Multiple Addictions Cause Multiple Problems
The same impulses that can make an individual susceptible to one addiction can make them open to other types of addictions as well. Co-addictions can sometimes also be referred to as co-occurring disorders and the term simply means having two or more overlapping addictions, for example opiate addiction and workaholism or alcoholism and compulsive gambling.
This is not the same as an addicted individual who trades one disorder for another. The most common example of this in recent years is when food addicts who undergo weight-loss surgery find themselves at risk for new addictions. Since their bodies will no longer let them abuse food, they may find themselves turning to alcohol abuse, shopping addiction or compulsive gambling to get that “fix” that food used to give them.
Mental Health and Addiction
Co-occurring disorders also refer to someone who is battling an addiction combined with a personality disorder such as schizophrenia, multiple personality disorder, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.
Co-addictions occur for the same reasons as primary addictions. These secondary addictions pose a new problem, though, because they aren’t seen as dangerous by the user because they aren’t the primary addiction. Ironically, the secondary addiction feeds the primary addiction, often leading back to increased abuse of that primary substance.
Get Help for Co-addictions
It’s important to be aware of the different types of abuse and addiction so we can spot it in those we love or even ourselves and get help. If you or someone you love is battling an addiction, call La Paloma at our toll-free number. Someone is there to take your call 24 hours a day and answer any questions you have about treatment, financing or insurance.