One who uses more than a single illicit substance in order to get them ‘high’ is considered to have a polysubstance addiction. These can either be taken at once or within in very close proximity to each other. Typically, individuals do not simply have a polysubstance addiction out of nowhere. They usually adopt such an addiction as a result of having previously been dependent on another drug, opiates for example.
The signs that someone has a polysubstance addiction are similar to that of other addictions. They will experience withdrawal symptoms when they haven’t had a dose of the substance in the necessary time frame. Those who have this dependency will take more than one type of drug over a 12-month time span. They may start off drinking heavily, move to opiates, and then move to heroin all in the course of one year. Using multiple illicit drugs is very strenuous on the body and brain, not to mention extremely unhealthy and life-threatening.
Concoction of Drugs
Some people mistakenly take multiple drugs on a single occasion, such as having a beer or glass of wine while on prescription medication that says not to mix alcohol. Other times, people decide to intentionally mix various drugs together in an effort to experience a unique high. When drugs are mixed together, they create a consequence that is unknown to the user and could even have the consequence of death. Many times, users who want a unique high will mix sedatives, such as benzodiazepines, with opioid drugs, such as heroin, in order to feel a high sedative effect.
Dangers of Polysubstance Abuse
There are various short-term and long-term consequences of polysubstance abuse. Addiction is the most obvious long-term problem that is likely to happen. Those who abuse multiple drugs at a time will experience:
- Loss of balance
- Nausea and vomiting
- Heart complications
- High blood pressure
It is very complicated to treat someone that is suffering from polysubstance addiction, as each of the different substances that they are abusing need different treatment methods. There are also a host of acute health issues associated with this type of addiction. This includes chronic disease, decreased metabolic rate, and a weakened immune system making users more vulnerable to disease and infection.
Increased chances of Overdose
Mixing multiple drugs together at once greatly increased the chance of an overdose. The chance of an overdose is high when a user uses one drug let alone three drugs at a single time. Those who suffer from this addiction may not feel the degree of high that they want when they simply just take one drug. This means they are taking multiple drugs at a single time in order to feel the effects of the drug. This is where the chances of an overdose are greatly increased.
Those who are going through a polysubstance addiction may experience long-term mental health issues in the future. Multiple drugs that are in your system at the same time or enter your system around the same time take a very harsh toll on your brain. They can alter the chemical balance in your brain and cause permanent cell damage which sometimes can never be repaired, even over the course of one’s life.
The good news is that there are intensive treatment options that are available for those who have a polysubstance addiction. Full and complete recovery is possible through vigorous treatment programs.
If you or someone you know is going through a polysubstance addiction, WhiteSands Treatment can help. Our top-notch facilities and personalized treatment programs have helped thousands of addicts in the past, and they can help you as well. Call us today to learn more about treatment options that are available for you.