What is Cross Addiction?

Addressing the frequently asked questions dealing with addiction.


What is cross addiction?


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.

"Sober Days" ran in the Palm Springs daily newspaper, the Desert Sun, for several years in the 1990s-2000s. The popular Q&A column was written by Dr. James West, the Betty Ford Center’s first medical director. He remained with the Betty Ford Center until 2007, when he retired at age 93.

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