Cross Addiction: Booze? Cocaine? Hydrocodone?

Drug Abuse and Addiction – A Far Reaching Problem

There are numerous drugs of choice, but no matter the drug, if you are dependent on one, you’re hooked on it all. If you or someone you care about is recovering from an addiction to any substance, this post is to help you.

It is approximated that twenty-seven million US residents use illegal drugs or drink heavily. Of which, almost Sixteen million have need of emergency treatment for their addiction or dependence, according to SAMHSA (U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Even with the help of therapy, only about 30% of drug or alcohol addicted patients successfully stay clean and sober. There are multiple methods in alcohol and drug addiction treatment methods, however, the most widely used relies upon the 12-Step model. This process, made very popular by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), seems to have numerous different versions. Alternative therapeutic techniques include cognitive-behavioral and the strengths-perspective.

Recovering drug addicts must remain attentive to his / her past so they can maintain sobriety. One of many ways that recovering alcoholics or drug addicts relapse is from poly addiction. Cross addiction, put simply, is the basic principle that drug addicts can and will become dependent on any mind or mood altering drug, even though it wasn’t their original drug of preference.

Cross addiction can work in a few ways. One way is that the recovering drug addict goes to the dentist office, and the dentist prescribes hydrocodone. The person might have been drug free for years, consequently the person may think almost nothing of it. The recovering alcoholic ingests the hydrocodone every four hours, as prescribed, and before they realize it, they begin taking increasingly more. This previous alcohol addict is well on their way to an opiate dependency

An additional thing that oftentimes happens in this situation is that the addict’s brain is sort of re-activated into dependency, and they start back to drinking. When the addict is given by doctors a mind or mood altering drug, and they start taking that medication, these people may return to their drug of choice, even if it has

been years since previously making use of that substance.

The most well-known circumstance triggering cross dependency is a little more expected. That’s where an alcoholic or addict experiments with other drugs. A recovering opiate addict starts socially drinking, and becomes dependent.  In these cases the drug abuse rapidly turns to addiction.

Other medications which normally are prescribed by a doctor and result in addiction are benzos (Xanax), sleep aids, pain drugs, and stimulant drugs (Adderol). While in treatment, it is crucial that you be your own advocate.


When you visit the ER for a broken leg, notify every doctor or healthcare professional who cares for you that you are a recovering addict and should not have narcotics. Generally, the recovering addict will tell one nurse they are in recovery and can’t take narcotics, but an additional nurse or doctor does not get that information. So many times, a recovering addict will be mistakenly given morphine or other opioid-based substance, and his or her’s recovery is in really serious danger.  It is not drug abuse but, it leads right back to the torment of addiction

The fundamental theory is this: a drug is a drug, no matter whether it had been your original drug of choice or not. If you are in addiction recovery, it is so crucial that you stay on your toes to make sure you do not lose all your hard work simply because you had a painful tooth. Armed with this knowledge, you can become your greatest ally.