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What is a Cross-Addiction?

Also referred to as a ‘substitute addiction,’ cross-addictions are a common, but very real threat to the clean and sober time of an addict or alcoholic. What often happens, is when someone gives up one addiction, they will substitute it with another—often without knowing it. The new addiction doesn’t even have to be a chemical. It could be food, exercise, sex, shopping, gambling, stealing, and/or other addictions (including switching from one drug to another) that can cause serious problems in a person’s life. When you take into consideration the fact that an individual has the propensity to become addicted to things that aren’t necessarily mind-altering, it stands to reason that it might not be the substances or the behaviors themselves that are the problem.

Where drugs or alcohol were used to fill a void, to comfort, and to numb feelings, a new filler may be used instead. Once the drug of choice is eliminated from a person’s daily life, work needs to done to figure out the reasons why she was using in the first place. It could be trauma, rejection, depression, anxiety, or stress. The reasons why people use are endless, but the reasons why you drink or use are of the utmost importance if you don’t want to go back down that dark road. Pay attention to what you are doing. It sounds simple and obvious, but it’s easy to miss. For instance, you were going to the gym every other day, then you started going daily—sometimes a couple of times a day. If you miss a workout, you feel guilty and can’t stop thinking about it and getting down on yourself, you need to be careful.

Perhaps you begin using people to fill the void. You are never alone, always dependent on someone else to make you feel good about yourself, and if they reject you, you are already moving onto the next relationship. Some addictions may appear innocent at the start, but can turn into unhealthy and even dangerous situations that you need to avoid. Use a therapist or your sponsor to help keep your thoughts and behaviors in check. Overcoming a drug or alcohol addiction is an incredible accomplishment. Don’t let a cross-addiction come in the way of your recovery.

If you are struggling with addiction, we can help. The Serenity Recovery Center offers a state-of-the-art detox that will ensure your safety and comfort throughout the detox process. You don’t need to live addicted any longer. Give us a call, we are available toll-free at (844-339-6964). We do recover, and so can you. Call now.