Cross Addiction

Most of the time, when we talk about an addiction, people often think about one in particular: substance abuse. This is all about being highly dependent not necessarily on drugs, but other substances as well like alcohol, cannabis and tobacco to get the necessary temporary high the body is looking for. One of the reasons why addiction is a very difficult issue to treat is because not only would an addict look compulsively for that substance to relieve him from his urges, but he is most likely to become addicted to other substances as well. This condition is known as cross addiction.

Cross addiction is a condition where an addict relies on more than one classification of substance to gain a temporary high. Like for example, one who is dependent on an opioid analgesic like morphine may not just be fully dependent on that certain drug. It is most likely that he would be dependent on other narcotics like codeine, which is pretty much similar to morphine because they belong to the same classification of drugs. That addict may experience the same type of high when he gets his hands on cough syrups, for example, where codeine is the number one component of that certain medication.

Addicts may be aware of the fact that they have become addicted to a certain drug or substance because they know from first hand experience how difficult it is to see their lives fall apart. When a person becomes an addict, a compulsion to obtain the source of high would me more important than anything like school, work or family. Even if they are pretty much aware of that fact, the compulsion becomes too overwhelming to resist. Because of this, some may try various ways on how to cope. While some may deny their addiction, some would resort to rationalizing and justifying their actions and say, “It’s not as bad as it looks”.

For instance, An alcoholic who knows that they are addicted to booze would likely go out and drink in the bar about would most likely say “no” when he is invited to take in substances like ecstasy sold on that bar. But that same addict would probably attempt to have a little taste of it out of curiosity. If that certain taste would indulge him as it takes him to a new kind of trip, he would likely take more that just a quick taste; but may continue popping more and more pills. One the other hand, an addict addicted to a certain substance might use drugs to get high, but might not take in alcohol, or resort to drinking just a little without the purpose of getting drunk.

Other types of addiction aside from substance abuse may also pose some manifestations similar to that as well. For instance, since there is a direct link between eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa to other obsessive compulsive disorders, there is a chance that the preoccupation with body image may be displaced with other imperfections as well. If someone suffering from OCD cannot relieve herself from anxiety (due to imperfections and flaws,) chances are, she might blame herself for it and might resort to an eating disorder. Bulimia nervosa characterized by binging and purging results from the preoccupation with low self-esteem that can only be undone through forced purging. Some studies have shown that these preoccupations may have resulted from being a sufferer of OCD, anorexia nervosa and depression as well especially because treatments and counseling are often either unavailable or ineffective.

In treating addiction regardless of whatever form it takes, it is important to know that addiction is not to be taken lightly because it can take over people’s lives. It is very important to accept one’s addiction so treatment can be started. Ask your doctor about it.