What Is Cross-Addiction?

What Is Cross-Addiction?Cross addiction describes the situation in which a person who suffers from an addiction to one substance will likely have problems with all addictive substances. California residents should be aware that cross addiction can occur while in recovery or long afterward, when a person has been sober for many years. Cross addiction can happen without warning and as a result of a seemingly harmless prescription from a doctor or use of an over-the-counter medication.

Cross Addiction and Prescription Drugs

Cross addiction can happen as the result of a person in recovery taking a prescription medication for a totally unrelated problem. Something as simple as a trip to the dentist for routine dental work that requires pain medication can cause the person in recovery to relapse. Medical doctors may not be aware of the fact that you or a loved one has a personal history of addiction when they prescribe a painkiller, cough medicine, or other potentially addictive substance. That is why filling out your medical history completely is so important, especially when you change doctors. Preventing cross addiction also requires that Californians update their medical history on a regular basis. Most doctors require updates yearly, but if you struggle with drug or alcohol addiction and you have suffered a relapse, it is important to let your doctor know. Even if your addiction was to alcohol and you have never had a problem with prescription drugs, you are at risk of cross addiction.

Cross Addiction and Over-the-Counter Medications

Cross addiction is also possible when Californians use over-the-counter medications. Some cold and allergy medications contain dextromethorphan, a synthetic substance related to codeine that is used to control coughing. Other cold medications contain alcohol and should be completely avoided by those who struggle with addiction. Diet pills, sleep aids, and motion sickness medicines can also become addictive. Talk to your doctor or therapist about which over-the-counter medications to avoid relapse and cross addiction.

Cross Addiction Treatment

Cross addiction treatment is much like treatment for other addictions and usually requires time spent in rehab. If the drug dependence is detected early, many people can successfully avoid a full-blown addiction to a new substance with the help of their therapist and support group. For others, inpatient or outpatient treatment is the only option. If you are in danger of developing a cross addiction in California, it is time to get help.

Finding Help for Cross Addiction

Californians who struggle with addiction may find themselves tempted by other substances. Getting help at the right time can help prevent a cross addiction. If you or a loved one in California struggle with addiction, we are here to help you. Call our toll-free number 24 hours a day to speak to a helpline counselor. We are ready to answer your questions and help you find a treatment program.

Comments are closed.