Polysubstance abuse is when a person uses more than one drug simultaneously and abuses those substances, such as opiates and stimulants, depressants, alcohol, prescription medications, or other combinations. If polysubstance abuse is a problem for you or someone you love, we can help you find addiction treatment programs that help with these issues. Call us at Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston at 866.516.8356.
What Is Polysubstance Abuse?
Polysubstance abuse occurs when someone abuses more than one kind of drug at the same time, including prescription drugs, alcohol, and illicit drugs. Out of all the possible substances that could be abused, it’s most likely for people to abuse alcohol along with another substance.
Polysubstance abuse is dangerous because mixing drugs and alcohol or more than one kind of substance may increase side effects. People who mix drugs may do so because they have built up a tolerance to one or more substances. They may also do so to try to counteract specific effects or to increase others. For example, someone who takes cocaine might take anxiety medicine to cope with the side effects of withdrawal that can cause anxious behavior.
Polysubstance Abuse Risk Factors
Polysubstance abuse is more common among people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol. It is also more likely if a person already takes prescription medications for pain or anxiety. Those dependent on a drug may find they inadvertently develop a polysubstance use disorder when they combine their medications or drugs with alcohol.
It’s also known that people with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and similar conditions are more likely to be impulsive, which may lead to a higher risk of polysubstance abuse.
Getting Treatment for Polysubstance Abuse
It’s possible to receive treatment for and to recover from polysubstance abuse. Since people who abuse multiple substances are at a higher risk of serious withdrawal symptoms, it’s a good idea to talk to a detoxification clinic before attempting cessation.
It’s more likely for people with polysubstance abuse to go through inpatient detox or partial hospitalization. They may need to stay at the facility for only a few days, but some people do need several weeks to go through withdrawal from each of the different substances safely.
What Should You Expect During Detox?
During detox for polysubstance abuse, expect to address the withdrawal symptoms for each drug one at a time. Certain substances have more dangerous withdrawal symptoms. For example, someone with a heavy addiction and dependency on alcohol may struggle with severe symptoms such as delirium tremens, which can be deadly in acute cases. To avoid this, a detox facility will work with the patient on a taper program or medication-assisted treatment plan that addresses the potentially serious side effects and takes steps to prevent them.
There are also nonmedical treatments that can be used to address polysubstance abuse. Some may include:
- Psychotherapy program
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Individual therapy program
- Group therapy program
- Family therapy program
Drug addiction treatment programs have several options for those who have gone through or are going through withdrawal. These programs aim to help the individuals they treat to learn to cope with the symptoms of withdrawal, cravings, and underlying conditions that led to polysubstance abuse.
Contact Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston for Treatment Today
At Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston, we’re focused on helping our clients overcome the challenges of detoxing from multiple substances. Whether you’re dealing with polysubstance abuse or you have underlying medical conditions to consider in a dual diagnosis treatment program, we can help. Contact us today at 866.516.8356 to learn more about detox and to get the support you need for yourself or someone you love.