Substance abuse is a problem that affects many people, including families. In many cases, some people become dependent on or addicted to multiple drugs and use many drugs at the same time. When defining “what is polysubstance abuse”, it is the term for abusing three or more substances for a period of a year or more. Polysubstance abuse can be common in teenagers and usually begins with marijuana, alcohol, or tobacco. For those who suffer from polysubstance abuse addiction, a drug addiction rehab in Mclean, VA, can offer different treatment options.
Dangers with Polysubstance Abuse
The specific effects related to polysubstance abuse can be different depending on the particular combination of substances used. However, there are some general side effects that include:
Increased Severity of All Side Effects: Every drug will come with some side effects. However, when abusing substances together, the potential for severe side effects increases. The substances can combine to create side effects that are more unique and separate than the effects of each drug. General side effects can include body pain, balance issues, and changes to heart rate and blood pressure.
Acute Health Problems: Different drug interactions can affect a person’s metabolism, which increases the blood concentrations of the substances. Various disorders and diseases are more common in those who abuse multiple substances. For example, Hepatitis C is common in heavy drinkers who also inject certain drugs.
Overdose: The possibility of an overdose comes with every drug, but there is a heightened risk when there are more substances involved. Certain substances mask the effect of the others so users can take far higher doses than they usually would since they aren’t feeling the full effects.
Complicated Treatment: When a client overdoses from multiple substances, they can be harder to treat. For example, an opioid overdose may be treatable with naloxone, but the naloxone isn’t useful if the overdose is also due to other substances.
Complications with Co-Occurring Mental Health Disorders: Those who have co-occurring disorders where the substance abuse occurs alongside a mental health issue are more likely to have polysubstance abuse. The substance abuse worsens the symptoms of the mental health disorder, and the mental health disorder worsens substance abuse unless treated with an individual treatment program.
Different Substance Combinations
Abusing alcohol, in combination with both illicit and prescription drugs, is done to achieve a stronger higher. For example, someone may want to take a stimulant such as cocaine in order to counteract the depressant qualities of alcohol.
What Is Polysubstance Abuse Detox?
Withdrawal symptoms from multiple substances are more complex than withdrawal from one substance, so in-client medical detox is necessary. With this, clients are supervised 24 hours a day by medical professionals. This will ensure there is monitoring of vital signs, and there will be prompt actions should any emergencies occur. In addition to supervising, physicians can administer medications that can help with physical withdrawal symptoms, such as by prescribing anti-nausea meds. There is some unpredictability with withdrawal from multiple substances, which is why monitoring is so important.
How Do You Treat Polysubstance Abuse?
Knowing what is polysubstance abuse helps to get better addiction treatment programs. Detox is the first step in recovery, but it’s not an effective treatment on its own. Detox needs to accompany a comprehensive addiction treatment program that will include therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy is useful in all cases of substance use disorders, including polysubstance abuse. The therapy focuses on the thought and behavioral patterns involved in substance abuse and also helps to change thoughts and modify behaviors.
The key to any substance abuse treatment, including polysubstance abuse, is care tailored to the needs of the client. There won’t be a one-size-fits-all solution for everyone. In cases of polysubstance abuse, we identify reasons that led to substance abuse and then deal with those issues appropriately. Many times, we’ll also restructure the treatment plans throughout the recovery process.
Where to Go for Help with Polysubstance Abuse
Polysubstance abuse can be more challenging to treat, but that doesn’t mean treatment options aren’t available. Once you know what is polysubstance abuse, find a treatment facility like Sagebrush Treatment Centers, a safe place you can go to heal. If you’re ready to start your recovery, then contact us today at 866.488.1156.