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What Is Cross Addiction?

June 24th, 2010 – Posted by James W. West M.D. F.A.C.S. in Doctors Office


Question:  What is cross addiction?

Answer: Persons with addictive disease are no more prone to other mental illnesses than the general population.  Cross addiction implies that if a person is a victim dependent on one psychoactive substance, he is at high risk to develop dependence on any other addicting psychoactive substance.  However, when someone suffers from an entirely unrelated anxiety disorder or depression in addition to an addictive disease such as alcoholism or drug abuse, they possess what is called a dual disorder.  It is wise then to consider the complexities involved with any addictive disease and to keep in mind the interplay of any two diagnoses.

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One Response to “What is cross addiction?”

  1. John S. says:

    My wife of 19 yrs is 2 yrs sober and just walked out on me and my 2 sons 11 and 16yrs old and is having an affair with another married man. She has been taking Lexapro for 2 yrs and recently decided she thought she was fat and started to buy slimming pills off the internet. She is not her self anymore and does not understand what she is doing. Is it ok to take Lexapro and slimming tablets at the same time, or is this cross addiction at its finest. What do you think she is feeling, this can’t be normal?

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