Cross Addictions
Cross Addiction Treatment

Cross Addictions

Cross Addictions

Cross addiction means exchanging, substituting, or transferring one harmful dependency for another. Addiction is a learned behavior. Individuals learn that they can avoid negative states or achieve positive states by taking a substance or engaging in a certain behavior. Once the substance or behavior has been removed, there is often a tendency to seek out some replacement substance or behavior to achieve a similar state.

Anhedonia is a condition in which the capacity of experiencing pleasure is totally or partially lost. In particular, anhedonia has been found to be a frequent feature during acute and chronic withdrawal as well as in opiate, cocaine, stimulant, and cannabis misusers.

Dependency develops when a person’s ability to complete their basic life functions and tasks is impaired by their use of a substance or behavior. The DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) provides clear criteria for substance use disorders which can be applied to illicit substances and potentially harmful behaviors and which can help to determine when someone meets criteria for a diagnosis of substance use disorder.

Some common cross addictions include the following:

  • Nicotine
  • Caffeine
  • Gambling
  • Sex
  • Workaholism
  • Compulsive Exercise
  • Binge Eating
  • Pornography
  • Gaming
  • Compulsive Shopping/Spending

At the AToN Center, we address the subject of Cross Addictions in one of our 6 Foundations, “Balance Your Life.” This topic is specifically addressed in the following daily Recovery Studies and Psychology Groups: Relapse Prevention, Holistic Recovery, Cross Addictions, The Cycle of Addiction, Rationalizations for Use, Self- Esteem, Healthy Behaviors, and Delay of Gratification.

Kate Judd
CD Counselor
AToN Center 888-535-1516

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