When it comes to dealing with drug abuse or drug addiction problems you may or may not be accustomed to hearing the various terms that apply to the abuse. One of these terms or slang is polydrug abuse. It may also be referred to as polydrug substance use disorder or dependence. This post will look at what polydrug abuse is and what drugs are being used that define this substance abuse issue. Searching for quality drug rehab in Columbus OH? Call Legacy Freedom today.
Polydrug abuse is used to describe using more than one drug at the same time. Often when we think about substance abuse we assume that an addict is only using one drug. The reality is, however, many drug addicts are addicted to more than one drug. When someone is addicted to drugs and they cannot get to their drug of choice, they will take other drugs and soon may find themselves addicted to several kinds of drugs. This can be a dangerous situation because using more than one drug can be harmful to the body. Each time a drug addict combines drugs, or combines drugs with other substances, drug overdose is a real risk for them. Addiction keeps an addict from using right judgment or correct thinking.
To help you understand the dangers of polydrug use, a recent statistic shows that over half of all alcohol related emergency room visits involved drinking and prescription drugs. There are many dangers involved in using one or more drugs together. An example would be the way that using two stimulants such as cocaine and Ecstasy together can up your chances of a heart attack.
Other side effects of using multiple drugs together include:
- Suppressed breathing
- Stomach bleeding
- Brain damage
- Respiratory failure
- Heat stroke
- Heart problems
- Liver damage and failure
Also, a direct result of using more than one drug together can bring on anxiety and depression. One other alarming statistic is that teenagers will be more likely to use more than one drug at a time. In fact, seven out of 10 teenagers have combined alcohol with prescription painkillers and other drugs. Teenagers are also a group that is more likely to get drunk and abuse marijuana at the same time. Teenagers, because their brains are still developing, will be at a bigger risk of overdose and addiction.
In order to help you understand what kinds of drugs are being combined we will take a look at the various combinations. The following is a list of some commonly mixed drug combinations:
- Alcohol combined with Ritalin, Adderall, or other prescription stimulants. This combination can produce many of the same effects as the drug cocaine when mixed together.
- Mixing painkillers like Vicodin with alcohol is also a popular polydrug combination. This can be most comparable to heroin. Many over-the-counter painkillers will also have ibuprofen or acetaminophen in them and a mix of these with the alcohol can cause liver damage and stomach bleeding.
- The combination of Xanax, or other anxiety medications, with alcohol is also dangerous. Using anti-anxiety medications with alcohol will increase the likelihood of coma or death.
- Cocaine, a drug of choice for many addicts, combined with alcohol can increase an addict's heart rate. This increase can be substantial and long-term use can weaken the muscles of the heart.
- Mixing sleeping pills with alcohol to increase the effects is a dangerous combination. Some people will sleepwalk. Death and coma are also risk factors when combining these two substances.
- Another popular combination is Ecstasy and alcohol. Each of these can cause dehydration. When used together this can lead to heat stroke. Each of these can cause an addict to use bad judgment. Combined together the dangerous decisions or one’s risky actions will be increased.
- One of the most dangerous polydrug uses comes from mixing opiates and opioids with cocaine. By itself cocaine is a very strong stimulant. Many addicts will use cocaine in addition to the opiates and opioids to keep from falling asleep. Cocaine will balance the sleepiness that is an effect of opioid use. The problem with this is that an addict can very quickly forget how much cocaine or prescription painkillers they have already ingested. This is why unintentional overdose can occur very quickly. This combination can also bring on blood vessel ruptures, strokes, and cardiac arrest.
Polydrug abuse is often an attempt for people to self-medicate themselves. Many people make the mistake of thinking that combining their prescription drugs with alcohol will increase the effect. The problem is that it can also have very serious side effects, one of those being death by overdose. Mixing alcohol and drugs is never a good idea. When an addict becomes addicted to more than one drug the chances of serious side effects and health issues is greatly increased. This is a real danger. As one study shows, 57% of people in a rehab situation have used more than one drug.
Withdrawal from polydrug abuse can be more complicated. Finding the right medical professionals to help and a good detox center is crucial. Each drug being used will require its own treatment plan. If you are currently abusing multiple drugs or substances we encourage you to research and find the help that you need. Find the right program for you and begin your journey toward sobriety. Always be cautious when taking any kind of prescription drugs, even those prescribed by your physician long term. Read the instructions carefully and never combine them with other drugs or alcohol.
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Addiction problems do not get easier to deal with over time. It's the type of problem that consumes your life before you even realize it's happening. It's important to get help as soon as possible. Life without drug addiction possible. Whether it's you or someone you love, consider the help that can come from outpatient customized therapy like the type that Legacy Columbus offers. Call us today to learn more about our alcohol and drug rehab in Columbus OH.