What is Polysubstance Abuse?

group addiction therapy discuss polysubstance abuse and treatment

Polysubstance abuse is the abuse of multiple drugs simultaneously. This can be the abuse of legal over the counter products, prescription drugs, illicit drugs, or any combination of the three. People can be doing this without being aware. For example, if you are on Xanax and you drink wine every night you are a polysubstance abuser. When you combine substance use with prescribed treatment or self-medication for an underlying disorder, you need the qualified help from a dual diagnosis treatment program in Kemah, TX.

Polysubstance Abuse

So, what is polysubstance abuse? It occurs in the above situation because the Xanax prescription tells the patient not to drink alcohol while on the drug. Most polysubstance abusers do so knowingly and plan out their actions. Some people go to the lengths of finding different doctors to prescribe drugs that should not be taken together. People do this because it can enhance the desired effects that they already get from some of the drugs that they are on.

Polysubstance abuse can produce stronger reactions, but it also enhances the adverse effects of drugs. This makes using multiple substances more dangerous than single substances. The most common combinations are opioids and benzodiazepines and alcohol and benzodiazepines. Both of these combinations are extremely dangerous and can result in death.

All three drugs are central nervous system (CNS) depressants. This makes it easier to overdose and harder for medical professionals to treat in the case of an overdose. In the case of an opiate overdose, naloxone is administered, and the patient should respond. When mixing opiates with something else and having administered naloxone, the patient may not respond because their system is still depressed by the benzodiazepines. Here are some other combinations that people use:

  • Steroids and Cocaine
  • Suboxone and Benzodiazepines
  • Ecstasy and Alcohol
  • Suboxone and Adderall
  • Klonopin and Xanax
  • Valium and Drugs or Alcohol

People will often feel like it is safer to pair up drugs that are prescriptions than ones that they bought on the street. Just because a doctor can prescribe two medications does not make it safer than something that you would buy from a drug dealer.

Getting Help

If you are abusing multiple types of drugs, then you probably qualify for a dual diagnosis treatment program. Dual diagnosis is not as complicated as it sounds; it just means that you have two diagnoses, one being chronic pain, anxiety, or depression, etc., and the other being substance abuse. When the doctor puts you on pain medicines or medicine to take away your anxiety, they don’t usually tell you that they can become habit forming and possibly dangerous. Participating in addiction therapies and learning to cope in other ways is sometimes necessary for people, especially when they start endangering their lives with polysubstance abuse and polysubstance overdoses.

If you live in the Houston area, think about attending a dual diagnosis treatment program in Kemah, TX. A dual diagnosis program can help you to sort out your troubles whether you are not on drugs. You can take the time to decide if you still want to take your prescribed medicines or if you want to look for other ways to deal with things. In a dual diagnosis program, you will have:

Take the First Step

If you are ready to be free of your polysubstance abuse give Kemah Palms a call today today. We can guide you to the best steps for lasting recovery.