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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The Gateway theory

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Home / Posts tagged "south african rehab"

The Gateway theory

21 April, 2021Articles, News

Gateway drugs are substances that, when consumed, give way to harder, more dangerous drugs. These milder substances, such as nicotine or alcohol, are believed to open the door to drugs such as meth, heroin and cocaine, which can lead to addiction. The theory does have its opponents but it is still referred to frequently in research, literature and treatment.

Marijuana, alcohol, nicotine and other gateway drugs boost dopamine levels, which increases pleasure. The dopamine boost caused by gateway drugs during adolescence has been linked to decreased reactivity of brain dopamine reward centres later in adulthood . This may lead people to seek harder drugs that cause more dramatic dopamine releases, according to the gateway drug theory.

Gateway drugs also prime or prepare the brain for a response to other substances, a process known as cross-sensitization. This heightens brain activity and could make users more likely to seek stronger substances.

Overall, drug use behaviour is caused by a variety of genetic and environmental factors. A person’s genetic makeup, family history, living environment and community affect their likelihood of trying drugs. Gateway drugs may be one factor that affects a person’s risk of trying more dangerous substances.

What Are Common Gateway Drugs?

Alcohol, marijuana and nicotine are commonly talked about as gateway drugs. In recent years, opioids, prescription drugs and other common substances have joined the category.

Alcohol

Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that impairs brain function and motor skills. In 2014, nearly 88 percent of adults reported drinking alcohol at some point in their lives, and nearly 25 percent reported binge drinking in the past month.

Alcohol is considered to be a gateway drug, according to the results of multiple studies.

A University of Florida study found that students who used alcohol were 16 times more likely to use illicit substances, such as cocaine and amphetamines, down the road. Many students began with socially acceptable substances such as alcohol or cigarettes before transitioning to marijuana, then harder drugs.

Adam E. Barry, who co-authored the study, told UF News the findings “add further credence to the literature identifying alcohol as the gateway drug to other substance use.”

Illicit substances linked to alcohol use include:

  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Opioids
  • Marijuana

Multiple studies reveal drinking at a young age affects drug use later in life. A 2016 study published in the Journal of School Health found sixth-graders went on to try nearly two illicit drugs later in life.

A Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration survey revealed underage drinkers were more likely to use illicit drugs within two hours of alcohol use than legal drinkers. A majority of teen drinkers consumed illicit drugs, such as marijuana.

Marijuana

Marijuana is a substance that alters a person’s attention, motivation, memory and ability to learn. More than 22 million people reported using marijuana in the past month in 2014, per NIDA, making it the most used illicit drug in the U.S at that time.

Weed is commonly recognized as a gateway drug by proponents of the theory. However, its association to harder drugs has been widely debated especially since it has been legalised in many states in the USA and decriminalised in South Africa by the country’s Constitutional Court for personal consumption by adults in private abodes.

Many believe marijuana builds a person’s tolerance to stronger drugs, and certain studies back up this idea. A study published in the International Journal of Drug Policy found that nearly 45 percent of regular marijuana smokers used another illicit drug later in life.

One of those drugs is heroin. Studies suggest the majority of heroin users began with alcohol or marijuana. In fact, marijuana users are three times more likely than nonusers to abuse heroin, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

Illicit substances linked to marijuana use include:

  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Ecstasy
  • Marijuana

Adolescents who smoke marijuana are more likely to use harder drugs, according to a report by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Teens who reported heavy marijuana use in the past month were:

  • 30 times more likely to use crack cocaine.
  • 20 times more likely to use ecstasy.
  • 15 times more likely to abuse prescription painkillers.
  • 14 times more likely to abuse over-the-counter medications.

Another study, by the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that individuals who used marijuana by age 17 were two to five times more likely to experience substance abuse later in life than those who did not.

The study also found that alternative factors, such as depression, social anxiety and parental conflicts, had a minimal impact on the results. This goes against the idea that environmental factors are the leading cause of substance abuse.

However, a report by the Journal of Health and Social Behaviour found that marijuana’s influence as a gateway drug is contingent on factors such as employment status and other life events. It does suggest a moderate relationship between marijuana use and other illicit drug abuse.

Prescription drugs

Prescription drug abuse has exploded in popularity. About 52 million Americans 12 and older have used prescription drugs non-medically in their lifetime, per NIDA. Opioids are the most abused prescription drugs.

Prescription drugs are linked to heroin use. Heroin is a synthesized opioid that can be cut with other prescription drugs, such as fentanyl, to achieve a more potent high. Many prescription drugs have similar effects to heroin, which has led to many opioid abusers transitioning to the substance. The substances are extremely dangerous. Heroin and fentanyl have been linked to thousands of overdose deaths in recent years.

Illicit substances linked to prescription drug use:

  • Cocaine
  • Heroin

Opioid users are 40 times more likely to abuse heroin than nonusers, per the CDC. In comparison, people addicted to alcohol were two times more likely to abuse heroin than nonusers. Marijuana users were three times more likely to abuse heroin.

Nearly half of young heroin users surveyed in three studies reported abusing prescription opioids first, according to NIDA. In fact, many opioid abusers switch to heroin because it is a cheaper option.

Ritalin, a prescription medication administered to children with ADHD, has been linked to cocaine use. Both drugs are stimulants, which increase alertness and productivity. Both have similar properties and increase dopamine levels. Consequentially, former Ritalin users are more susceptible to cocaine abuse, per Utah’s Genetics Science Learning Center.

Nicotine

Researchers have long recognized tobacco products as gateway drugs. In 2011, scientists fed rats nicotine-laced water for seven consecutive days. The results, published in Science Translation Medicine, revealed that the animals had an increased response to cocaine afterwards.

Illicit substances widely linked to nicotine use include:

  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Marijuana

The study also found that nicotine increased levels of FosB, a gene in the brain linked to cocaine addiction. Researchers believe a similar effect can occur in humans, who share the gene, and that children are particularly at risk.

Conclusions

The relationship between early alcohol use and later use of other drugs has the strongest evidence to suggest that it may be a gateway drug; however, the gateway theory suffers from a number of potential methodological flaws. At the current time, it is unable to specify a causal relationship between early use of any drug and the potential to use or abuse other drugs later. Instead, these relationships may be more consistent with the common liability model.

Although The Gateway Theory has its opponents, there is evidence that using some substances early in development does result in a greater probability that an individual will abuse other substances; however, the reason for this is not well understood. This condition may represent some combination of inherent factors (e.g., genetic) and the interaction of environmental factors (e.g., peers, learning, stress, etc.).

If you or a loved one needs assistance with substance abuse – 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 89 51043 JHB

012 450 5033 PTA

RESOURCES

https://americanaddictioncenters.org/the-addiction-cycle/gateway-drugs https://www.drugrehab.com/guides/gateway-drugs/

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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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Gambling Rehabilitation – How does it work ?

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Gambling Rehabilitation – How does it work ?

16 April, 2021Articles, News

For many people, gambling is harmless fun, but it can become a problem. This type of compulsive behavior is often called “problem gambling.” If you feel you gamble more than you can afford to lose, you’ve actually already reached the first step: it is not to deny the problem but admit it- you may need gambling rehabilitation.

A gambling addiction is a progressive addiction that can have many negative psychological, physical, and social repercussions. It is classed as an impulse-control disorder. People who live with this addiction may experience depression, distress, and other anxiety-related problems. As with other addictions, the consequences of gambling can lead to feelings of despondency and helplessness. In some cases, this may even lead to suicide attempts.

The rate of problematic gambling has risen globally over the last few years. In the United States in 2012, around 5.77 million people had a gambling disorder for which they sought gambling rehabilitation.

The American Psychiatric Association identifies gambling as a mental health disorder similar to being addicted to alcohol, sex, food or substances. Gambling stimulates the brain’s reward system much like drugs or alcohol do in an addicts brain. You might have a gambling disorder if you have:

  • A powerful need to gamble with larger amounts of money
  • Feelings of restlessness or irritability when not gambling
  • Made repeated and unsuccessful attempts to quit gambling
  • Found yourself completely preoccupied with gambling
  • Noticed you gamble to manage stress
  • Continued to gamble in order to “get even”
  • Lied to friends, co-workers and loved ones about gambling
  • Lost relationships or created conflict about gambling
  • Needed financial support

If your gambling is severe, consider seeking professional help as soon as possible. Professional treatment from a mental health or addiction specialist could be the difference between a life of financial uncertainty versus living in financial stability. An addiction to gambling does not only affect your finances – it affects your relationships and your mental well-being.

Gambling addicts are addicts for life, the 12 steps work to induce remission, but a gambling addict may never wager again. Only through a committed and purposeful working of the steps in daily life, can an addict achieve remission.

The 12 steps is the most effective way to overcome a compulsion to gamble. Addicts in recovery must work all of the steps and must work the steps on a daily and continuing basis, forever. There is no cure, only a remission. The only thing holding you back is your reluctance.

If you or a loved one needs assistance with an addiction to gambling – 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 89 51043 JHB

012 450 5033 PTA

References:

https://www.quora.com/Can-compulsive-gambling-be-cured

https://www.therecoveryvillage.com/process-addiction/compulsive-gambling/related/how-to-stop-gambling/

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/15929

https://www.choosehelp.com/topics/gambling-addiction/gamblers-anonymous-12-steps-of-recovery.html

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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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How Do Sex Rehab Facilities Help Addicts?

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Home / Posts tagged "south african rehab"

How Do Sex Rehab Facilities Help Addicts?

16 March, 2020Articles, News

What is Sex Addiction?

According to some of the leading sex rehabilitation facilities, sex addiction is best described as an overwhelming and uncontrollable obsession and compulsion to act out sexually. Although sex addiction is not yet diagnosed as a psychological disorder, it is a condition that affects millions of people around the world. It is characterised by a persistent pattern of failure to control one’s sexual impulses and urges, resulting in repetitive sexual behaviour. In the recovery community, sex addiction is often referred to as a process addiction because it involves a compulsive behaviour rather than an addiction to a substance like drugs or alcohol.

Is There a Cure for Sex Addiction?

Sex addiction is one manifestation of the disease of addiction, and it is the opinion of many sex rehab facilities that addiction is a chronic condition that cannot be cured per se. The destructive behaviour can be arrested and recovery is then possible. Recovery therefore is a long-term, lifelong process that is made possible by taking consistent action to seek physical, emotional and spiritual healing. Ultimately, sex addicts can enjoy healthy intimate relationships, but it takes hard work, dedication and a great deal of faith to find a new way of life, free from the bondage of addiction.

Sex Rehab Facilities: The Recovery Process

Sex addiction, like substance abuse, is treated using a multi-pronged approach. This approach includes group therapy, individual counselling, life skills workshops, therapeutic activities and often, the introduction to a 12-step fellowship like Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA), of which there are a number of groups throughout South Africa and the rest of the world. It is not a process to be feared. Rather, it is a process that demonstrates that freedom from addiction is possible. Building a strong support network is essential to the recovery process – it is the beginning of building healthy relationships, both romantic and otherwise. Sex rehab facilities provide addicts with the tools and techniques that can help the addict to change their behaviour and learn new, positive coping skills to deal with life’s challenges without turning to sex as an escape or acting compulsively on one’s sexual urges. Like with any addiction, recovery is a process that addicts embark on one day at a time – every day is a new opportunity to change and grow.

If you or a loved one is in search of help for sex addiction, know that help is readily available. Contact us for a free consultation and we’ll support you in your journey.

Sources:

Medical News Today

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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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