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What Is Cross-Addiction? Why Can’t A Pill Addict Drink?

Posted May 02 2013 11:21pm

One of the more common questions around treatment centers and the recovery fellowships goes something like,”I’m addicted to prescription drugs, not alcohol, so why can’t I have a drink? What’s this cross-addiction I’ve heard about?”

That’s really not an unreasonable question. Why do addicts who don’t seem to have problems with alcohol need to stay away from it anyway? Why can’t a prescription drug addict have a few drinks?

There are really two reasons:

  • Alcohol reduces our inhibitions and increases the likelihood that we will make bad choices; and
  • Just as they say in the rooms, “A drug is a drug is a drug.”

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