Polysubstance abuse is a term used to describe the practice of using more than one drug at a time. In some cases, it is not intentional – a person has an alcoholic drink while taking pain medication. Other times, prescription drugs interact with each other or other substances causing problems. Still, other situations involve the purposeful use of two or more drugs to create amplified or different effects. There are risks of drug addiction development in these situations. If you believe you’re struggling with addiction, reach out to Midwest Recovery Center for immediate help.
What Is Polysubstance Abuse?
Polysubstance abuse occurs when a person uses more than one drug during a short timeframe, most commonly to benefit. As abuse, this may involve mixing illicit drugs to gain some improvement or using prescription medications with drugs for nonmedical needs.
There are various reasons why this may happen. Sometimes, a person will take a second drug to counteract the negative side effects of the first. For example, those taking stimulants like cocaine often experience intense anxiety. They may drink alcohol with it to help calm the anxiety a bit. Other times, users want to mix two drugs to enhance the effects they have. Mixing prescription painkillers with heroin, for example, may lead to intense euphoria, especially if a person has become tolerant.
Signs of Polysubstance Abuse
How do you know you’re struggling with polysubstance abuse? As noted, this form of abuse is often purposeful. Yet, you may not realize it. Some common signs include these. You may:
- Feel the need to have a drink to take the edge off.
- You no longer get the same benefits from your pain pills, so you use heroin or another prescription.
- You have more than one prescription for drugs to treat the same condition and use them both.
- Mixing drugs like benzos and stimulants gives you a unique high that you’re after.
- You use alcohol as a way to help you prepare or warm up to more reckless drug use.
In any of these situations, you may feel like you want to engage in this behavior type. Some people believe that using both helps to create a safety net. Yet, the opposite is often true.
What Are the Risks of Polysubstance Abuse?
Several risks are present when it comes to polysubstance abuse. The specific risks you have depend on the type of drugs you’re mixing. Some of the most common risks include:
- Increased severity of side effects, such as a more profound effect of reduced breathing or heart rate, often to dangerously low levels
- Acute health problems including the potential onset of conditions such as liver or kidney failure
- Higher risk for overdose, especially when a person is using large amounts of drugs at one time
- A higher likelihood for the development of mental health challenges related to use
- A more complicated treatment plan, often requiring detox services
What Should You Do If You Are Engaging in Polysubstance Abuse?
If you engage in this type of behavior, it is critical to do something about it soon. Not mixing drugs is a good start, but that tends to be difficult of dependence has occurred. Reach out to a treatment program like ours that can work to help you gain control. Learn more about our programs, including:
- Men’s drug rehab
- Women’s drug rehab
- Partial hospitalization program
- Intensive outpatient program
- Outpatient treatment program
Explore the Treatment Options Available at Midwest Recovery Center
Polysubstance abuse can put your health on the line. Even if you’re unsure you’ve developed a drug addiction, it’s worth speaking to a counselor about what’s happening. Let us help you at Midwest Recovery Center. Learn more about this type of addiction risk when you call 833.627.0039 or connect with our team online to set up a consultation.