Polysubstance Abuse Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment

Polysubstance use can lead to different short- and long-term health effects. The effects will vary depending on the pharmacological properties and quantities of the drugs consumed and the person’s characteristics. Conversely, licit drugs include substances that are not illegal but have effects on the body and mind. Depending on the severity of abuse and duration of addiction, a person may need a medical detox, which involves constant monitoring and medical support. This means that while depressants work to slow down body functions like heart rate, respiratory rate, and brain function, stimulants are working to speed these body functions up.

People who abuse alcohol are twice as likely as non-alcohol users to become addicted to heroin. The Path of a Calm Brain – The prefrontal cortex or higher brain, evolved over time to help us weigh the consequences of our actions. Alcohol is one of the most commonly abused substances in the world. According to the National https://sober-home.org/ Institute on Alcohol and Alcoholism , more than 25% of U.S. adults engaged in binge drinking in the past month. Being encouraging — People with a drug use problem may experience feelings of shame or unworthiness. Letting them know that you are available for support can remind them that a better life is possible.

To increase their effects, you may be tempted to use a larger amount of one or both drugs. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a type of therapy that helps you change unhealthy behaviors. For instance, they might drink alcohol without realizing it interacts negatively with a prescription drug they’re taking. They may also buy a street drug that’s secretly been laced with another drug. Others do it to offset the effects of certain prescription or illicit drugs.

  • Treating co-occurring disorders can be more challenging, as it’s important that both disorders are properly diagnosed and treated or a person’s recovery outcome may be affected.
  • When someone who uses cocaine drinks alcohol, the quantity of cocaine in their system has the potential to increase by 30%.
  • Developing a physical dependence on a prescribed medication can happen to anyone.
  • When you’re physically dependent on a drug and stop taking it too suddenly, you may experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, shaking, sweating, and trouble sleeping.
  • With 25 years of experience in addiction recovery, Liberty Ranch helps clients build the behavioral and emotional tools needed to sustain long-term sobriety.

The definition of polysubstance abuse is the misuse of more than one drug. Polysubstance abuse can include both intentional and unintentional behaviors. If you or someone you love is struggling with polysubstance abuse, it’s essential to seek professional help.

Recovery Means Addressing the Addicted Brain

Dual diagnosis treatment involves a holistic, integrated approach to addressing both conditions at the same time and in concert with one another. While some might believe depressants and stimulants balance each others’ effects out, this is false. Using a stimulant and a depressant together eco sober house review can cause unpredictable results and increase the odds of overdose. One substance might be masking the true effects of the other on the CNS. This can cause users to be unaware of what is truly happening in their body or to increase their dosage, leading to overdose and even death.

For instance, if a substance is illicit , such as heroin or cocaine, then use of it is always considered abuse. Polysubstance abuse, also called polydrug use, occurs when a person abuses more than one substance at a time. The abuse can occur with both drugs in one incident or at separate times during the same period of abuse.

It is a particularly dangerous behavior that involves two or more drugs. Polysubstance abuse is dangerous because it increases the risks of all possible consequences from each substance used. It also makes it more challenging to treat due to the complexity of substances in the body and potential withdrawal symptoms that may occur during detox.

A high percentage of individuals combine alcohol with various drug types, including prescription or illicit drugs, to reach a “stronger” high. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the simultaneous use of alcohol and prescription medications may cause alcohol poisoning, blackouts, and loss of life. Alcohol gets mixed with prescription opiates like the extended-release form of oxycodone.

Anxiety and Polysubstance Abuse

Of an individual’s risk of substance abuse, which may directly or indirectly influence polydrug abuse. We are dedicated to transforming the despair of addiction into a purposeful life of confidence, self-respect and happiness. We want to give recovering addicts the tools to return to the outside world completely substance-free and successful. In some cases, combining multiple substances can cause changes to your metabolism that can result in a higher concentration of drugs in your system. Ambrosia was founded in 2007 with a mission to provide truly individualized substance abuse treatment to every person who enters one of our programs.

polysubstance abuse

When it is intentional, users purposefully use more than one substance to either heighten the effects of one drug, or to lessen the effects. Unintentional polysubstance use happens when an individual uses drugs that have been mixed with other drugs without knowing this has happened. Whether intentional or unintentional, polysubstance abuse can be addictive and dangerous. Tulip Hill is a family-owned rehabilitation center near in Murfreesboro, TN with first-hand experience in addiction recovery.

Risks Of Mixing Stimulants & Depressants

At the same time, multiple studies have suggested that those who use various substances face a high chance of relapse. Severe side effects — as mentioned earlier, polysubstance use can produce more undesirable side effects and even increase their severity. If the side effects of the combined drug use are extreme, the risk of life-threatening health problems rises. For instance, you can consider heroin or cocaine as illicit drugs. Both substances can be dangerous and place users and even local community members in danger. People who began using substances at an early age are more likely to develop addiction later in life, the NIDA states.

Mixing drugs like these two substances increases your risk for death dramatically. Your central nervous system relaxes so much as to affect your breathing and heart rate and cause respiratory failure. When a person uses or misuses multiple drugs, it does not matter whether the drug is licit or not.

Opioids and benzodiazepines are some of the most frequently prescribed medications in the United States. Valium, Xanax, and Ativan are just a few of the many medications containing benzos. For those seeking addiction treatment for themselves or a loved one, the Addiction Group helpline is a private and convenient solution. Calls to any general helpline (non-facility specific 1-8XX numbers) for your visit will be answered by American Addiction Centers . Lastly, health professionals may also consider polysubstance use as a substance use disorder.

polysubstance abuse

Family programming can also teach loved ones how to better support each other. No matter what causes a person to engage in polysubstance abuse, this behavior can be a source of considerable harm. Seeking professional help — It may be difficult for you to address the topic of treatment with a loved one. Complicated treatment — Treatment for polysubstance use is challenging. On the one hand, clinicians may not know what treatment to administer in cases of overdose.

Eating Disorder

Whether intentional or not, mixing drugs is never safe because the effects from combining drugs may be stronger and more unpredictable than one drug alone, and even deadly. Unintentional polysubstance use occurs when a person takes drugs that have been mixed or cut with other substances, like fentanyl, without their knowledge. Intentional polysubstance use occurs when a person takes a drug to increase or decrease the effects of a different drug or wants to experience the effects of the combination. A drug cocktail is a combination of drugs used to achieve a high or specific effect.

What Happens During Polysubstance Abuse Treatment?

Graduates gain the tools to cope with negative emotions and triggers, allowing them to build more successful and productive lives rooted in recovery. Polysubstance abuse can result in a number of negative consequences. Centers for Disease Control , combining drugs can make the effects of a substance stronger, more unpredictable and deadlier than when used alone.

Since they are prescribed so often, they can be easier to acquire than certain other drugs. If you are admitted to a medical detox center, you will receive 24-hour supervision eco sober house review from healthcare professionals. They will be able to monitor your vital signs continually and administer prompt treatments for medical emergencies that arise.

In the event of an overdose or medical emergency, call 911 immediately.

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