Cross Addiction in Recovery
Cross addiction is when two addictions (behavioural or substances) occur in one individual, or when a person who is in recovery from one addiction, acts out with a different substance or behaviour. The theory of cross addiction though, is not yet scientifically proven. The evidence is more anecdotal, or confined to small studies. The movie, Thanks for Sharing, gives an indication of how addicts in recovery, struggle with more than one addictive substance or behaviour.
Addiction based on behaviour rather than a specific substance may manifest in a variety of forms. The five most common forms of addiction are drugs, alcohol, sex, food and gambling, although new recognised forms of addictions include social media, co-dependency and compulsive behavior such as exercise or spending. There are many different 12-step meetings and support groups for different types of addiction and these may be valuable assets to any persons recovery.
Misconceptions around different types of Addiction
There are a great many misconceptions around addiction. For example, when someone comes into treatment, there may be denial about the fact that they may be able to still do certain things or substances because they are only in treatment for one substance. Here are some examples: ‘I only drink, I can still take prescription medication.’ ‘My problem is only drugs, and I can still drink, right?’ ‘I’m only an alcoholic, I’m not nearly as bad as other people.’ These are common sayings amongst inpatients. Anything that is mind or mood altering may fill a void. It is important for someone undergoing treatment to work on the root cause of their behavior before they can fix the actual addiction.
How to manage Cross Addiction?
12-Step treatment can be a great way to manage and/or prevent cross-addiction from occurring. Appropriate therapy can allow individuals to work on themselves, as well as their behaviour, which could allow them to find a balance within themselves and their lives.
Addressing the addiction through integrated treatment is usually the most effective way of treating cross addiction. It is also important to reduce triggers such as dangerous people, places and things and work on the behaviour through CBT therapy. This allows for thought patterns and emotions that contribute substantially towards substance abuse and destructive behaviour, to be managed and slowly changed over time .
If you or a loved one needs assistance with addiction – know that help is readily available. The road to recovery is not always an easy one but getting yourself or your loved one the best possible care from the team at Crossroads Recovery Centre, provides you with a map to sober, healthy living. No matter how bad things seem, there is hope and it is only a phone call away. If you or anyone close to you needs help with an addiction to sex, gambling, substances, alcohol or food, please contact us for a free assessment
-Dominique Le Claire Rossouw
Stories of Recovery
The encouragement, love and support from the team at Crossroads allowed me to eventually see that I was worth something - that my life could be turned around and that I could accomplish the things that had long been a forgotten dream.Oliver VGRead more
On the last day of my stint at Crossroads I could only express gratitude towards all who works there. A wise councillor once commented on my question when one is ready for rehab by explaining that when one is ready for rehab, rehab is ready for you.Johan BRead more
I was lost and my soul was broken until I ended up at Crossroads and was introduced to the Twelve Steps. With the help of their excellent staff and amazing support I have recently been clean for 18 months, I could not have done it without them!Carla SRead more
"Just for today I am more than three years in recovery. I have Cross Roads to thank for this wonderful gift. Cross Roads helped me to set a firm foundation in my recovery on which I can continue to build."Angelique JRead more