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Learn the Difference Between Small “T” and Big “T” Trauma

Substance use disorders and mental health issues are challenging. It is easy to focus on one thing (the substance abuse) but forget about recovery. Recovery is a time that is very vulnerable to people. They are more likely to experience a relapse at this time than at any other. To help a loved one with cross addiction means to support them if their primary addiction gives way to something else in recovery. This might be anything from drinking alcohol to using prescription drugs, workaholism, and more. Find out what it looks like and how to help them deal. 

How it Works

Opioid addiction is reaching epidemic proportions right now. Since the original addiction is drugs, people assume they might only become addicted to drugs again if they relapse. The truth is, the brain rewires itself in addiction and most anything a person experiences that gives them a similar ‘high’ or feeling can turn into an addiction. Opioids are just one example of this, but a prominent one in today’s society. Although alcohol might not be the main problem, indulging during happy hour is not going to work for someone in recovery. They are more likely to develop a dependency or ‘fall off the wagon’ and become addicted to alcohol or other substances. Dealing with all this in recovery feels challenging but there is hope.

Why Cross Addiction is Risky

The challenges with cross addiction deal with people who have one addiction but develop another in recovery. People who experience trauma, addiction, and difficult health issues are more at risk to become addicted to additional substances in recovery. Addiction manipulates the brain and uses environmental triggers to send a signal for people to become addicted to things that make them feel the same way the other drug did. It might be stress, anxiety, and other triggers that bring them to a place of cross-addiction. When people struggle with this, they can seek additional treatment, therapy, and other things like medication where needed but likely need to give up all substances if possible to avoid triggering additional addictions.

Signs of Cross Addiction

A loved one who exhibits signs of cross-addiction may have similar challenges from the initial addiction. These include:

  • Lying about the use of the substance
  • Overspending and not accounting for the money
  • Missing important events, not showing up for work, or not fulfilling family obligations
  • Becoming anxious or sick when not using a substance
  • Have tried to quit and are not successful

Treatment options for cross-addiction are difficult because of the original addiction. During the first treatment, an addiction specialist will work with the person to determine what aspects of life triggered the secondary use of a substance. Once treatment is complete and the person is in recovery, they can work on developing more positive habits for recovery. Drastic changes may be in order, including changing where the person lives or where they hang out with friends so they can find better support for their addictive habits and challenges.

The Guest House Ocala welcomes anyone through our doors seeking hope for change. There is no shame in finding help for cross-addiction or any other substance use. We understand the challenges of quitting drugs or alcohol. We provide dual diagnosis support, as well. Call us to find out how to get started: 1-855-483-7800