Clay Cutts, L.M.S.W. | Dual Addiction – Two Monkeys for the Price of One!

Dual Addiction – Two Monkeys for the Price of One!

July 7, 2013

Dual DiagnosisDual addiction refers to a person who has two distinct addictions. Though the term can refer to two separate drugs, it more commonly implies addiction to alcohol and some other drug such as prescription pills, cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana or others.

These addicts have two monkeys on their backs!

I have learned to be grateful and this is another example of something for which to be grateful. I experimented with other drugs, but only became addicted alcohol. At this point in my life, I avoid all ‘min-altering’ substances…not just alcohol.

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“Why is it drug addicts and computer aficionados are both called users?”

~Clifford Stoll

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While gaming and online gambling addictions are important, they are not our topic for today. We are talking about some dangerous, and more common that you would think, dual addictions. Though most addicts have a drug of choice, many become addicted to another drug for a variety of reasons.

Dual Addiction Stop-Gap

Illegal drugs are hard to come by sometimes. During those droughts, users will sometimes turn to the readily available drug…alcohol. They will use alcohol to get high until they can get their hands on their drug of choice.

This dual addiction is very common and can lead to a difficult recovery. A friend who would drink whenever he couldn’t get crack became addicted to both substances. He quit both at the same time but never saw alcohol as a problem.

At a party he took a drink that was offered to him and within two days was using crack again after several years of sobriety.

Alcohol Plus A Sedative

This dual addiction can be dangerous. Since alcohol is already a sedative, adding more sedatives (such as Xanax) or pain killers (such as Oxycodone) can be lethal. Though different drugs work in different ways, this combination can cause blackouts, unconsciousness, vomiting and other symptoms.

Users cook up this combination in order to enhance or intensify the normal effects of alcohol. The scar part is that it actually works. The trick is taking just the right amount of everything.

Alcohol Plus Speed

Stimulants such as cocaine and methamphetamine produce increase wakefulness and focus along with decreased fatigue and appetite. These affects counter the effects of alcohol.

Some alcoholics use speed to wake themselves up so they can drink more. This is an “advanced” technique usually reserved for the true hard core addicts amung us. 🙂

The unlucky sufferers of dual addiction have quite a battle to fight. While their temptation are doubled (or more), their treatment options increase as well. The solution is still to 1) put down the dope and 2) get help leaving it down!

Take heart…a new freedom is possible, even for sufferers of dual addiction!

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