Addiction is often categorized by the type of substance being abused. Someone might refer to himself as an alcoholic or a cokehead. In general, people are often drawn to a particular substance of choice. In a broader sense, some people prefer downers to uppers or vice versa. Other people struggle with polysubstance abuse.

What is Polydrug Use?

polysubstance abuse first step centerWhen a person consumes more than one substance at a time, it’s called polydrug use. While not always intentional, mixing multiple substances is highly dangerous. Many medications will warn against drinking alcohol while using. Polysubstance abuse refers to a person abusing more than one drug at a time. These could be illicit drugs, abused prescription medication, or a mix of the two.

A person might use a drug in order to reduce unwanted side effects of another drug. For instance, to relieve the paranoia or anxiety caused by cocaine, a person might take Xanax or smoke marijuana.

Dangers of Polysubstance Abuse

When two or more drugs are taken together, they are often more potent than the sum of their isolated effects. This is due to drug synergy, which refers to drug interactions. These interactions can increase a drug’s effect, counteract an effect, or have no effect.

Whether the warning is ignored, or if a person is seeking a desired effect, polydrug use can lead to its own addiction. One of the most well-known pairings is heroin and cocaine. When mixed together and injected, this is called a “speed-ball.” In this case, where a depressant is being mixed with a stimulant, there can be a delayed opioid overdose giving the person a false sense of tolerance.

Polysubstance Abuse Treatment

As with any other addiction, polysubstance abuse is best treated under the guidance of a professional team. In moderate to severe cases, checking into an inpatient drug rehabilitation center that offers a variety of programs to help treat the roots of addiction is encouraged.

First Step Center Luxury Rehab

In addition to offering treatment for polysubstance abuse, First Step Center of Arizona provides individualized care for each client. With only 10 beds, our all-male clientele benefit from receiving a personalized treatment program tailored to meet specified needs.

We offer programs and therapies like:

Polysubstance abuse is a life-threatening disorder. If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, take a step today toward recovery right now. No one was meant to spend a life in darkness and shame. Call us now at 866.832.6398.