Polysubstance use refers to the use of multiple drugs, including illicit drugs, alcohol, and nonmedical use of prescription medications. Abusing more than one drug is common among people who use drugs and alcohol. Mixing addictive drugs can increase several health risks and may require inpatient treatment at a substance abuse treatment center.
According to the most recent national data, an estimated 20.8 million people in the U.S. ages 12 and older have a substance use disorder, with the most common drugs of use being alcohol, illicit use of marijuana, and prescription pain relievers. The reasons people use drugs and alcohol can be complex. Most reasons can be traced back to biological, environmental, and personal factors that are unique to each person’s individual circumstances.
Understanding the risks and dangers of polysubstance use is of vital importance for any person or loved one of someone with a current or past history of substance use. Recovery from polysubstance use requires addiction treatment such as Vertava Health’s polysubstance rehab center in Massachusetts. Contact us now at 888.655.0289 to learn more.
Common Polysubstance Use Combinations
Any number of drugs can be combined to achieve certain effects, depending on a person’s intentions or what substances they have access to. However, some combinations are more common than others.
Common drug use combinations in the United States that require treatment include:
- Alcohol and benzodiazepines (e.g. Xanax, Valium, Klonopin)
- Alcohol and opioids
- Opioids and benzodiazepines
- Barbiturates and stimulants (e.g. cocaine, amphetamines)
- Heroin and cocaine
- Multiple opioids
Risks And Dangers Of Polysubstance Use
Abusing any drug–including those available by prescription–exposes a person to unexpected side effects and health consequences. However, use of multiple drugs can further increase this risk, especially when used in high doses.
Major risks of polysubstance use include:
- Physical dependence
- Organ damage
- Negative effects on mental health
- Effects on cognitive ability
- Physical health complications
Taking excessive amounts of drugs, or mixing them, can cause changes to areas of the brain that regulate emotions, judgment, and mood, among other things. There is strong evidence that substance use can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts, hostile behavior, drastic mood swings, and other concerning effects which can make people unrecognizable even to their loved ones.
Polysubstance Use And Addiction Treatment in Massachusetts
Treatment for polysubstance use requires an individualized approach that takes into account all the ways a person’s drug or alcohol use has affected their health. This can include the impact on mental and emotional wellbeing.
A common course of treatment for polysubstance use includes the following:
Entering a detox program is a common first step for people overcoming addiction to one or more substances. Medical detox programs provide a safe and supervised setting for the removal of all harmful substances from a person’s body, often with the assistance of prescribed, FDA-approved medications administered by medical professionals.
Detox should not be attempted alone. This can lead to dangerous withdrawal symptoms and is more likely to lead to relapse.
Behavioral therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, and therapies targeting personal motivation offer an effective approach to drug and alcohol use recovery.
This helps people identify how their substance use is linked to emotional triggers and how that affects their behavior. Through therapy, people can learn more effective ways to manage their triggers and identify motivations for recovery.
Chronic polysubstance use can result in a number of symptoms and issues that can take time to subside. Medications help alleviate these symptoms and reduce discomfort. This helps prevent relapse and serves as a useful aid in the treatment process. The use of medications is especially common for the treatment of opioid and alcohol use.
Recovery from substance use and addiction can be a long-term process. For people who enter an inpatient rehab program, part of their treatment will involve setting up a support system outside the rehab center for long-term care. This can include finding an outpatient counselor, as well as community support groups to help you remain sober one day at a time.
At Vertava Health Massachusetts we offer comprehensive treatment programs for people overcoming addictions to multiple substances. As part of our compassionate and individualized approach,our treatment specialists are able to determine an appropriate treatment plan for each person based on their physical, mental, and emotional needs. This includes special considerations for patients who are pregnant, have co-occurring mental health issues, or come to us with a history of trauma.
Let Vertava Health-Massachusetts Help You or a Loved One Today
Recovery is possible. Let us help you or a family member begin the path today towards a more hopeful future. Contact us at 888.655.0289 to learn more about polysubstance use and addiction treatment at Vertava Health Massachusetts.