Many drug users and addicts have a drug of choice.They get hooked on a particular substance and generally abuse that drug alone. While they may experiment with other substances from time to time or graduate to a stronger but similar drug, generally, they remain loyal to one type of substance. Their drug or alcohol detox is tailored to their substance of choice and the detox process is more likely to follow expectations. Other forms of substance abuse are not so simple, leaving treatment much more unpredictable.
What is Polysubstance Abuse?Polysubstance abuse is the misuse of multiple substances. This may include alcohol, illegal drugs, or even prescription medications. People will put more than one substance in their system at the same time or mix substances before ingestion. This abuse is dangerous and often leads to more than one substance use disorder.
Some examples of polysubstance abuse include:
- Cocaine and heroin (speedball)
- Alcohol and opioids
- Alcohol and benzodiazepines
- Alcohol and cocaine
- Alcohol and marijuana
- Opioids and benzodiazepines
Polysubstance Abuse EffectsAs a drug rehab in Palm Springs, California, we know that while substance abuse of any kind is harmful, polysubstance abuse can be especially dangerous. There’s a reason people are advised to consult their doctor about taking more than one medication at a time. When more than one substance is in someone’s system at the same time, they can interact and lead to new and damaging effects.
The exact effects of polysubstance abuse vary drastically, as it largely depends on what substances are being combined. Other factors that can also play a role in their interaction include tolerance, dosage, medical history, and health conditions.
In general, one common effect of polysubstance abuse is that one drug will heighten the effects of another. This may cause someone to feel a stronger high and lead to an addiction problem faster. Another commonly perceived effect of polysubstance abuse is that one substance can mitigate the negative effects of another. Although this may feel better for the user, the problem with this type of interaction is that it can lead someone to believe that they are not as intoxicated, resulting in a possible overdose.
Other polysubstance abuse problems could be a bad interaction between the substances that leads to unforeseen side effects or complications for someone’s health. This problem can be especially dangerous if someone already has an underlying health problem. This issue could also extend to mental health problems that the user has been self-medicating with these substances.
If you or someone you care about has a polysubstance abuse disorder, do not wait to get help. Our drug detox center in the Coachella Valley helps people safely and more comfortably detox from these substances to begin the journey to lasting sobriety.