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Cross-Addictions

An individual who abuses or is dependent on a substance will commonly identify a primary substance of abuse. This does not necessarily mean that the individual will not abuse other addictive substances or engage in other addictive behaviors. An individual with addictive tendencies may seek multiple addictive sources of reinforcement throughout their lifetime; this tendency is known as cross-addiction. This behavior typically occurs by successively replacing one addictive behavior with another. These cross-addictions may manifest in the use of another substance within the same drug class, the use of a substance belonging to a different class, or engagement in other addictive behaviors (e.g., compulsive gambling, sexual addiction, Internet addiction, overeating). This entry focuses on the proposed mechanisms behind cross-addictions, subtypes of cross-addictions and their associated ...

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