What is Polysubstance Abuse?

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Polysubstance abuse is extremely dangerous, resulting in not only addiction to the substances, but it can also result in severe health complications and even death. Mixing different substances can be extremely dangerous. The interactions between the substances being used can be unpredictable, and hard to reverse. Those struggling with polysubstance abuse should seek professional help to avoid deadly consequences. 

What is Polysubstance Abuse?

Polysubstance abuse is defined as the intentional or unintentional abuse or misuse of multiple substances simultaneously. As an example, an individual may be using stimulant drugs like cocaine and in order to heighten the effects, they could mix it with alcohol or other illicit drugs. There is also the possibility of mixing the substances in order to counteract and alleviate the effects that the initial substance produces. Unintentionally, someone may use an illicit substance that has been mixed with other drugs resulting in unpredictable effects of the drugs. Polysubstance abuse can have unpredictable results, and this practice can be deadly. According to the CDC, 40% of overdose deaths involved illegally manufactured fentanyl mixed with other substances. Fighting to overcome abuse of and addiction to these substances is vital to preventing these results.

Dangers of Polysubstance Abuse

Because polysubstance abuse can be extremely unpredictable, mixing substances that someone has previously had no issues with, can be deadly. Someone who commonly mixes drugs like cocaine and heroin may not have negative effects 9 out of 10 times. However, the effects of these substances can produce negative results at some point. Regardless of the effects of this practice physically and psychologically, mixing different substances can have long-lasting impacts on health. Substance abuse can wreak havoc on a person’s physical health, and when polysubstance abuse is a factor it can cause these impacts to occur much more quickly and drastically. Heart, liver, and lung damage are potential impacts a person could face as a result of substance abuse. Aside from physical health impacts, a person could develop a tolerance and dependence on these substances. Addiction results in far-reaching impacts on a person’s physical and emotional well-being. Mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety can also worsen as a result of abusing multiple substances. The biggest dangers of polysubstance abuse can be overdose and death. Those struggling should reach out for professional help in order to overcome and prevent these devastating results. 

Polysubstance Dependence

Dependence, or addiction, on the substances being abused, is a dangerous battle. Not only can addiction result in overdose and death, but it also causes major impacts on a person’s overall lifestyle. Often, those struggling with dependence on substances end up losing jobs, experiencing a decline in performance at school, loss of trust with family and friends, and having problems with law enforcement. Those who abuse multiple substances can and generally do end up becoming dependent on the substances in order to accomplish daily tasks. 

Luckily, addiction is a treatable condition and those who struggle often find hope through professional help and guidance. Even those who are struggling with polysubstance abuse can find hope and happiness again. It is just a matter of getting the right care and support.  

Benefits of Polysubstance Abuse Treatment

Treatment for polysubstance abuse and addiction consists of a combination of different things geared toward not only removing the substances but also providing the individual with the necessary life skills to combat addiction. These services can include different therapies and medications used in conjunction with one another. 

The first step to healing and recovery is detoxification. Going through this process removes the substances from the system, paving the way for a clear mind when undergoing the therapies treatment provides. This can be done safely while being monitored by medical professionals so that symptoms of withdrawal can be alleviated. Therapies that could be implemented include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). These therapies aim to change negative behavioral and thought patterns contributing to addiction into more positive and productive ones. Group therapies also provide a productive environment in which individuals seeking recovery from polysubstance abuse and addiction can relate to others who have been in the same position. Also, the effects of drug abuse and addiction on the family dynamic can be addressed through treatment for polysubstance abuse. Having a safe space with a neutral party can help not only identify the root issues in the family but also help to promote healing and prevent further damage.

Getting Better

Polysubstance abuse is a struggle many people face on a daily basis. Mixing dangerous substances can produce unpredictable results. However, this is common practice and devastation is the result. If you or a loved one are struggling with polysubstance abuse, there is help available. At The Healing Center, we offer personalized care built around the individual’s needs. Call us today and begin a path to a healthier and happier lifestyle.