The mental health field (and for the purpose of this article, specifically the addiction recovery field) is an interesting little world. There are a lot of licenses, degrees, specialities, subspecialities, and certifications. Essentially, there’s a lot of “experts” and “expertise.”
There is a glaring irony to all of this. That irony living in the reality that nobody actually knows many facts about addiction. The experts can follow trends, report on what they observe, and lean into what little science actually exists on the topic. But at the end of the day, nobody has actually pinpointed what specifically causes addiction. Moreover, nobody has found a cure, or even a truly solid treatment for it. At the core of it all, addiction treatment and addiction recovery is a lot of people with a lot of theories who are hoping that their theories are correct. That’s it.
Sometimes society latches onto those theories, other times it doesn’t. But just because society has clung to one theory over another doesn’t make the more popular theory any more concrete.
It’s from this lens that I’m examining this idea of “Transfer of Addiction.” Transferring a substance abuse addiction to a passion for a hobby (like exercise, school, etc) is a notion that’s villainized and spoken of as something that needs to desperately be avoided. It’s an idea that’s even discussed and lectured about in rehabs and mental health facilities. Yet, in reality, transfer of addiction being a problem is just another example of a theory that society has glorified as fact. In reality, it’s just an idea that’s armored up by stigma and not actually fueled by factual evidence.
When people claim to have a concrete answer or a concrete explanation about anything regarding addiction I look at it with a very skeptical lens. No one can have the answers – the scientific evidence does not exist. However, I can offer some less common viewpoints. Less common viewpoints that while less common, are equally valid, important, and analyzed.
My next post I will be interviewing Dr. Lara Pence. Dr. Pence holds a PsyD and is a chief doctor behind the well-known Spartan races. She has some new and innovative ideas about the notion of “transfer of addiction.”
Our hope is to expand your viewpoints on what is and isn’t “okay” when it comes to recovery. As well as open your thinking to accept new ideas that might offer benefits to those affected by addiction.
We look forward to sharing our interview with Dr. Lara Pence you!