Developing Alcoholism After Recovering From Drugs

man with empty alcohol bottle

Developing alcoholism after recovering from drugs is known as cross addiction.  This behavior is not unusual.  In fact, many recovering addicts fall back on addictive substances after treatment.  The person often chooses a substance that mimics the drug they initially used.  For instance, an individual who was once addicted to cocaine will possibly become addicted to prescription stimulants.  Or, a recovering heroin addict will turn to alcohol or prescription opiates.  In essence, they are attempting to self-medicate because the daily challenges of maintaining sobriety seem unbearable.  By avoiding the substance they were originally addicted to, they feel justified in trying something new.

Developing Alcoholism After Recovery From Drugs is not Unusual

Cross addiction usually happens in newly recovered addicts. However, the disorder can appear several years later.  For example, an alcoholic can remain sober for several years and suddenly become addicted to hydrocodone after a routine dental procedure.  Is there a particular trigger that makes some people more susceptible to developing a new addiction?

It’s not unusual for a person to develop a new addiction after recovering from a previous one.  This happens because the person’s brain still craves the “feel-good” feeling, especially in times of stress.  Alcohol often becomes the preferred substitute because it is easily obtained and fairly inexpensive.

How to Tell if a Cross Addiction is Present

If you are concerned that you are developing a new addiction, there are several warning signs to look for.  For instance:

  • Have you been ignoring work, school, or family responsibilities?
  • Do you lie about your behavior to family, friends, or co-workers?
  • Are you moody, irritable, or anxious when your drug of choice isn’t available?
  • Have you resorted to illegal activities to fund your new habit?
  • Did you abandon favorite pastimes such as jogging, reading, or traveling?
  • Have you tried to quit the new substance but failed?

If none of the above have occurred, you may not have developed a cross addiction and can continue using the substance.  However, please use caution in doing so, and seek professional help if any of the above signs develop.

Why You Need Professional Help for Cross Addiction

Developing alcoholism after recovery from drugs can take a huge toll on your physical and mental health because your body and mind are still in a receptive state.  During the past addiction, some damages occurred that could take years to heal.  If you begin another addiction, the effects can compound the lingering effects and cause more problems.  For this reason, the best option is to seek professional treatment for detox and rehab.

In a professional detox and rehab, you can expect the highest level of care during withdrawals.  Additionally, during rehab, the skilled, compassionate staff is dedicated to your complete recovery.  Some of the daily activities and classes you will attend after detox include:

  • Group and Individual Counseling
  • Life Skills Training
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Music and Art Therapy
  • Nutritional Guidance
  • Exercise and Fitness Routines
  • Yoga, Martial Arts, Acupuncture, Sauna, Massage
  • Parenting Classes
  • GED Preparation
  • Aftercare Services

Each aspect of rehab is designed to help you achieve specific goals that will aid you in remaining sober.  All in all, the goal of rehab is to assist you regain self-esteem and build confidence that will assist you in coping with daily stress without resorting to addictive substances as a crutch.

To learn more about developing alcoholism or to begin treatment for your addiction, please call our toll-free number now.  One of our representatives is waiting to hear from you and help you get started as soon as possible.










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