Although some users have their drug of choice, others don’t have strong preferences for what they take. They may use whatever they can get their hands on. Then there are users that use licit drugs — such as prescription pain pills — and drink alcohol at the same time because they don’t realize how risky this can be. These are all instances of polysubstance abuse, which comes with its own set of dangers.

What Is Polysubstance Abuse?

A woman looks distraught as she thinks about her polysubstance abusePolysubstance abuse is what happens when a person uses or abuses more than one substance. It may occur simultaneously or over the course of several months. People may combine different drugs and alcohol to intensify the effects or because they don’t recognize the dangers of doing so.

Alcohol tends to be the most commonly abused drug alongside whatever else a user is taking. Marijuana, cocaine, and ecstasy are also heavily used.

Although some people intentionally mix substances to increase the effects, others aren’t purposely trying to get high. Instead, they may take prescription drugs and then use other substances without understanding how they all interact with one another.

Why Is Polysubstance Abuse So Dangerous?

When doctors prescribe medication, they always want to know what else their patients are taking. Each drug has its own effects, and some drugs interact with others in negative ways.

When someone abuses more than one substance at the same time, the side effects can be very unpredictable. They may also be more severe. This increases the risk of overdose, which is potentially fatal.

For example, a person may take her prescription medication as directed but then drink a few glasses of wine. Or, she might use an over-the-counter drug at the same time. These instances of polysubstance abuse are all too common. Many people believe that prescription drugs are always safe, but this isn’t true. When mixed with other drugs, the results are unknown.

In another example, someone may purposely use two or three drugs at once, such as heroin, alcohol, and marijuana. Not only may she experience a more intense high, but she may also experience heightened negative effects of the various substances. In addition, the potential for overdose in these cases is high.

Complex Treatment

Along with the unknowns that go into polysubstance abuse, treatment for dependency and addiction can be tricky. Overdose treatment is especially complicated, since medical professionals may not be able to take the typical course of action due to the presence of counteracting drugs.

Once a person decides to get help for addiction, treatment is similar, whether she abuses one drug or several. However, it’s important for clients to be completely honest with substance abuse treatment centers during the admissions process. Unless the staff knows all of the involved substances, they might not devise the best treatment plan.

To gain the most benefits of rehab, starting off with total honesty is important. It’s not easy, but it’s the best thing you can do for yourself and the new life you want to build. Are you searching for an addiction treatment center where you can start over?

Consider Soledad House.

Safe and Effective Women’s Addiction Treatment

Whether you live in California or you simply want to begin recovery in a beautiful, coastal setting, Soledad House in San Diego provides a unique rehab experience. We’re an addiction treatment center that addresses women’s specific issues concerning drug and alcohol dependency. Located just minutes from the beach, our facility welcomes women of all ages.

We provide individual, group, and family therapy to help you identify the causes of substance dependency. By taking part in exercise therapy and spiritual activities, you’ll begin to regain your sense of self and attain complete health — mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.

Our addiction treatment programs include:

It doesn’t matter if you’ve been a long-term drinker or if polysubstance abuse has taken over your life. The compassionate professionals at Soledad House can help you turn things around. Give us a call today at 866-314-3222 for more information on overcoming addiction.