You may instinctively suspect that your friend or your loved one could be abusing drugs, but sometimes you can’t put a name to the substances he or she may be abusing. This is particularly true if the person is struggling with an addiction to multiple substances. If you know someone who wants to recover from the addiction of various substances, it is important to understand what polysubstance abuse means, learn how it affects the user, and discover the drug addiction treatment options available in GA.
What Is Polysubstance Abuse?
As the prefix ‘poly’ suggests, the term polysubstance abuse refers to the abuse of more than one substance at the same time. People struggling with polysubstance abuse and addiction are not addicted to a specific drug, but rather to the feeling of being high regardless of the drug they are using. As such, these individuals have no preference for a particular drug.
Individuals struggling with polysubstance abuse intentionally mix multiple drugs to enhance their effects. For instance, someone addicted to heroin may take the drug with benzodiazepines to achieve greater effects.
Some of the popular combinations of polysubstance abuse include:
Although the term is often used to refer to abuse of multiple illicit drugs, polysubstance abuse includes abuse of prescription medications when used for non-medical purposes. Individuals may or may not intentionally combine these prescription drugs. For instance, an individual may unwittingly drink alcohol alongside a medication only for them to realize that prescription medication should not be mixed with alcohol. Sometimes individuals may start taking prescriptions from multiple doctors when they are oblivious of the imminent side effects of taking medications that interact negatively with each other.
The effects of mixing drugs can be unpredictable, and the individuals engaging in polysubstance abuse are vulnerable to a range of severe consequences.
Effects of Polysubstance Abuse
The effects of polysubstance abuse may vary depending on the combination of the substances. Nonetheless, there are some common consequences, which include:
Aggravated side effects: Prescription drugs come with some side effects that a patient is likely to suffer. In most cases, these are mild. However, when substances are abused together, the side effects of the drugs intensify and become severe. These side effects may include vomiting, body pain, respiratory issues, and blood pressure. Beyond the regular side effects, polysubstance abuse may eventually lead to some addictive effects.
Overdose: Even though drug overdose is potentially possible with any substance abuse, the chances of this occurring increase when an individual abuses multiple drugs. Some drugs cancel out the other’s effects, which may prompt an individual to take a higher dose to achieve the desired effect. Drug overdose poses a long-term risk to your health and it could even lead to death.
Acute health problems: Polysubstance abuse increases toxicity, and consequently, individuals are likely to suffer from various diseases and disorders. For instance, alcoholics who also inject addictive drugs are likely to suffer from hepatitis C.
Treatment of Polysubstance Abuse at Georgia Addiction Treatment Center
Quitting polysubstance abuse without any medical attention can result in severe complications in the form of withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, it is important to seek help at an addiction treatment center in Peachtree City, where individuals will receive close medical monitoring from experienced staff members. At Georgia Addiction Treatment Center, our team members will address the underlying causes of polysubstance abuse and help you achieve lasting sobriety. Our therapy treatment options will help you establish coping patterns to enable you to avoid drug abuse in the future. Some of the substance abuse treatment programs we offer include: