addicts and alcoholics today face more than one addiction at the same time. These
addictions not only coexist, they interact, reinforce, and fuse to become part
of a package. This process is called Addiction Interaction Disorder (AID).
Addicted persons are likely to struggle with two or more of the following at any given time:
In addiction interaction disorder, addictions are separate and different, yet share similarities and consequences. The same emotions and stressors—including shame, trauma, denial and stress—fuel them.
Addiction interaction disorder can become chronic and progressive if left unaddressed. While traditional substance abuse treatment programs have focused on a patient’s “drug of choice” (such as alcohol, cocaine, heroin or prescription painkillers), it’s important to focus on the unique set of addictions that defines an individual’s AID. Left undiagnosed and untreated, addiction interaction disorder can leave patients at high risk for chronic relapse.
Treating Addiction Interaction Disorder
Treating addiction interaction disorder can be difficult, as multiple addictions must be identified and assessed both as individual problems and as a pieces of the bigger picture. Clinicians must determine which addiction is the most severe or life-threatening while also attempting to break the overall cycle of addiction. Someone whose addiction interaction disorder involves cocaine and gambling, for example, should first be treated for the cocaine addiction. Once the patient has gone through detox and is abstaining from the drug, they are better equipped to confront the gambling addiction.
Patients suffering from addiction interaction disorder should be encouraged to undergo comprehensive multiple addiction treatment in order to acquire strong recovery habits and an understanding of how to best deal with issues such as anxiety or depression. For more information on therapeutic rehab, please explore Caron’s programs or contact us