The Dangers of Cross Addiction: How Many Addictions In Sobriety And Recovery Happen

The Dangers of Cross Addiction: How Many Addictions In Sobriety And Recovery Happen


Often times, someone doesn’t just suffer
from one addiction. And when you put down one thing, other things
can pop up. In this video, we’ll be going over the dangers
of cross-addiction. And how can protect yourself from them. Addiction is a very tricky thing. It’s a brain disease that cripples the brain’s
ability to think straight. You might have gotten over an addiction to
alcohol, gotten some sober time, and things are getting better. But then you’re caring for a sick parent
or maybe you’re having relationship problems. The stress piles up. And then you might find yourself taking some
old pain medication, or taking more than prescribed. Slowly but surely you find yourself in a full-blown
opioid addiction! How could it have happened, you ask? I’m just an alcoholic!? Let’s answer 4 Things You Need To Know About
Cross-Addiction. First, what is Cross Addiction? It means to trade one addiction for another. I’ve known someone personally that was a
heroin addict and when he quit heroin, he continued to drink, because he said he never
had a drinking problem. But then his intake started increasing. And with lowered inhibitions, he found himself
using other drugs, as well. This condition often affects new people to
recovery, as it did myself, because when I was getting sober, all I had was a “drinking
problem”. I had never done heroin or meth or other drugs. I didn’t understand that I was using drinking
to get that “feel good” feeling — and it didn’t matter what substance would do
the trick. And lots of people I talked to in rehab said
they were addicted to drinking, went to rehab, then quit for some time, and then started
doing meth or opioids. And that was my introduction to cross-addiction. Why Are Cross Addictions Dangerous? It’s easy to minimize the effects of a new
addiction because it usually starts off slow, like the primary addiction did. Maybe instead of doing heroin, you find yourself
just drinking a beer here and there. And it could be with friends that also drink
responsibility So, compared to a heroin addiction, drinking seems a much more rational behavior. But if a behavior starts having physical,
emotional, or financial consequences on your life — then it would be a good idea to address
it. Another reason why it’s dangerous is because
it can often lead you into bad environments. If you give up drinking, but you find yourself
gambling more, you end up in casinos that often give away alcohol for free. As discussed in an earlier video, putting
yourself in places that have people using in them is often a good way to develop strong
cravings. And with strong cravings often comes a relapse. Why Do Cross Addictions Start? Well, it’s because addiction isn’t about
a substance. It’s about the brain. And the brain has evolved to reward behavior
that helps it survive. Like Sex, or Eating, or sleeping — it all
stems from the old part of the brain, the lizard brain. And dopamine is the chemical the brain uses
to reward. And that’s why many addictions center around
those core survival behaviors of sex or eating. Because addiction is a malfunction of that
part of the brain. Depending upon the drug or behavior, it’s
all about dopamine and having too much of it released. It tricks the brain into thinking that this
behavior is super essential to survival. So I didn’t just have a drinking problem
— what I had was this disposition to use substances to try to achieve a high that I
got from drinking. Or, simply, my brain wants to use anything
it can to get that “feel good” feeling again. So, in short, these addictions start because
after the original addiction stops, any new drug or behavior that makes you feel good
works on that same reward pathway, and makes it easier to develop the same cravings to
achieve a high. How Do I know If I’m Cross-Addicted? Well, this can actually be as easy or as hard
as it was to admit your primary or first addiction. So, for me, I admitted I was an alcoholic
but it was not easy to admit an addiction to shopping or codependency. And I needed to ask myself if a new behavior
or drug is affecting my body, my emotions, or my finances negatively. If you’re lying about using, or being irritable
if you can’t use, and getting harsher consequences by using — those are often obvious warning
signs. But, to me, addiction is addiction. So all addictions have some similarities when
it comes to the consequences you face. Some drugs have more severe consequences,
But an addiction to smoking marijuana might not have such punishing consequences A crippling
gambling addiction can wipe out household savings and ruin relationships. But a tv binge watching addiction may not
be as devastating. The important thing for me to remember is,
if I have shame about doing a certain behavior, or if a certain behavior is negatively impacting
the other areas of my life, then I probably should stop. I had to stop playing video games — not
because it cost too much or because I was doing it too much. But because I was doing it to distract myself
and feel better — and it was wasting time that I could’ve been using to improve my
knowledge or connect with others. So it’s important to ask yourself, “is
there something new I’m doing that’s negatively impacting my life?” And you can work from there as you may have
done with a primary addiction. Thanks for watching today’s video on Cross
Addiction! We answered what it is — a new addiction. Why are they dangerous — because they’re
easy to minimize Why do they start — because your brain is still seeking pleasure. And How Do I know I’m cross-addicted? — Because it’s essentially a new addiction
that has similarities to your old addiction. Please hit that like button if you enjoyed
the video. Also, please subscribe for your daily dose
of soberness. And I will see you all tomorrow in the next
video.

4 comments

  1. A few months after I quit drinking, I started abusing my anxiety meds.  Luckily, I recognized what I was doing and why, and tapered off the meds. They were giving me the same reward as drinking. Blackouts included! 🌺Wallflower🌺  VERY important message!

  2. Process addictions are the most difficult addictions for me to abstain from. I need to eat and spend money to take care of my physical needs.

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