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The Dangers of Abusing Multiple Substances at the Same Time

The abuse of two or more substances at the same time is known as polysubstance abuse or polydrug abuse. There are numerous polydrug abuse combinations, and they can pause various dangers to your health. It is essential to get treatment for polydrug use immediately to avoid realizing the dangers of substance abuse.  What is Polysubstance […]

The abuse of two or more substances at the same time is known as polysubstance abuse or polydrug abuse. There are numerous polydrug abuse combinations, and they can pause various dangers to your health. It is essential to get treatment for polydrug use immediately to avoid realizing the dangers of substance abuse. 

What is Polysubstance Abuse?

Polysubstance abuse is the use of different types of drugs by the same person. Any combination of addictive substances can feature in a case of polysubstance abuse. Polysubstance abuse can be either sequential or simultaneous. 

Sequential substance abuse means that you use one drug after another. On the other hand, simultaneous polysubstance abuse means using many drugs at the same time. There are three main forms of polysubstance abuse:

  • Mixing drugs to have a brand new effect.
  • Use of a drug to reduce the effect of another
  • Replacing a drug with another because of price or other factors.

 

In most cases, polysubstance abuse involves a mix of illegal drugs and alcohol.  One study uncovered that fatal drug combination, including street drugs and alcohol with prescription medications, increased by 3196% between 1983 and 2004. 

Some of the most common substances involved in polydrug abuse are opiates, inhalants, hallucinogens, benzodiazepines, marijuana, and amphetamines. Polysubstance abuse is more dangerous and more challenging to treat than addiction to a single drug.

What Are the Risk Factors That Lead to Polysubstance Abuse?

Polydrug use does not have any known specific causes. However, various risk factors lead to polysubstance abuse. They include: 

Mental Health Disorders

People suffering from mental health disorders are at a high risk of becoming addicted to multiple drugs. Research shows that psychological issues such as depression and anxiety. People abuse multiple drugs as a coping mechanism for psychological issues. Mental health treatment is one of the most important factors when choosing a drug rehab center. 

Family Addiction History

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a family history of substance abuse is a risk factor for substance abuse among individuals. Apart from the genetic influence of addiction, exposure to drugs and alcohol by siblings, parents or other family members could trigger polydrug use. 

Peer Pressure

Social factors like peer pressure is a major cause of drug addiction among teenagers and young adults. Your peers may provide an assortment of drugs to simply ‘enjoy’ the feeling. Such abuse could easily lead to frequent cravings for the specific feeling leading to addiction.

Drug Tolerance

Drug users may grow a tolerance to a single drug. Tolerance is where you need more of a substance to feel the effects. Drug users also find it expensive to purchase more of a drug to get the desired effects. Therefore, they will mix drugs to boost the effects of a single drug. 

Use of Highly Addictive Drugs

The use of highly addictive drugs can cause polysubstance abuse. Drugs like heroin can cause addiction even after the first use. When you fail to get a dose, you can look for another substance or substance to substitute, leading to sequential substance abuse. 

Dangers of Polysubstance Abuse

Dangers related to using multiple drugs at once differ based on the mixed drugs. The dangers of polydrug abuse can manifest in the short term or long term. They include:

Addiction

Addiction is one of the dangers of any form of substance abuse. It is a chronic disease that affects your brain’s reward system. The reward system in your brain will end up causing cravings for drugs which compels you to abuse more. Addiction has various effects depending on the drug. Some general effects include increased tolerance, risk of overdose, negative social implications, negative financial consequences, legal, and more.

Increased Severity of Drug Abuse Side Effects

All drugs have different kinds of reactions depending on the drugs you abuse. When you use multiple drugs, you will experience more severe side effects. Some of the most common effects of drug abuse include vomiting, body pain, and high blood pressure. The effects of drug abuse could also lead to severe health complications. 

Severe Health Effects

Drugs increase the risk of users developing various health complications. Polydrug abuse also has various health effects depending on the drugs you abuse. For example, research shows that the use of alcohol and smoking drugs could affect crucial parts of your body, such as the heart, liver, and kidney. Polydrug use could also lead to diseases such as hepatitis C, kidney failure, and more. 

 

Risk of Overdosing

An overdose could happen when you abuse one substance, especially opioids. Research shows that opioids caused over 70,000 overdose deaths between 1999 and 2019. About 40,000 of these are related to opioids. The risks are higher when you abuse multiple substances. In severe cases, overdose can cause death. 

 

Mental Health Complications

When an individual experiences a mental health disorder and substance use disorder simultaneously, it is known as a co-occurring disorder. Mental health and substance abuse usually affect the development of each other. Drug abuse causes changes to your brain, leading to the development of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and hallucinations. These symptoms can get severe with more abuse or polydrug use. 

On the other hand, people with mental health issues can rely on substance abuse as a coping mechanism. Therefore, they can end up using more than one substance. Moreover, the symptoms can get worse with time. 

Conclusion

The use of more than one substance is known as polydrug abuse. Polydrug use poses various dangers to your well-being. Each drug has side effects depending on the amount you take. The intensity of these effects increases when you abuse multiple substances. Some of the dangers of polydrug use include addiction, severe side effects, and health effects, mental health issues, and risk of overdose. It is important to stop drug abuse early before the various dangers manifest.

Polydrug Abuse Treatment In Orange County, California

Coastline Behavioral Health offers reliable, comprehensive drug abuse and mental health treatment in California. We aim to understand the needs of patients so that we can create a treatment plan based on these needs. 

Our treatment programs include inpatient drug addiction rehab, outpatient addiction rehab, luxury rehab, and executive rehab. Reach out to us at (714) 841-2260 to help with substance abuse and underlying mental health issues.

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