The words “Cross Addictions” and “dual diagnosis” are sometimes used interchangeably.
In other words, they’re two distinct ideas.
In the context of addiction, cross-addiction refers to the idea that someone who has a serious substance use disorder (the word for addiction) to a drug is more likely to get addicted to another substance.
The term “dual diagnosis” often refers to a person who suffers from two distinct mental illnesses, such as depression and alcoholism.
Is Cross addiction a Real Thing or a figment of the imagination?
Anecdotal data suggest that recovered addicts are at risk of acquiring new addictions to drugs other than alcohol. People who have had alcohol abuse issues in the past should not be administered narcotics for pain management, people who have recovered from benzodiazepine addictions should not consume alcohol, and so on. They are valuable in explaining features of a theoretical notion that has been experimentally confirmed, but they are the weakest kinds of evidence for articulating an overarching theory.
Cross Addictions Vulnerability
The idea that recovering from one kind of drug use disorder increases one’s propensity to develop another type of substance use disorder makes sense logically. Numerous stringent disease theories of addiction support this idea, in which people are unable to make reasonable decisions about their drug use because of alterations in their brains. According to this theory, a physiological basis for cross-addiction susceptibility might be explained by the fact that most drug use disorders share comparable brain pathways, such as the reward system in the brain, which is predominantly regulated by the neurotransmitter dopamine. There was a mixed bag of empirical evidence for the idea of cross-addiction until recently.
Anecdotal evidence, rather than scientific proof, has been the primary source for cross-addiction research, although there has been some very mild and admittedly poor empirical support for the concept. There have been countless instances in which people who are in treatment or have recovered from one kind of drug use disorder have acquired another type of substance use disorder, according to these individuals.