Cross-faded: Young Adults’ Language of Being Simultaneously Drunk and High


  • Megan E. Patrick Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Christine M. Lee Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA


The term “cross-faded,” observed in focus groups and on a variety of websites, appears to refer to overlapping drug effects of multiple substances used at the same time, particularly alcohol and marijuana. This study explores young adult understanding of the cross-faded terminology in order to inform substance use research and intervention. Young adult participants (N=807, ages 18-23) in the screening survey for Project Transitions based in Seattle, WA were asked whether they had heard of being cross-faded, what they thought it meant, and how desirable and risky they thought it was. Cross-faded was a commonly understood term (87% had heard of it), most often described as using alcohol and marijuana simultaneously (43%) and second most as being both drunk and high (25%), specifically. Being cross-faded was seen as moderately risky and not desirable by most, although 18.2% described it as moderately or very desirable. Risk factor differences in perceptions of being cross-faded were found for sex, college status, and alcohol and marijuana use. Cross-faded is a common term for the effects of using multiple substances. As such it merits further research consideration with the aim of optimizing the effectiveness of surveys and programming.

DOI: 10.26828/cannabis.2018.02.006

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