Polysubstance abuse is the misuse of more than one drug at the same time. For example, a patient may abuse both alcohol and crystal meth or “ice”. The combination of drugs can make recovery more complicated and requires special treatment, such as a dual diagnosis treatment center Carbondale IL trusts.
How Does Polysubstance Abuse Occur?
In some instances, polysubstance abuse may begin unintentionally. For example, a patient may have a prescription for Percocet for pain, while drinking alcohol socially. However, they don’t realize that the combination can be dangerous and addictive.
People may also fall victim to polysubstance abuse as they combine drugs in pursuit of a better high. An example of polysubstance abuse is the combination of methamphetamine and ecstasy for a greater high. Another example is meth to get high with marijuana to help with sleep afterward.
Why is Polysubstance Abuse Dangerous?
Abuse of a single drug such as alcohol, marijuana or methamphetamines is dangerous. Alcohol abuse can lead to dependency and affect work and personal relationships. Alcohol abuse is also dangerous because it can lead to brain and liver damage. Polysubstance abuse poses an even greater danger to the body and makes recovery exponentially more dangerous.
Let’s examine the abuse of opioids such as Percocet, with alcohol, a common polysubstance abuse scenario, especially among prescription drug users. Both Percocet and alcohol are depressants, increasing the risk of unconsciousness, coma, and death.
Over the long term, the combination of Percocet and alcohol can lead to impaired vision, liver disease, mood swings, and chronic constipation. Withdrawal from polysubstance abuse is complicated. This is because you are dealing with changes and withdrawal symptoms of 2 or more drugs. In addition, physicians often prescribe drugs such as benzodiazepine to help deal with the withdrawal symptoms from alcohol.
When dealing with polysubstance abuse, however, the physician pays attention to negative interactions between all the different drugs in the patient’s system.
Two or more drugs consumed together may also produce unique by-products. This phenomenon is with people who abuse alcohol and cocaine. The byproduct is cocaethylene, which increases heart rate and blood pressure.
Treatment at Gateway Foundation Carbondale
Treatment for polysubstance abuse is almost always done in an inpatient setting due to the risks and complications. In an inpatient setting, the patient receives 24 hours of surveillance by medical professionals.
You may also consider the following services throughout your treatment:
- Medication-Assisted Treatment
- 12 Step Addiction Recovery
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
Drugs may help with the withdrawal symptoms, although special care will be needed to avoid negative interactions. Psychological care is also critical. This care helps the patient deal with the effects of withdrawal. It also helps with the underlying issues that led them to abuse drugs in the first place.
Gateway Foundation Carbondale offers a holistic approach to recovery, including not only polysubstance abuse but the underlying psychological issues such as depression and schizophrenia, that often go hand in hand with drug abuse. If you or someone you love is struggling with polysubstance abuse, call us today at 618.529.1151 to begin the recovery and healing process.