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Can I Get Treatment for Addiction to Multiple Drugs?

When you think of addiction, you may think of a person who is hooked on a specific drug, such as heroin or alcohol. Although many drug users have a “drug of choice” that is their preferred substance of abuse, many people enter treatment with an addiction to multiple drugs.

Polysubstance abuse refers to the harmful use of one or more drugs at the same time. It is very common for people struggling with addiction to use multiple substances at once to counteract the negative side effects of one substance or amplify their high. Despite being common, polysubstance abuse is extremely dangerous and can cause you to become addicted to multiple types of drugs.

If you struggle with polydrug addiction, you may have unique needs in detox, treatment, and recovery. Fortunately, a qualified addiction treatment center can treat addictions to multiple drugs at the same time.

What is Polysubstance Abuse?

Polysubstance abuse, also known as polysubstance misuse or polydrug abuse, refers to the consumption of more than one mood-or-mind-altering substance at a time. Examples include:

  • Drinking alcohol while taking a medication that you are told not to combine with alcohol
  • Mixing opioids and benzodiazepines to experience greater sedative effects
  • Taking Xanax to “take the edge off” after taking too much Adderall
  • Combining alcohol and cocaine to experience the effects of both

Mixing certain psychoactive substances can not only enhance the desired effects of the drugs, but it can also increase the risk of negative side effects and potentially dangerous drug interactions.

The Dangers of Polydrug Abuse

The particular dangers associated with mixing two or more substances depend highly on what types of substances you are mixing. For example, the outcomes of mixing a stimulant like cocaine with an opioid like heroin are going to be very different than the outcomes of mixing two depressant drugs like opioids and benzodiazepines. However, there are several common dangers of abusing multiple drugs, including:

  • Increased overdose risk – Mixing substances increases the risk of overdose due to drug interactions and stress on the body.
  • More severe side effects – All drugs have the potential to cause negative side effects, but the potential for adverse side effects increases dramatically when you are using more than one substance at the same time.
  • Higher addiction risk – Mixing substances to create stronger effects can increase the risk of addiction by promoting drug-seeking behavior. You may also experience a faster progression in the severity of your addiction.

If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction to multiple drugs, the time to seek help is now.

Unique Needs of People Who are Addicted to Multiple Drugs

More than 11% of people with a substance use disorder have co-occurring alcohol and drug addictions. Research also shows that people who are addicted to alcohol, cocaine, prescription drugs, and marijuana are more likely to develop an addiction to heroin than the general population.

People who engage in polysubstance abuse may have unique needs for treatment. For example, if you are addicted to alcohol and abuse alcohol with a prescription pill, you may have to not only stop drinking but also find a solution to the health problem that your prescription was treating. 

If you were taking an opioid prescription for chronic pain, you may have to look at alternative pain solutions such as physical therapy, chiropractic, massage, or opioid-replacement therapy (ORT). If you were abusing alcohol while taking a prescription stimulant like Adderall for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), you may talk to your doctor about non-addictive ADHD treatments. 

Everyone’s situation is unique, so it’s essential that you receive individualized care.

Another reason behind the need for individualized care is the effects that different drugs can produce during detox. Opioid withdrawal, for example, is typically not life-threatening, but withdrawal from alcohol or benzodiazepines can be. If you are detoxing from multiple drugs, you may need specific treatments for each substance, and doctors must be aware of your substance abuse patterns so they can prescribe the right medications to keep you safe.

Treating Addiction to Multiple Drugs

Polydrug addiction is treated in the same way as other addictions are–on an individualized basis. Detox is the first part of treatment.

Since polysubstance withdrawal can be more dangerous and complicated than withdrawal from a single substance, inpatient detox is encouraged. Inpatient medical detox centers offer 24-hour supervision and support during the withdrawal process, ensuring the safety and comfort of all patients. During detox, a doctor will evaluate your symptoms and prescribe medication while nurses monitor your vital signs, administer fluids and medications, and provide you with support.

Remember, polydrug withdrawal can be unpredictable, so continuous medical monitoring is necessary.

After detox, you may transition to an inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment program. Treatment involves behavioral therapy, holistic therapy, relapse prevention, and peer activities.

The goal of therapy is to discover and treat the root causes of your addiction. Your therapist will help you learn about why you abuse drugs, how to stop, and what you need to do to stay stopped. You will begin learning about healthy coping skills, how to prevent relapse, and positive communication. Any co-occurring mental health conditions that you struggle with will also be diagnosed and treated during rehab.

Once you’ve completed rehab, your therapist will help you develop an aftercare plan according to your needs. Aftercare services, such as sober living, counseling, and alumni groups can help you stay on the right path.

Find Polysubstance Abuse Treatment Today

If you or someone you love is addicted to multiple drugs, please speak with a team member at Mandala Healing Center today to learn about your treatment options. Our West Palm Beach, Florida addiction treatment facility has top-rated alcohol and drug detox programs that are personalized for each individual and recovery programs that create a strong foundation for long-term sobriety.

Don’t wait any longer–contact us today to start your recovery.