What is Cross Faded?

What is Cross Faded

Understand the Term Cross Faded and Get Support at Purpose

Imagine you are flying an airplane that suddenly ascends into deep clouds. The visibility drops to zero; the horizon vanishes. You cannot rely on familiar markers, like the horizon, because the haze is so intense. It’s incredibly disorienting until the clouds clear, and you can see the outline of the Earth below. That example explains the disorientation of being “cross-faded.”

The term describes mixing substances. Usually, it’s mixing alcohol and marijuana. Like piloting a plane through clouds, drug abuse makes you feel disconnected – unable to trust your judgment and make the best decisions.

Purpose Healing Center has helped countless clients break free of the grips of alcohol and drug abuse. Our drug addiction specialists understand that recovery is one of the most difficult challenges you or your loved one will ever face. We use evidence-based, holistic methods and provide you with all the resources you need to change your addictive behaviors for good.

Please read on to learn more about the nature of drinking alcohol with marijuana use, and to get proven support options for a loved one if they are regularly getting crossfaded.

Get Effective Detox and Rehab Options at Purpose

What Is Polysubstance Abuse in Terms of Getting Cross Faded?

Polysubstance abuse is mixing two substances to produce a more intense “high.” Typically, alcohol is one of the substances, along with another drug. This can pose significant risks, including:

  • An increased chance of an overdose
  • Further complicating existing substance use disorders
  • Developing additional mental health challenges (besides the substance use disorder).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that these mixtures are never safe, as the outcomes are unpredictable or even deadly. They support that with data, sharing how almost 50% of 2019 overdoses involved two substances or more.

Any time someone mixes alcohol and other drugs, or any two substances, it qualifies as polysubstance abuse.

Why Drinking Alcohol and Using Marijuana Has Such an Impact

Drinking Alcohol and Using Marijuana

It is helpful to understand a little science behind what happens when you mix alcohol and marijuana. The reason marijuana users crave the drug is a component called THC; it binds to the brain’s cannabinoid receptors, which gives you altered perceptions.

On the other hand, the active ingredient of alcohol is ethanol, which means alcohol is also a depressant. Simultaneous alcohol and marijuana use harms the central nervous system.

Here are some of the possible outcomes of mixing alcohol and marijuana:

Marijuana and Alcohol Abuse Can Create a Strong Psychoactive Response

Drinking alcohol before cannabis use increases the THC absorption. That’s because the alcohol’s ethanol dilates the blood vessels and absorbs faster. These stronger THC levels can lead to stronger impaired cognitive function, panic or anxiety, euphoria, or other psychoactive effects.

Mixing Alcohol and Other Drugs Can Mean Poor Decision Making

The psychoactive effects mentioned above can also lead to altered sensory perception. Some people feel “invincible” after mixing alcohol and drugs, leading them to make very poor decisions. A good example is someone who has cross-faded at a party but believes they can drive home despite reduced motor skills. That often brings tragic consequences.

Alcohol and Marijuana Simultaneously Create Stronger Sedative Effects

Another of the adverse health consequences is the increased sedation that can occur when using alcohol and marijuana together. Alcoholic drinks cause too much THC, making you dizzy, vomiting, or nauseated – sometimes called “greening out.” This outcome is more likely to occur when someone has cross-faded.

Cross-Fading Can Lead to Mental Health Complications

Substance use disorder

Those who have chosen to pursue getting cross-faded on a regular basis often get addicted to the more intense effects. It can mean the difference between a person who engages in occasional substance abuse and developing a full substance use disorder.

The more you have been getting cross-faded, the more tolerance you develop for each of the multiple substances. Eventually, your body might need increasingly larger amounts of each. As this behavior escalates, it changes the brain’s natural reward system. In other words, your brain sends out feel-good signals only when you engage in risky behaviors, like cross-fading.

For instance, our past client Jacob got cross-faded once a month when he hung out with his friends. After trying it a few times, he started looking forward to it. That led him to start smoking marijuana simultaneously with alcohol more often.

After about a year, he had more and more blackouts from drinking and had a frightening experience with alcohol poisoning. The resulting trip to the emergency room woke him up to the fact that he now had a full-blown addiction. With our help, he stopped using both alcohol and marijuana. Today, his health is much better, and he is enjoying life again in sobriety.

Mental Health Issues That Could Result if You Cross Fade

Because it tampers with your central nervous system, cross-fading can also cause anxiety or depression. It can notably worsen or trigger these mental illnesses in those with a prior diagnosis.

Cross-fading also causes you to feel disconnected from reality. That feeling can cause extreme panic, especially for someone with a panic disorder.

Take the example of Tosha, who came to Purpose Healing Center for help. She had started combining alcohol and marijuana due to her extreme depression. She liked how binge drinking and smoking weed made her so sleepy that she forgot her troubles. Instead of managing her depression healthily, she dulled it without resolving it. Tosha’s partner urged her to get help.

We found the right balance of prescription medications and holistic exercises (yoga!) to help her manage her depression for the rest of her life. She no longer resorts to abusing drugs.

Overlapping Drug Effects Can Diminish Emotional Regulation

Those who struggle with managing their emotional well-being may start to rely on combining alcohol and drugs to cope with negative emotions. Cross-fading might seem like an effective way to stay calm at first.

But in time, it only adds to the problem. Because of the “disconnection” people feel when they’ve cross -faded, they start to forget about the well-being of others. They may lash out, belittle others, or even ruin relationships.

That’s what almost happened with Keith, whose alcohol intoxication, often mixed with too much weed, made him verbally abusive to his wife. He loved his wife, but after some weed and an alcoholic beverage or two, he would lose control of his temper and start screaming about petty grievances.

After his wife realized he had a developing substance abuse disorder, she separated from him. He came to Purpose Healing Center for help.

We discovered that Keith had a dual diagnosis (PTSD) from his military service in Afghanistan. Counselors helped him learn to cope with the trauma without drugs. He and his wife also received family counseling and are back together now and with a growing family under their wings.

Social Consequences of Cross-Fading

Social Consequences of Cross-Fading

When someone has been getting cross faded for some time, their family and friends may start pulling away. Loved ones become exhausted from the constant turmoil that arises from drug addiction.

That’s what happened with our past client Breck. Because they wanted to fit in at college, Breck started hanging out with a pretty wild crowd. They quickly learned that drugs and alcohol made them feel euphoric. One evening, Breck got a DUI on their way back to their apartment after they had been getting cross faded with friends.

Breck’s family had already bailed them out of jail on two prior occasions in recent months. This time, their family decided that they’d only help if Breck promised to attend addiction treatment. They agreed.

At our addiction treatment center, Breck learned new self-acceptance tools and gained self-esteem. Breck returned to school after a semester away from the campus environment and completed their degree successfully.

Get Accredited Treatment Programs at Purpose

What are the Physical Effects of Cross-Fading?

More frequent users can develop extremely negative consequences after they have cross-faded for a long time. A cross-faded high can be intense, causing cravings and leading to physical damage to the body, including an increased risk of alcohol poisoning or an unpleasant cannabis ‘overdose.

Here are a few health risks:

Alcohol and Marijuana Addiction Leads to Cardiovascular System Problems

THC causes an increased heart rate, while alcohol causes blood pressure fluctuations. Combining them can place excess stress on the heart and circulatory system. This situation is especially concerning in those with specific risk factors, such as heart arrhythmia.

Acute Pancreatitis May Result from Cross-Fading

Chronic alcohol use causes damage to the pancreas, especially over long-term use. While a case of acute pancreatitis may result from a single night of binge drinking, the complications that may result when adding other substances might make matters worse. According to the NIH, the implications of crossfading and acute pancreatitis are undergoing further research.

Respiratory Depression After Someone Smokes Marijuana and Drinks Alcohol

Drinking too much alcohol and combining it with marijuana (or other commonly used drugs) can cause great distress to the respiratory system. When you smoke marijuana, you irritate the respiratory tract. It lowers your body’s ability to clear mucus from the lungs. It can cause bronchitis or other breathing problems.

The Common Signs of Overdose Due to Getting Cross Faded

 Signs of Overdose Due to Getting Cross Faded

Cross-fading carries many potential risks, including overdosing. Here are the severe symptoms to watch for if your loved one has cross-faded:

  • Confusion; impaired judgment
  • Significantly reduced motor skills
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Seizures (due to the alcohol)
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Difficulty with breathing
  • Psychological aspects: anxiety, paranoia, emotional outbursts
  • Pale or blue skin or lips

Some may mistakenly believe that because alcohol is legal in all 50 states and marijuana is legal in many, there is no harm in using it. That’s untrue and could be a deadly mistake, especially with cross-fading. If you see these signs, they are a medical emergency. Call 911 and follow the instructions they give you.

Our Personalized Treatment Plans Can Heal Substance Abuse

If you are ready to leave crossfading behind you, take heart! At Purpose Healing Center, we have mental health specialists who have extensive knowledge of addiction and how to break the cycle of marijuana and alcohol addiction.

Here are some of the evidence-based methods we use to help you regain your health:

Medical Detoxification at the Start of Your Sobriety Journey

During medical detox, you will receive care from a specially trained in the health risks of detoxifying. Staff will monitor both your physical and mental wellness. The clinician can give you prescription medications to ease any severe withdrawal symptoms.

Counseling to Restore Your Behavioral and Mental Health

Counseling to Restore Mental Health

You will work with compassionate therapists who will help you:

First, you’ll identify the root causes of your cross-fading and addiction. Specifically, you will start to understand what caused you to start mixing substances. Do you have unresolved trauma or an undiagnosed mental illness?

Understanding what led you to start seeking out the ‘cross fade high’ helps you resolve the underlying problem once and for all.

Second, you will learn to change negative behaviors with positive coping skills. Nobody sets out in life to begin trying to get as high as possible when they cross-fade substances. Instead, most develop such alcohol and cannabis use to self-medicate.

At Purpose, following detox for marijuana, you will replace unhealthy coping strategies (like cross-fading) with healthy, new ways to feel better. These can include journal writing, yoga, or exercise – your therapist will guide you in this discovery.

Get Effective Aftercare Planning for Ongoing Recovery Success

You’ll leave Purpose Healing Center with strategies to help you avoid triggers and take advantage of all the benefits of quitting cannabis. For instance, you will not be able to interact with those you cross-faded with; instead, you will have a game plan for finding safe, healthy people. Your aftercare program will be highly customized to meet your needs.

Up To 100% of Rehab Costs Covered By Insurance

Get Support at Purpose to Leave Cross-Fading in the Past

Are you ready to leave cross-fading in the past and write a new, sober future? We offer Joint Commission-accredited programs to support recovery at our Scottsdale and Phoenix locations. We work with nearly all AHCCCS plans and are in-network providers with most major insurance plans.

If you or your loved one is struggling with this mixing of substances and would like support to get clean and sober, connect with Purpose Healing Center today.