Polysubstance abuse is a complex substance use disorder that is relatively common among regular drug users. The term refers to the dependence on or everyday use of two or more substances at once and can affect people of all lifestyles and backgrounds for various reasons. Generally, the best way to treat polysubstance abuse is with a specialized polysubstance rehab program like the one at Liberty Bay Recovery Center.
Facing polysubstance abuse within yourself or a loved one can feel daunting. However, having a deeper understanding of the disorder, why it happens, and how to help can make the road to recovery much smoother. Reach out to Liberty Bay Recovery by calling 855.607.8758 and learn more about our polysubstance rehab program.
How Is Polysubstance Abuse Defined?
Not everyone who uses multiple substances regularly can be classified as having polysubstance abuse. It’s important to outline the difference between polysubstance abuse and the use of multiple medications for a prescribed purpose.
Polysubstance abuse is characterized by the use of multiple substances consistently for a non-medical purpose, specifically for the pleasant or numbing physical or psychological effects of the substances other than their specific intended purpose. Many cases of polysubstance abuse begin as regular use of multiple prescribed drugs, which spirals out of control once the patient becomes dependent on the combination of substances after the medical need has passed.
Those with polysubstance abuse will often become dependent on the specific effects caused when two or more substances are used in tandem. That can make facing recovery even more difficult, as the side effects of withdrawal may be more severe than detoxing just one substance.
Additionally, the combination of multiple substances can also make their use more dangerous. In many cases, the mixture of drugs can lead to significantly worsened side effects and even increased risk of overdose.
What Causes Polysubstance Abuse?
Like any substance use disorder, many factors lead to the development of polysubstance abuse. In many cases, someone who is already dependent on one substance will develop codependency after using a different substance to lessen the side effects of the first substance. Once this habit is formed, it can be difficult to use one substance without the other, developing a dependency on multiple drugs.
A genetic predisposition to substance use disorders can play a significant role for those who end up developing polysubstance abuse. Additionally, those who regularly experiment with different kinds of drugs—a demographic mostly made up of teens and young adults—can often find themselves dependent on multiple substances to achieve the “high” they’re looking for.
What Are the Signs to Look Out For?
Many of the signs of polysubstance abuse are similar to the signs of a typical substance use disorder. However, the symptoms usually exhibit a marked progression from the symptoms of single drug use. Some of the most common signs include:
- Worsened or more frequent withdrawal symptoms between uses
- More frequent substance use
- Higher tolerance to substances
- Disengagement from personal interests and responsibilities
- Increased difficulty stopping use or quitting
Addicted to Multiple Substances? A Maine Rehab Can Help
Worsened side effects of the substances themselves aren’t the only dangers that polysubstance abuse can present. The interactions of multiple substances within your bloodstream regularly can cause a variety of health issues over time, like heart disease, hepatitis C, and respiratory failure. A good ME rehab center offers specialty programming for people struggling with polysubstance use disorder, including:
- Medical detox
- Inpatient rehab
- Dual diagnosis treatment
Additionally, the combination of psychological medications with other drugs, either illicit or prescription, can worsen the symptoms of existing mental health issues while also increasing the risk of overdose.
Treating Substance Use Disorders at Liberty Bay Recovery
Though polysubstance abuse recovery is a tough battle to fight, the right detox treatment plan can work wonders. Contact Liberty Bay Recovery Center at 855.607.8758 to learn more about our residential and outpatient treatment options.