The Role Rituals, Habits And OCD Play In Addiction And Recovery

One of the hardest parts of battling an addiction of any form (in this case, drugs and alcohol) is the cessation of rituals, habits and compulsions to do something in a set order or the same way every single time.

Certain things trigger the urge to use or drink, even things such as getting up in the morning, getting into the car, coming home from work, seeing certain people, doing certain activities and many, many others. As people living with an addiction, we build our lives around our illness. It is the centerpiece of our existence when our world becomes totally insular.

Find out what habits, rituals and compulsions are, what Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and how it can worsen those habits and rituals, along with treatment and coping strategies to manage and change those deep seated habits and rituals that have been built over months, years or even decades of chronic substance use and dependency.

Recognising And Overcoming Behavioural Addictions

Addictions can occur in a wide variety of forms. Often, it is assumed that physical dependence characterised by withdrawal symptoms is required in order for someone to be diagnosed with an addiction use disorder, but the fact is that behavioural addiction can occur with all the negative consequences in a person’s life minus the physical issues faced by people who compulsively engage in drug and alcohol use.

The rituals that occur before, during and after also make up part of the addictive process. For example, cooking heroin in a spoon and putting on a tourniquet can be just as addictive at the heroin itself. Likewise, visit the local shop, knowing that when you get home in 10 minutes, you can drink. These “preparation behaviours” are just as important to highlight and treat.