Anyone who has suffered from addiction will have experienced the dopamine high that comes when you get that ‘hit’ of your chosen poison, be it drugs or alcohol, sex or shopping.
Cross addiction can occur when even when you’ve kicked one habit, another takes its place. Even someone who is in recovery will continue to crave that feeling. If a recovering addict discovers another substance which gives that high, they can become vulnerable to cross addiction.
Are you suffering from cross addiction?
How do you know whether you have cross addiction? These are some of the signs you may need help.
- You are already aware of one addiction
- You recognise yourself falling into familiar patterns
- You’re going through a difficult time
- You tell yourself this behaviour is a stopgap
- You start to lie to friends and family about your behaviour
- You start committing illegal acts, like theft or fraud
- You become irritable, moody and defensive when asked about it
- You can’t stop the behaviour – and you keep trying
- You stop doing the healthy things that had helped you stop addictive behaviour before
What is cross addiction?
Cross addiction is when one addiction replaces another. It can also mean you are addicted to two substances and behaviours at once – but there is usually a primary addiction, with the other more secondary. It’s one of the reason that those who are addicted to narcotics have to come clean of all substances – including alcohol when they go through detox.
Alcoholics may find themselves abusing over the counter medication, like cough mixture or sleeping pills. Alternatively, they may appear to be clean of substance misuse, but have merely swapped pills and alcohol for sex and porn addictions.
We talk about addicts who are not drinking/ taking drugs/ or pursuing certain addictive behaviours as being ‘in recovery’. That’s because addiction is a life-long problem. Addicts need to remain mindful and aware of their behaviour.
Sometimes issues crop up – whether it’s external pressure, or a more deep-seated emotional problem – that need to be addressed and worked through.
How can cross addiction be cured
It will be necessary to remain in recovery for your original addiction, but certain techniques will enable you to gain control of your new addiction.
At Serena House we employ a variety of creative and intense therapies to ensure cross addictions can be successfully treated. The may include:
- Relational therapy
- EMDR therapy
- Mindful techniques
- 12 step programme
At Serena House, there is a recognition that you are an individual. We understand that recovery comes with its challenges and pitfalls. In some cases this may include cross addiction. If you stumble, the caring staff at Serena House will not abandon you but will find new ways to ensure you remain on track.
After a stay at Serena House you will benefit from our aftercare support.
Do you want to find out whether you have cross addiction?
Not sure whether you have cross addiction? Feel free to phone our helpline on 020 3582 4288 and one of our counsellors will be happy to discuss whether cross addiction applies to you and what treatments are most suitable.
Serena House is a private detox clinic in the heart of London that treats cross addictions
Talk to one of our counsellors on 020 3582 4288.