Cross addiction can often happen when people try out new drugs. Research shows that people who already struggle with addiction to one type of substance are of increased risk of becoming dependent on another one. As cross addiction makes can make it harder to manage symptoms or get sober, it should be taken seriously and prevented whenever possible.
What Does Cross Addiction Look Like?
Cross addiction typically happens in a situation where a person has a certain preferred substance but they also use other kinds of drugs. Over time, they may develop a secondary addiction to a another substance, which is typically not as intense as their primary one, but can still be challenging to manage. Cross addiction can also occur when people attempt to quit one drug through the use of another — for instance, they may get addicted to cannabis in an attempt to quit opioids.
Why Cross Addiction Can Be Dangerous
People who deal with cross addiction are more likely to mix substances which can be very dangerous. Not only does this increase the health risks as the two drugs may interfere with each other and cause some serious side effects, but it can also make it harder to quick. People who manage the side effects of one drug with another may increase the doses they take due to a false sense of security. They may also find themselves even more entrenched in their addictive behaviors and to feel unable to quit either substance.
How to Avoid Cross Addiction
There are certain things that people can do in order to make it less likely that you develop cross addiction and to manage the risk if you’re already struggling with it. You can educate yourself on the way certain drugs and medications affect the body and interact with each other, which will help you avoid mixing drugs in dangerous combinations. You can try to minimize your substance use to a minimum — you may find it easier to cut down on your secondary drug of choice than on your primary one. However, be prepared the once you’re ready to quit your addiction, you’ll most likely need to quit both substances at once. Although this can seem hard, it lowers your risk of trading one substance with another and ending up where you started.
Make a Change with Baystate Recovery Center
We know that quitting cross addiction can be incredibly challenging to quit, but we’re here to help you. We offer a wide range of therapeutic modalities which our clinical team can tailor to the individual needs of each patient. If you’re thinking of quitting cross addiction and would like us to talk you through your options, please don’t hesitate to reach out.