Polysubstance abuse refers to a dependence on multiple substances taken in combination. The risks are higher than abuse of a single drug because mixing various substances can easily lead to entirely unexpected results, side effects, and even overdose. Substance abuse treatment programs are the only safe option for addressing this disorder.
If you or someone you love is regularly abusing multiple drugs, with or without alcohol, it’s time to reach out to Amatus Recovery Centers. Our substance abuse treatment programs may be the key to genuine, long-lasting recovery.
What Is Polysubstance Abuse?
When getting high is all about mixing substances rather than finding a fix of one specific drug, the danger of severe consequences is significant. If you are a polysubstance abuser, you may not be addicted to one particular substance but instead addicted to getting high and interested only in taking drugs in combination to achieve particular – or random – effects.
More than half of opioid deaths involve non-opioids like cocaine or benzos. Conversely, more than half of cocaine overdose deaths include the presence of opioids. Mixing drugs is not a rare occurrence, and drug interactions make diagnosis and treatment of addiction challenging. The effects of one drug often mask the signs of another. There are often common occurrences of polysubstance abuse.
3 Common Occurrences of Polysubstance Abuse
1. Opioids, Benzos, and Alcohol
Three nervous system depressants, when taken together, can be fatal. Opioid and benzo co-occurrence is common, and alcohol is a lubricant in many drug-consuming situations. Tens of thousands of emergency room check-ins per year involve a combination of these three substances. The leading cause of death from this polysubstance combination involves complications related to respiratory depression.
2. Cocaine and Alcohol
Combining drugs that have contrasting effects often means that the amount of each drug is increased. For instance, drinking and doing cocaine will result in more alcohol, and more cocaine, in the bloodstream than if the person had only done one or the other. Also, the risk of cardiovascular complications, alcohol poisoning, and drug overdose increases.
3. Heroin and Cocaine
Commonly referred to as a speedball, the combination of these two drugs is very dangerous. Heroin is a depressant, cocaine a stimulant. The effects on the brain of the two together can lead quickly to incoherence, paranoia, mental impairment, stupor, unconsciousness, stroke, heart attack, and coma. When alcohol is included in this “cocktail,” risks escalate even more quickly.
Some additional common polysubstance partners include:
- Steroids and cocaine
- Suboxone and Adderall
- Valium and alcohol
- Klonopin and Xanax
- Ecstasy and alcohol
What Are Side Effects of Polysubstance Abuse?
The toll taken on the body and brain is not difficult to imagine, but for users in the throes of a polysubstance binge, the danger is the last thing on their minds.
Whether you are mixing anxiety medication with heroin, mixing alcohol with ecstasy and meth, or simply taking whatever you can get your hands on, you are at increased risk of severe side effects such as:
- Respiratory depression
- Cardiac arrest
- Brain damage
- Organ failure
Begin to Heal with Polysubstance Abuse Treatment at Amatus Recovery Centers
Polysubstance abuse is nothing to take lightly. Seeking treatment to stop the cycle of compulsive abuse of multiple substances is the first step toward living a healthier life without the ever-present danger of tragic outcomes.
If you are unsure how to take the first step away from abusing one or many substances, reach out to Amatus Recovery Centers. Why? Because we can help. We offer evidence-based addiction treatment in numerous locations around the country. Our polysubstance abuse treatment will enable you to find your center, live a life of recovery, and rebuild what you’ve lost, whether it is a relationship, a professional aspiration, or an education. Use our online form or call 833.631.0525 today so we can answer all your questions and put your mind at ease: you are not alone and don’t have to do this on your own.