What Purpose Did Our Addictions Serve?

A powerful way of healing from our addictions is to examine what purposes our drugs of choice were serving so that we can find healthy replacements for them. Very often we use our addictive substances, behaviors and relationships as coping mechanisms for our mental and emotional pain. It is possible to discover other ways to fulfill those same purposes that aren’t detrimental to us.

Let’s try to identify what our addictions were doing for us, how we felt helped by them, what ways in which we felt we were benefiting from them. For many of us, we use our drugs of choice to bring us relief from our anxiety and depression. Drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling and anything else we find addictive might bring us temporary distraction and escape from the sadness and fear we’re experiencing. We might use them to calm us down, to quell our panic, or to make us feel less nervous, worried or on edge. We may use them to help us avoid thinking about the difficult circumstances in our lives. When we feel ashamed or regretful about our addictions, it’s often those same drugs we turn to in order to make ourselves feel better, causing us to perpetuate cycles of avoidance and escapism.

Some of us feel as though our drugs of choice give us something to look forward to. We might feel unfulfilled in our everyday lives. We may not feel aligned with our purpose. We may not feel that we’ve found our life’s calling. We might feel bored, restless and uneasy. Our drugs help us to forget that and can give us a quick pick-me-up. Rather than confronting why we’re feeling the way we are, we often want to avoid thinking about it altogether, and we yearn to escape into the euphoric high our drugs provide for us.

Sometimes what we’re seeking is connection. We feel disconnected from our inner selves and from other people. We might have isolated ourselves and separated ourselves from our close relationships. We might feel detached from our higher power and our spirit. We might feel lost, alone, confused and overwhelmed. We use our addictions to make us feel better about ourselves and our lives, to feel less alone. Sometimes we think drugs are providing us with feelings of solace and companionship. We might use our drugs of choice to bolster our self-esteem because without them we feel even more down on ourselves and insecure.

Examining our addictions and the ways in which we’ve been using them can help us to learn more about ourselves and our default coping mechanisms. This self-analysis is a hugely important part of the recovery process.

Corner Canyon Health Centers seeks innovative and research validated modalities in order to improve outcomes and maintain client progress after discharge. Healing and optimizing the brain, the top priority at Corner Canyon, enables clients to feel better and make better choices, which reduces recidivism compared to traditional treatment programs. Call 1-866-399-3469 today.


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Liz Lund, MPA

Liz is originally from lush green Washington State. She is a life enthusiast and a huge fan of people. Liz has always loved learning why people are the way they are. She moved to UT in 2013 and completed her bachelors degree in Psychology in 2016. After college Liz worked at a residential treatment center and found that she was not only passionate about people, but also administration. Liz is recently finished her MPA in April 2022. Liz loves serving people and is excited and looking forward to learning about; and from our clients here at Corner Canyon.
When Liz is not busy working she love being outdoors, eating ice cream, taking naps, and spending time with her precious baby girl and sweet husband.