Blog | Alcohol Addiction

How to Replace Drug and Alcohol Addiction Healthfully

When most people stop drug use, they find that they have more free time on their hands. Time spent getting high, finding drugs or making money to pay for drugs becomes free time. When you combine this free time with the early stages of sobriety, it is normal to feel scared and even overwhelmed. If you stay isolated, you can easily find yourself bored. And boredom leads toward being anti-social and even can lead back toward the road of addiction.[1]

The first year of recovery is an important time of healing and change. For this reason, it is especially important that new vices stay far away from your list of acceptable ways to spend your time.

Unhealthy Time Fillers During Drug and Alcohol Addiction Recovery

Unfortunately, not everyone makes the healthiest choices in terms of how to fill up their schedule. Some people just flounder without ideas. Other individuals take up new vices like gambling which turn into new addictions. Even seemingly innocuous activities like watching TV or going to movies may not be the best choice because it’s very isolating. The idea is to choose activities that allow you to interact with others who are healthy, clean, and sober.

Gambling is a gateway back to alcohol and drug addiction. Drinks are always readily available at the casino.This combines with the stress of losing making it hard to avoid the temptation to relapse.[2]

Healthy Time Fillers During Drug and Alcohol Addiction Recovery

There are many areas to choose from to fill your time in early drug and alcohol addiction recovery. Here are a few key questions you can ask yourself to help narrow those choices down:

  • Does it trigger your desire to use in any way? If the activity involves drinking or drugs or surrounds you with people who use this may make you prone to relapse.
  • Is it isolating? Certainly it’s okay to spend some time on your own reflectively, but if you spend all of your time by yourself, it is only a matter of time before you relapse.
  • Are you having fun? If you’re not interested in what you’re doing, it’s not going to hold your interest for long. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t try new things. If you do try something and decide it’s not for you, don’t feel bad for dropping it. Just take the next day to find something new that is not a trigger for you. An activity that allows you to make positive friendships.

There are always a wide variety of activities you can do in your hometown, no matter where you live. Join a gym or a book club. Go to the library and take a free class. The most important thing you can do is put yourself out there so you can connect with others. It might take some time to find activities that are a good fit for you. That’s okay. Just don’t give up and keep trying healthy activities that support your sobriety.

Next Steps

If you find yourself in a place where you know you are thinking about using again, one of the best things you can do is talk to someone. Don’t fight it on your own. Drug addiction erodes the ability to make sound decisions. Call a friend. Call a loved one. Go to a support group. You can even call us at Michael’s House. Get the support you need so you don’t slip up. You can live a healthy, sober life. You’re not alone. Take the step you need to make today so you can continue to move forward in your recovery. Give us a call at 760-548-4032.


[1] Boredom- A Very Real Road To Addiction. Bennett, Carol. Published on April 24th, 2013.

[2] https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/drugs-brain Drugs and The Brain.