Substance users may take several drugs at the same time to reduce the negative effect of the drugs used. For example, people with cocaine addiction may use benzodiazepines to avoid paranoia and anxiety. Combining several drugs can also increase the effects of substances, making one feel more stimulated. However, the results derived and the dangers of mixing substances vary depending on the drugs used. For drug addiction treatment in Saratoga, California, contact Summit Estate Recovery Center at 800.701.6997 today.
The Dangers of Mixing Substances (Polysubstance Abuse)
Polysubstance abuse can lead to both short-term and long-term consequences. Factors such as the type of drugs and dosages taken affect how the body reacts to a drug combination. One of the most critical dangers of mixing substances is a combined substance intoxication, which can cause physical and mental health complications. Multiple drug use also raises the possibility of chronic addiction. Hence, cessation of intake may lead to severe health complications. Other dangers of this behavior are respiratory failure, brain damage, and internal bleeding.
Mixing drugs can also overwork the circulatory and digestive systems. This overwork may lead to health issues such as liver damage and heart problems. A person may also experience increased body temperature, which may lead to heatstroke. Continued polysubstance abuse can also change the structure of the brain. Hence, a user may become dependent on drugs to feel calm and relaxed. Thus, the absence of abused substances may lead to mental health problems or worsen existing conditions.
Common Drug Combinations
Alcohol is the most common drug in cases of polysubstance abuse. For instance, some drug users will consume liquor alongside cocaine to subdue the harmful effects. Once the influence of each drug reduces, a person may take more quantities for more stimulation. A combination of cocaine and alcohol can also boost the user’s energy levels. This mixture produces a harmful substance known as cocaethylene, which affects the cardiovascular system. Another common drug combination is alcohol and opioids. Since both opioids and alcohol are depressants, they weaken the respiratory system.
Alcohol increases the side effects of some prescribed pills. For instance, drinking alcohol while on Tylenol prescription can cause severe liver damage. A combination of some prescription medication may also lead to toxicity and an overdose. For example, taking buprenorphine and methadone can cause respiratory depression. Therefore, one should not self-medicate or take pills prescribed by different physicians at the same time.
In some cases, people combine cocaine and heroin to boost the effects of both drugs. However, since cocaine is a stimulant and heroin a depressant, the drugs may cancel each other’s effects. A user may feel less intoxicated and take more quantities of each substance. The impact of heroin lasts longer in the body, while the effects of cocaine wear off quickly. Using both drugs may leave a high amount of heroin in the bloodstream, which can cause respiratory failure.
Treating Polysubstance Abuse
Withdrawing the use of several drugs is more complicated compared to the cessation of one substance. Thus, professionals advise that one should undergo treatment in a residential rehab center. Physicians offer medical detox and monitor the patient to tackle any emergency. After detox, a patient should undergo a comprehensive treatment process, which includes therapy. Some of the most common therapies used to treat polysubstance abuse are:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavioral therapy
- Family therapy
- Group therapy
Mixing many substances can lead to multiple drug addictions. At Summit Estate, we provide a secure environment to help people recover from the dangers of mixing substances, such as addiction. We design our substance abuse treatment programs in a manner that suits each client’s needs. We also analyze the mental health of a patient to identify any existing condition. This helps us to come up with the most effective long-term treatment plan. Contact us today at 800.701.6997 to start a drug-free life.