To addiction treatment providers, it matters little whether or not marijuana is legal or illegal. The drugs that people use and abuse are based largely on social norms, not legal status. When it is socially acceptable to use a substance, more people will choose that substance to use over others. Tobacco is legal, but its use has declined as smoking cigarettes has become more socially unacceptable. However, marijuana, especially due to its medicinal use, has increased as it is becoming more and more socially acceptable. Let’s talk about what that looks like in the addiction world.
What is a cross addiction? When an individual begins recovery from one addictive behavior, but may not be fully addressing the underlying issues causing the need to engage in the destructive behavior, they can tend to shift to another addictive behavior to replace it. For example in women drug and alcohol abuse and eating disorders tend to be cross addictions for one another. Whether the substance abuse or eating disorder came first, women tend to seek recovery for one, and end up struggling with the other in its place.
Recovery is a beautiful process of learning, growth, and healing. September was National Recovery Month, so we had a whole month to reflect on the process itself. While the term “recovery” can be applied to getting better or improving with regard to a wide range of conditions, it is most commonly associated with overcoming addiction to alcohol and other drugs. In this context, recovery is generally thought of as becoming abstinent from these substances. However, the process of recovery goes far beyond abstinence.