Oftentimes, a person develops a drug or alcohol addiction while trying to fill a void left there by another, deeper issue — such as mental illness, unresolved trauma, or physical difficulties. That is why, when you decide to begin your recovery journey, it’s essential to understand what led you to develop your addiction in the first place.

If you don’t, you can find yourself trying to replace your former addiction with a new one. These are known as cross addictions.

Cross Addictions and Substance Abuse

What is a Cross Addiction?

Cross addictions occur when a person tries to replace one addiction with another. This is not uncommon to see in those who struggle with substance abuse, as they try to use another vice to fill the same void alcohol or drugs once did. In doing so, they feel the same, or at least similar, levels of dopamine that they did when using substances.

Common Cross Addictions

While cross addictions can occur with any unhealthy vice, there are certain ones that are more common for young adults struggling with substance addiction.


This is commonly seen with young adults who struggle with alcohol addiction. They may slow down on their drinking but begin using certain recreational drugs, such as marijuana, cocaine, or heroin.


An increase in hypersexuality or dangerous sexual behaviors is not uncommon in those battling substance addiction. They will seek out sexual encounters in an effort to experience the same levels of dopamine they are missing after stopping the use of drugs or alcohol.


Gambling is another dangerous addiction that can be formed while someone is trying to finance a drug habit. Gambling may also cause them to develop a drug habit in the first place — since the two addictions complement each other.

Not only are cross addictions negative replacements for substance abuse habits, but they also present their own dangerous consequences if continued.

Holistic Young Adult Addiction Treatment

At Silvermist Recovery Center, we take a holistic approach to young adult addiction treatment in Pennsylvania, offering a wide variety of therapies that can be tailored to each client’s unique needs. Clients report mental, physical, and psychological improvement after completing holistic therapy.

Contact us today to get the help you need.