Transferring Addictions: An Incredibly Common Obstacle to Full Recovery
Rodney Zimmers was 21 when he finally kicked his cocaine and heroin habit for good. He weighed 135 pounds at the time. Afterward, his weight gain went up to 250 pounds and he complained that they served too many high-calorie and high-sugar foods at his rehab facility. He also claimed that he had no idea how to grocery shop or cook by the time he was 21. He basically ended up trading one addiction for another-which is often called transferring addictions.
Center for Addiction Nutrition (CAN) states on their website that while rehabs help their clients to strive to get sober and remain so, they often donâ€™t put much thought into providing them with good nutritional foods. Too often, their attitude is, â€œif we get him/her off the drugs/alcohol, the rest will take care of itself automaticallyâ€. The sugary, salty, and fatty snacks may help to temporarily ease remaining drug or alcohol cravings, they can very easily end up with some, like Zimmers, transferring addictions. Some even become so disgusted with the weight they put on that it triggers them to relapse back into drug or alcohol use.
It would be nice if a piece of fruit by itself would do the job but unfortunately, once you have them off the drug or alcohol substances, their brains are still craving the high stimulation and the sugary and salty snacks stimulate the neural pathways and the brainâ€™s reward center. The way that CAN stands out is that they also provide their own cooking classes for both their clients and their clientsâ€™ parents. They also have their clients grow their own food as a healthy sense of reward. Unfortunately, one of the reasons why preventing the transferring addictions is so difficult is because more people than ever live on fast food and foods that can be microwaved.
Zimmers has since become the CEO of Blueprints for Recovery, a treatment center for young adults in Northern Arizona. He also runs a related blog called â€œNo More Enablingâ€. In his blog, he points out that as soon as recovering addicts are released from rehab, they often leave possessing a certain sense of entitlement. The very unfortunate part is that their family and friends often give into them (such as always paying for their return, lending them money, etc.), thinking that theyâ€™re doing them a favor and preventing relapse. In actuality, that kind of enabling makes it more likely for them to relapse.