What Is Cross-Addiction?

What Is Cross-Addiction?A cross addiction occurs when a person who has been addicted to a drug or activity in the past becomes addicted to a second substance or activity. Multiple addictions in the same person are more common than many Californians may think. Science shows that there may be evidence behind the “addictive personality,” but you can find specialty treatment for this condition.

Cross Addiction Is Not a Dual Diagnosis

There are many terms and abbreviations for different types of addiction and addiction treatment. People often confuse the term “cross-addiction” with “Dual Diagnosis,” but these are two separate issues. It is important that Californians know the difference when they go to seek rehab treatment, or even in searching for more information about addiction recovery and wellness.

Cross addiction occurs when the tendency to become addicted crosses over into different substances. Here are some examples of cross-addictions:

  • A man uses alcohol to “calm his nerves” every night because of his stressful career. He becomes exhausted over time, and uses amphetamines to stay awake during the day. Over time, he becomes trapped in a cycle of uppers and downers.
  • A busy mom begins taking pain pills after her surgery. She becomes dependent on the pills to rest at night and soon is forced to enter rehab. After she returns home from rehab, she begins using alcohol to self-medicate her anxiety, leading to an alcohol addiction.
  • A successful salesman often travels to Vegas. He avoids alcohol because he has been in recovery and sober for five years. He begins to gamble after a successful sale and over the next year, finds that he cannot stop gambling and that he feels a great deal of anxiety when he is unable to place online bets.
  • A young college student becomes dependent on Ritalin and Adderall to stay awake during intense study sessions. Unfortunately, this leads to dependence and exhaustion. After a medical scare with her heart, she enters a support group and works her way off of these stimulants. However, in a continued goal of perfection, she later begins an addiction to laxatives to maintain her goal weight.

All of these people exhibit cross-addiction. Cross-addiction offers visible evidence that has recently been backed up by scientific research: Addictive behaviors can stimulate the reward centers of an addict’s brain. Even though an addiction is incredibly harmful, an addicted person’s brain has become dependent on the stimulation of the addiction.

Dual Diagnosis Rehabilitation Can Treat Multiple Addictions

Most people who struggle with addiction also struggle with a Dual Diagnosis. A Dual Diagnosis occurs when a person has both an addiction diagnosis and a mental illness diagnosis. This may sound severe to many Californians, but it is really quite common. Take a closer look at the same people mentioned above:

  • The career man who is addicted to alcohol and stimulants suffers from anxiety and mild depression. His drinking makes him feel unwell over time, and the constant use of amphetamines has led him to experience a sleep disorder as well. A medically supervised Dual Diagnosis detox helps get this man relaxed and drug-free at the same time.
  • The busy mom who began taking pain pills after surgery has a great deal of stress in her life. She attends therapy and learns that she has experienced long-untreated post-partum depression and anxiety over her marriage. Dual Diagnosis therapy helps her get past addiction and help her gain insight into her family situation at the same time.
  • The successful salesman enters treatment for gambling, his process addiction. Although gambling is not technically a drug, it is an addictive behavior. During treatment, he finds that he has bipolar disorder. A small dose of mood stabilizer gets him back on track to his successful career—without gambling, alcohol, or any other addiction.
  • The young college student soon undergoes treatment for digestive problems, when she finds that she has an eating disorder that led to her laxative addiction and dependence. Specialty treatment saves her life and allows her to achieve her career goals.

As you can see, cross-addiction issues can greatly benefit from Dual Diagnosis treatment. If you attend a rehab simply to sober up without looking into the deeper issues behind the addictive behavior, you may be doomed to repeat the addiction cycle over and over.

Take some time to learn more about how cross-addiction can easily take over your life, and find out how Dual Diagnosis rehab can help you and other Californians. Don’t just defeat the addiction you struggle with today, get to the root of the issue and resolve these addictive behaviors for good.

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