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What Is Cross-Addiction?When an individual recovering from addiction to a psychoactive substance develops an addiction to a different psychoactive substance, this is called cross-addiction. If someone has already fallen victim to a mind-altering drug, he can easily sink back into old habits and fall prey to addiction – even when using a completely different drug. Benzodiazepines, sleeping pills, painkillers, stimulants, and alcohol constitute an array of highly addictive substances on which a Tennessee resident can become dependent.

Even though a recovering addict can end his drug use permanently and begin a new life he will always face challenges brought on by his addiction. Recovery is a lifelong battle; to fight the pressures of temptation, recovering addicts in Tennessee have to grow stronger and strategize, never ceasing to be vigilant in their daily lives.

Cross-addiction is a form of relapse – in fact, it is one of leading causes of relapse. Here are some of the ways in which a recovering addict in Tennessee can fall victim to cross-addiction:

  • Seek withdrawal medication – certain medications can help ease the suffering that accompanies the withdrawal phase; however, if not monitored closely, this healthy use can quickly turn to abuse.
  • Become addicted to a prescribed substance – without intending to expose himself to an addictive psychoactive substance, a recovering addict may receive a prescription for painkillers after an injury or surgery, or benzodiazepines for anxiety relief. Even though he did not intend to do so, he may suddenly find himself taking more and more of the substance and no longer following his prescription.
  • Use a prescribed substance and begin using the substance to which he was addicted – the addictive patterns associated with the drug prescribed by the physician are now transferred to the original substance of abuse, whose destruction led the addict to seek treatment in the first place.
  • Experiment with other drugs – recovering addicts may avidly steer away from their original “drug of choice” neglecting to consider that another drug may lead them down the same dark road.

How Tennessee Residents Can Prevent Relapse

Relapse prevention must be part of an addict’s everyday life in Tennessee. Some ways to actively prevent relapse include:

  • Alert any and every physician of your addiction history
  • Identify relapse triggers
  • Avoid situations in which you could encounter psychoactive substances and the temptation to use
  • Realize that any addictive substance can exert control over your life, whether you’ve struggled with that particular substance or not
  • Research any substance prescribed to you to ensure that it is non-addictive
  • Have a support system and people to keep you accountable

Treatment that Addresses Cross-Addiction

One of the specific needs of a recovering addict in Tennessee is to be treated by medical professionals who are aware of his history of addiction. The professional can then find other ways to treat his medical and psychological needs without the use of psychoactive substances. It is also essential that the treatment program focuses on recovery in general, not simply from the one substance the addict has used to replace the other. Programs that specifically treat cross-addiction should also focus on extending educational resources to the addicts and their families to prevent relapse.

Help for Addiction in Tennessee

If you or a loved one in Tennessee is struggling with addiction and are ready to face the challenges and achieve long-lasting recovery, call our toll-free helpline. Our trained counselors are available 24 hours a day to help you find a treatment program that suits your individual needs. There is hope. Please call today.