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What Is Cross-Addiction?

People like to escape reality and feel good, so today; it is pretty common for people to experiment with all types of drugs of all different classes. Whether it is uppers, downers or hallucinogens just to name a few. This is known as Cross Addiction, which is when a person uses more than one type of drug, either at the same time or at different times. More specifically, cross-addiction use occurs when a person:

  • uses two or more drugs in combination
  • uses one drug to counteract the effects (or the after-effects) of another
  • uses different drugs at different times over a short period of days or weeks.

It is also when a person has two or more addictive behaviors. The addictions can include alcohol or other drugs, but can also include addictions to food, gambling, sex, gaming, or other compulsive behaviors. Cross addictions don’t have to occur at the same time. For instance, you may be in recovery from alcoholism and may even be sober for many years, but develop an addiction to another drug or later engage in compulsive behavior that triggers the brain’s dopamine reward center. People who have one addiction are more susceptible to cross-addiction.

How Does Cross Addiction Happen?

Cross addiction occurs for a variety of reasons, but often it is accidental. Someone may have surgery and be prescribed an opioid painkiller like Oxycodone or Tramadol. The good feeling they get from the drug reinforces continued use, eventually leading to increased use until it becomes an addiction. Lack of understanding is another reason cross-addiction can occur. People may know they’re addicted to a particular substance, for example, alcohol. Then perhaps they are prescribed opioids. Since they are not addicted to this new substance, they may think they can use it without becoming addicted. The addiction to the new substance may develop slowly with moderate use, but addiction can, and usually does, progress.

How Common Is Cross Addiction?

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NIDA), approximately 20.1 million people aged 12 or older had a substance use disorder (SUD) related to their use of alcohol or illicit drugs in the past year. Unfortunately, only one in 10 people receive treatment for their addiction. Many people do not seek a treatment program because they are not ready to stop or think they can do it on their own, while others do not think they have a problem. Fortunately, there are drug treatment facilities that can treat both simultaneously and at Evoke Wellness at Cohasset you will receive both.

How Do You Treat Cross Addiction?

With our advanced treatment facility, we believe a Twelve Step program helps with all cross-addiction. A good treatment program will also address any co-occurring mental health issue by using evidence-based, proven-effective treatment modalities. Medication-assisted treatments should also be offered when needed to help with the withdrawal from opioid and heroin addictions. There are Twelve Step programs for all cross-addiction, and finding one specific to your addiction is important. A food or sex addict is going to be much more comfortable talking about their addiction with others that share the same addiction. If you cannot find a group meeting in your area, there are many online meetings as well.

Make A Change for RECOVERY

At Evoke Wellness MA, our medical, clinical and therapeutic team of experienced and compassionate professionals is available around the clock to treat all symptoms associated with addiction as well as the underlying causes. Our program of recovery is ideal for individuals who are ready for world-class addiction treatment and who have been suffering from a substance use disorder. Contact us to make a change today.