Five Activities Recovering Addicts Should Keep Away From

Recovering addict proceed with caution

Addiction is not limited to people who have a drug or alcohol problem.  Being an addict can refer to anyone who have a being in control of their impulse to participate in any activity that they find pleasurable. Even after treatment for drug or alcohol addiction, an addict is still a person with a highly addictive personality. Just because a recovering addict stops drinking or doing drugs, doesn’t mean that they won’t pick up another nasty addiction if they don’t pay close attention to the activities that they participate in.

In many cases people with any kind of addiction simply have an addictive personality.  People with addictive personalities can become addicted to almost anything.  They often make efforts to quit one addiction just to fall into another addiction. With that being said, here are five activities that a recovering addict should most certainly be cautious of participating in.

Shopping to Make Yourself Feel Better

A popular book series does a lot for romanticizing about the life of a person with a shopping addiction, but it can be an incredibly dangerous addiction.  Chances are, your life will not be one the line, but your financial present and future could be.  Shopping is very accessible addiction option for someone with an addictive personality.  Buying new things to make yourself feel happy is a destructive behavior.  The high that some people get from acquiring new items is akin to the high some drug users get.  Rather than indulging in potentially addictive behaviors, you might want to give some mental exercises a try – like forgiving yourself for past wrongs or thinking about what you can be doing to help others.


Cigarettes are accessible and socially appropriate which makes them perfect for someone with an addictive personality, but they are one of the most deadly items on earth.  There are many, many diseases that have been proven to be caused by smoking including:

  • Cancer of the throat, liver, lungs, mouth, cervix, colon, and many others 
  • Type 2 Diabetes 
  • Osteoporosis 
  • Erectile Dysfunction 
  • Ectopic Pregnancy 
  • Optic Nerve Damage 
  • Increased Blood Pressure 
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease 
  • Stroke 
  • Aneurysms

Smoking can be a very difficult addiction to quit so it might be best just not to start at all.

Using Sex as a Replacement for Real Relationships

Constantly seeking sexual gratification is generally a tactic used by sex addicts to replace the intimacy of a real relationship.  It is a way to keep your distance from your partner and keep his or her feelings from entering your conscious thoughts.  You only think about you and your needs.  This kind of behavior is dangerous because it does not allow you to connect on any other level with your chosen partner.  Without being aware of the feelings of another person, you will never be able to reach the next phase on your relationship.  Your partner may eventually get fed up and leave if you are unwilling to take the next step.


While the idea of the thrill of winning big is constantly there, it does not happen all that often.  The core of a gambling addiction is the dream of winning big.  Addicts keep playing and playing in hopes that they will win back all of the money they have lost and be able to solve all their problems at once. But this just does not happen, and they keep gambling.  Rather than engaging in this financially destructive habit, go for the big win in other areas.  Set a goal and work toward achieving it.

Staying Constantly Connected

In this day and age, it is incredibly easy to stay connected all the time.  With phones and tablets and wifi everywhere, it is totally possible to be using some kind of screen 24 hours a day.  Internet addiction is one of the fastest growing addictions.  This is dangerous because it could potentially encompass sex, shopping, and gambling addictions in addition to a regular internet addiction.  An internet addiction on its own can be dangerous because the people who suffer from it usually have little time or energy for anything else.  These sufferers use the internet to the point where they are not sleeping, not eating, and not engaging with people outside of the internet.  They can develop eye problems from so much screen time.  They may suffer financial troubles because of missed work or because of cybersex or gambling sites.  They are likely to suffer side effects for being sleep deprived.  If you have an addictive personality, limit your screen time.  Space out your surfing sessions.  Turn off your phone.

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