Cross addiction has become a subject of considerable controversy. But, what does cross addiction mean?
Many people who have addiction problems and other health related problems are treated with a variety of medications by an outside physician. These medications are used to help the person cope with issues such as anxiety or physical pain.
Some of the more common medications which are prescribed include stimulants such as amphetamines for the treatment of ADHD, benzodiazepines which are used to reduce anxiety and assist is helping a person relax, and opiate based drugs to reduce physical pain.
Although very helpful for a variety of medical conditions, these types of drugs also have the problematic effect of stimulating the receptors in the brain that regulates the addictive behaviour in the brain.
The problem is that many of the drugs described above can also be addictive in nature and the brain is unable to discern the difference. This addiction stimulus can cause a person to either revert to their former addiction for which they being treated, or in some cases become addicted to the drug they are being prescribed.
It is very important that if you are seeking additional help from a physician outside of your addiction recovery program that you mention that you are being treated for an addiction problem so the physician is aware of the greater issue, and that you are concerned about the possibility of cross addiction.
If you are seeking outside medical help, you are best advised to discuss your particular situation with your counsellor so you know what questions you should ask your physician and the potential cross addiction risks of any medications they might prescribe.
Although the medications may be necessary for your physical well-being you will want to mention your usage of these medications to both your counsellor and physician to ensure you aren’t adding any unnecessary complications to your recovery process.