Cross Addiction in Recovery

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Cross Addiction in Recovery

30 July, 2021Articles, News

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

www.crossroadsrecovery.co.za

074 89 51043 JHB

012 450 5033 PTA

-Dominique Le Claire Rossouw

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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 VG
    Read 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 B
    Read 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 S
    Read 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 J
    Read more
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Outpatient Programme

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Outpatient Programme

23 July, 2021Articles, News

Crossroads Recovery Centre, Johannesburg is excited to announce that we now have an outpatient programme. Deciding on whether to enter an inpatient rehab facility or to rather seek outpatient care is an important step towards recovering from an addiction. Not everyone is able to commit to, nor afford inpatient (primary care) treatment. While equally focused on rehabilitation, each type has unique attributes and benefits to offer.

Primary care offers intensive, full-time residential treatment where the client commits to living with us for the duration of their treatment. Our outpatient programme is a part-time initiative, allowing the recovering addict to keep going to work or college during the day. This is an important advantage as it allows the person to maintain the ability to support their family whilst also focusing on recovering from their addiction. The hands-on medical care and extensive therapy available to our inpatients increases the cost of treatment. However, the price difference should not discourage anyone from choosing the best possible treatment route for themselves. Our outpatient programme can be very beneficial for addicts who are serious about their recovery.

The outpatient initiative begins with an intake assessment and if needed, a visit to our physician. Mild detox cases may be handled through the programme. It runs for 28 days, Mondays to Fridays, from 17:00 until 19:00 with a short break in between. Groups and lectures are held at the Valley Centre, Jan Smuts Avenue in Craighall Park, Johannesburg. Clients are expected to attend every evening and to be punctual for all classes. The cost of the programme is R12 000.00. Lectures and groups include topics such as:

  • the disease of addiction,
  • 12-step recovery,
  • the neurobiology of addiction,
  • boundaries,
  • childhood trauma,
  • abuse,
  • loss,
  • coping skills,
  • living sober and developing new support systems whilst sober
  • co-dependency

One-on-one therapy sessions are held fortnightly via Zoom. Additional individual sessions may be scheduled.

Clients are expected to commit to certain principles whilst they attend the programme:

Should they relapse during the 28 day period, clients may be suspended from the programme for a minimum of 72 hours.

Similar to our inpatient programme, the outpatient programme also establishes an individual treatment plan for each new client which includes measurable milestones to indicate their progress. Some recovering addicts also turn to outpatient treatment after completing our inpatient programme as part of their continued recovery. This affords them access to their support systems- being able to live at home and be amongst their loved ones while still undergoing treatment. Having a reliable support system available to you is very important when undergoing rehabilitation from any form of addiction. Although cheaper and shorter, the outpatient programme has the ability to achieve similar positive outcomes to any inpatient programme.

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’s 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.

www.crossroadsrecovery.co.za

074 895 1043 JHB

Resources :

https://www.addictioncenter.com/treatment/inpatient-outpatient-rehab/

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Johannesburg Admissions: +27 74 895 1043
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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 VG
    Read 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 B
    Read 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 S
    Read 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 J
    Read more
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What is “Wet Brain” ?

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Home / Posts tagged "12 Steps"

What is “Wet Brain” ?

02 July, 2021Articles, News

Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (WKS), is commonly referred to as “wet brain”. It is a form of brain damage that results from repeated and severe exposure to alcohol. It is progressive and occurs in two phases.

The first phase which is known as Wernicke’s encephalopathy, is a temporary condition that is expressed as confusion, loss of muscular coordination, abnormal eye movements and changes in vision.
The second phase is characterised by psychosis, an inability to think and rationalise as well as a lack of personal care and an inability to successfully complete daily tasks. This phase is persistent and chronic.

Common symptoms of wet brain include:

  • Loss of muscular coordination
  • Low body tempreture
  • Abnormal eye movements
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness and muscle atrophy
  • Vision changes, such as double vision
  • Memory loss and mental confusion
  • Changes in behaviour
  • Dishonesty, lies, struggling to keep stories straight, as well as fabricating events
  • Hallucinations

Wet brain is a serious condition of the brain, and can lead to a loss of consciousness, coma, or even death. Though the people afflicted with this illness can die as a direct result of it, malnutrition, accidents and an inability to recognise danger or care for themselves as a result of the condition may also prove fatal.
It is important not to confuse the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal with wet brain. Symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Tremors
  • Sweating
  • Seizures

Wet brain is caused by a deficiency of vitamin B1, also known as thiamine. This is a common complication that can be caused by nutritional poverty, or much more commonly- prolonged heavy drinking. Thiamine deficiency can lead to brain damage, heart damage as well as nerve damage. Though alcohol consumption isn’t inherently destructive, the effects of persistent long-term abuse can have serious health complications. This can be the cause of daily drinking or binge drinking, it is not one or the other that is particularly dangerous but rather overall volume.

It has been theorised that some people may have a genetic pre-disposition to developing wet brain. If a family member has developed the condition it may be a good idea to cut alcohol consumption or stop it completely. There is also substantial evidence that suggests that alcoholism may also be genetic, those with an alcoholic family member may be more predisposed to problem drinking.


Whether or not wet brain can be effectively treated is entirely dependent on how far the disease has progressed. When treated promptly, the individual can see improvements in cognition as well as muscle functioning and orientation. Treatment is done through supplementing thiamine intravenously and/or orally. The most imperative course of action is that alcohol consumption stops.

In order to diagnose wet brain a medical professional should be consulted. An ECG, CT scan or an MRI may be needed to confirm a diagnosis, as well as to determine the best course of medical treatment going forwards. It is however imperative to seek treatment for alcoholism – the underlying cause. Should a person with wet brain continue to drink, the degradation of the structures within the brain will persist. With the mental decline that occurs with wet brain, it is important to remember that the ill person may not be in the best position to determine their own course of treatment. Contact us, for a free assessment to see what the best course of action may be in assisting your loved one. The road to recovery is not always an easy one but getting yourself or your loved one the best 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 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.

www.crossroadsrecovery.co.za

074 89 51043 JHB

012 450 5033 PTA

Free Addiction Assessment

Book a FREE Confidential Assessment at your nearest Treatment Centre Today.

Johannesburg Admissions: +27 74 895 1043
Pretoria Admissions: +27 82 653 3311
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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 VG
    Read 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 B
    Read 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 S
    Read 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 J
    Read more
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The myths surrounding nyaope

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Home / Posts tagged "12 Steps"

The myths surrounding nyaope

25 June, 2021Articles, News

Nyaope is a street drug that first emerged in the late 2000’s in the Pretoria townships of Soshanguve and Mamelodi. It has ravaged informal settlements and poorer communities across South Africa, as it is easily available, inexpensive and highly physically addictive. It is known by different street names in other parts of South Africa : ‘whoonga’ or ‘sugars’ in KwaZulu-Natal and ‘pinch’ in the Limpopo and Mpumalanga regions. It appears as a white or brown powder that is smoked with marijuana or, as the addiction progresses – sometimes injected intravenously. The main ingredients in nyaope are low-grade heroin and marijuana which are frequently cut with various other substances such as methamphetamines, milk powder and a host of other easily available items. Though the name of the drug varies from place to place, the components of the mixture remain the same. Because the ingredients vary from region to region, many myths about the exact ingredients of the substance are perpetuated, primarily by the media.

One of these myths is that nyaope users mix antiretrovirals (ARV’s) medications with heroin in order to enhance the effect of the drug. Reports in the media of ARVs being added to nyaope started emerging in 2011 and 2012. According to these reports, several doctors in Soweto reported that their consultation rooms had been ransacked and HIV medication stolen. Media reports also cited HIV patients being robbed of their pills after collecting them from local clinics; others reported patients selling their ARVs to nyaope addicts or dealers. When taken orally as prescribed, an ARV known as Efavirenz is associated with hallucinations, delusions. After seeing a news report about the use of ARVs in nyaope, John Schetz, associate professor at the University of North Texas Health Science Centre in the United States, conducted research into the effects of smoking Efavirenz. His findings, published in the international scientific journal Neuropsychopharmacology, showed that Efavirenz had ” [a] prevailing behavioural effect in rodents [that] is consistent with LSD-like activity”. However, no study has been conducted involving humans smoking Efavirenz. In 2017 the Department of Health replaced Efavirenz with Dolutegravir due to the abnormal rate of liver damage in users of Efavirenz. Many studies have been done on the contents of nyaope and none have recorded the presence of ARV’s within the mixtures.

Another myth regarding nyaope addicts refers to something called “bluetoothing”. This particular myth originated when a photograph of nyaope users appeared in the media. The image went viral in January 2017. The practice of “bluetoothing” referred to injecting heroin into one user and that same user drawing their blood and injecting it into another user and the next user experiencing a high. There is no scientific evidence to support the idea that this would work in the first place. Secondly, researchers have questioned users who say that this is not a practice that occurs amongst themselves.

Nyaope was classified as illegal in March 2014, with the amendment of the Drugs and Trafficking Act of 2014 (Government Gazette, 2014). The Act was amended to include a ban on substances that contain “other prohibited drugs like heroin and dagga, as they are illegal”. People caught using nyaope can now be sentenced for up to 15 years. Those caught selling the concoction face up to 25 years in jail. Data gathered by the South African Community Epidemiology Network on Drug Use (SACENDU), shows an increase in the number of patients reporting Nyaope as their primary substance of use in both 2017 and 2018 and the numbers are continuing to climb.

The high from nyaope creates a feeling of euphoria, contentment and relaxation. The effects of smoking nyaope are less potent, and as dependency builds, the preferred method changes to intravenous use as this produces a more intense high. After the initial effects, a feeling of drowsiness can persist for several hours. Harmful or negative side-effects may include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Infections of the blood, heart, skin, liver and kidneys
  • Respiratory problems
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Tremors
  • Sweating
  • Extreme muscle and bone pain
  • Drowsiness
  • Mood swings
  • Low levels of motivation
  • Mental confusion

The drug may also trigger psychiatric episodes in people who already have a genetic vulnerability.

Withdrawing from the drug needs to be done with medical care. The extreme physical pain that results from abstaining from the drug, creates challenges in successful withdrawal. The withdrawal symptoms can present as severe abdominal cramps, diarrhoea or flu-like symptoms, which can last for four to six days after the patient has stopped using. Nyaope temporarily relieves the pain associated with withdrawal, thereby creating a cyclical pattern of usage. Symptoms may include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Excessive yawning or sneezing
  • Stomach cramps
  • Severe muscle and bone pain
  • Fever
  • Sweats
  • Chills
  • Involuntary spasms
  • Diarrhoea

It is thus recommended that withdrawal from the drug be conducted under the care of trained medical professionals together with experienced, trained, addiction counsellors.

There is a dearth of literature on the use of nyaope and the impact it has on individuals and communities. What is known about the drug, has been largely reported by the media and as we have already discussed, much of that is false information. What we are beginning to learn is that addiction to nyaope is particularly pernicious and requires long-term treatment. Relapse rates are, at the moment, high for a variety of reasons. The mixture of heroin and other strong chemicals leaves the addict both physically and psychologically dependent. Nyaope causes major changes to the chemistry of the brain. Recovering addicts need to learn new skills and be motivated to cope with the intense cravings that are associated with this addiction. Success rates for treatment improve, when the family become involved in the treatment. Successful recovery is very much dependent on the support received, the dedication to the programme and large changes in lifestyle.

South Africa has around 80 private drug rehabilitation centres, including those run by SANCA, and eight government facilities. There is a lack of drug rehabilitation services in the public sector and waiting lists are often very long- this, together with the high rates of unemployment in South Africa, means the available private services are unaffordable. Many addicts do not have access to rehab centres. Additionally, the required rehabilitation period is long. At least a full year of intense rehabilitation and family commitment and support are required to successfully rehabilitate a nyaope addict. The situation has become so desperate that some nyaope users even resort to creating their own “rehabilitation” rooms or communities where an addict is often physically restrained. Standard rehabilitation programmes typically remove the addict from his or her social environment, this alone may not be sufficient for someone addicted to nyaope, as upon return, he or she must go back to the same unfavourable social environment, which promotes relapse. An unfavourable social environment is defined as an environment that promotes nyaope use by enabling ease of access to nyaope and an idle lifestyle which does not offer structure in the lives of the users. Factors identified as contributory to drug use include poverty, unemployment and a lack of recreational facilities. A tailored 12-step programme that is uniquely designed to suit the individual user, may hold the key to successful rehabilitation for people who are addicted to this drug.

The consequences of nyaope addiction are long-lasting and devastating, not only for the addict but their families and their communities. Getting professional help is necessary for anyone coming off nyaope, a medical detox is needed- then the addict needs assistance learning to cope and live without the use of substances. If you or a loved one need assistance with detoxing from nyaope – 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 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 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.

www.crossroadsrecovery.co.za

074 89 51043 JHB

012 450 5033 PTA

References :

Mokwena, Kebogile. “Consider our plight”: A cry for help from nyaope users”. Health SA Gesondheid, volume 21, December 2016, Pages 137-142. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1025984815000241

Msomi, Nelisiwe. ‘Bluetoothing’: The drug myth that fooled a nation? February 15, 2017. https://bhekisisa.org/article/2017-02-15-00-bluetooth-the-myth-that-fooled-a-nation/

Skosana, Ina. “We need to talk about caving in to nyaope” – June 6, 2014. https://bhekisisa.org/article/2014-06-06-we-need-to-talk-about-caving-in-to-nyaope/

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Book a FREE Confidential Assessment at your nearest Treatment Centre Today.

Johannesburg Admissions: +27 74 895 1043
Pretoria Admissions: +27 82 653 3311
Close

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 VG
    Read 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 B
    Read 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 S
    Read 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 J
    Read more
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