
I agree; since I've been trying to stay clean, I have a lot more time...about 5-7 hours more.
I have a really short attention span (probably due to so many years of addiction), so it's hard to find something that will keep me occupied for any amount of time.
I'm taking a summer class at college, so I focus a lot on that...
I talk on the phone a lot...I have a good friend I can talk to for hours, so that keeps my mind off of things...=)
Some days I just don't have enough energy to do much of anything...Other days I feel really anxious/nervous, or I have a lot of cravings, so I just try to go to sleep.
If I get bored, I clean or cook while I watch TV or listen to music...or if I feel up to it, I go walking or shopping...=)


tony_b 06-25-2005 08:39 PM

Re: Behavior Substitution to Stop Addiction
That is a good one! I know that I try to stay busy being productive at work, I also like to hang out with friends. I ALSO dropped all of the friends that were playing negative roles in my life as I don't need them anymore. That in turn keeps me from thinking about getting pills, NEGATIVE THOUGHTS! I find that if I indulge myself into something productive, it works b/c my day goes by so fast!

Nervous Nellie 06-25-2005 10:12 PM

Re: Behavior Substitution to Stop Addiction
This is a great thread, even for those of us who have non-drug related habits or addictions! :)

I think I read somewhere that it takes at least 21 days, or something like that, to develop a NEW habit so that it becomes ingrained and you don't even think about it. This applies to both good AND bad habits I think! LOL

Years ago, I used to be a "workaholic" and I swear I probably worked 60-70 hours a week at the office, PLUS I would bring my laptop home and work some more! :(
I was literally addicted to getting my "fix" of personal satisfaction from my job. When I saw that this was bordering on true obsession and was making me a very one-dimensional person with no "balance" in her life, I realized I had to change this habit and slowly developed OTHER interests that I really enjoyed and were appealing enough to me to make me WANT to stop working so compulsively.

I know this couldn't possibly compare to the agonies of withdrawl from drugs or alcohol, but the basic idea of developing a variety of fun and creative interests to replace addictive behaviour is good advice for ALL of us, I think! :)

Thanks for posting this thought-provoking question!


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