Polydrug Use

Polydrug abuse is described as using more than one drug at once. That is, polydrug abuse involves combining multiple substances or drugs with the aim of enhancing the effects of each. Polydrug abuse may involve combining illicit drugs with prescription medication or alcohol.

Polydrug abuse, especially with prescription medication, isn’t always intentional. For instance, you may consume your prescription medication with wine or beer, without actually being aware of the consequences. Or, you may be on multiple prescriptions from different doctors, and use them together without knowing how those specific drugs will interact with one another. Simply put, polydrug abuse isn’t always deliberate. But, regardless of if the polydrug abuse is deliberate or not, it is still a dangerous practice.

People who deliberately engage in polydrug abuse tend to do it with the aim of experiencing greater effects from combining substances, such as using alcohol to heighten the effects of narcotics. There are common reports of opioid addicts taking these types of drugs with benzodiazepines in order to experience a heightened sedative or relaxing effect.

Keep in mind that while polydrug abuse can lead to an enhancement of the desired effects of drugs, it can also enhance the potentially negative effects of both, and lead to a variety of health problems. This makes polydrug abuse a dangerous habit with, at times, very unpredictable dangers.

Thus, if you have been combining your prescription medication or other drugs with alcohol or other substances, you need to quit now for the sake of your mental and physical health.

Polydrug Abuse Explained

People who regularly consume drugs or other substances to get high tend to not care what they put in their body as long as they get the desired effect. This is especially the case when an addict has developed a high tolerance to their primary drug of abuse. But, randomly combining drugs or substances like alcohol and cocaine, or a random mixture of pills, puts your mental and physical health at great risk, as your body may not be able to tolerate the combination of substances consumed.

Consuming more than one drug at a time regularly and continuously is referred to as polysubstance or polydrug use. Polydrug abuse is especially a problem if you are doing it with the aim of intensifying the effects of an individual drug. This a very dangerous habit, and one that claims many lives every year.

Alcohol is commonly used by many to intensify the effects of prescription medication, especially the effects of painkillers. But, because both alcohol and most painkillers have a depressive effect on the central nervous system, combining these substances can exaggerate the effect of the drugs on the respiratory system, to the point that you stop breathing completely.

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Over half of the alcohol-related visits to the emergency room in 2011 involved mixing prescription medication or illicit drugs with alcohol.

How much danger you are in if you are combining drugs, or other substances, to enhance their effect is dependent on the amount and type of substances mixed. For instance, mixing stimulants like cocaine or ecstasy will not only lead to an increased high, but will also place you at great risk of suffering a heart attack.

Polydrug Nicknames

Different drug combinations lead to different effects, and come with their own unique set of risks. Also, different types of polydrug abuse have their own slang or street terms. Because there are so many possible drug combinations, there is an equally extensive list of slang words. Some of the more common drug combinations and their nicknames include:

  • Atom bomb or A-bomb: Marijuana mixed with heroin
  • Bars: Heroin mixed with Xanax
  • Caviar: Marijuana and cocaine
  • Capsizing: PCP and MDMA
  • Candy flipping: Combining ecstasy and LSD
  • Candy blunt: Marijuana cigarettes dipped in cough syrup
  • C&M: Cocaine and morphine
  • Bumping up: Cocaine and ecstasy
  • Buda: High-grade marijuana and crack cocaine
  • Black Russian: Hashish and opium
  • Bipping: Snorting cocaine and heroin
  • Beam me up, Scottie: PCP mixed with cocaine
  • Bazooka: Combining crack cocaine with marijuana
  • Chasing the dragon: Crack cocaine and heroin
  • Chips: PCP mixed with tobacco or marijuana
  • Chronic: Marijuana mixed with crack cocaine
  • Cocktail: Crack cocaine and marijuana
  • Dipped joints: Marijuana combined with formaldehyde and PCP
  • Elephant flipping: PCP and ecstasy combined with ketamine
  • Ethan: LSD and cocaine
  • Fire: Crack cocaine and methamphetamine
  • Draf: Ecstasy with cocaine
  • Dragon rock: Heroin and crack cocaine
  • Crisscrossing: Snorting cocaine and heroin
  • Crunk: Getting drunk and high at the same time
  • Dust: Marijuana combined with cocaine, heroin or PCP
  • Dynamite: Cocaine mixed with heroin
  • Eightball: Heroin and crack cocaine
  • Five-way: Snorting cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, and Rohypnol while drinking alcohol
  • Flower flipping: Ecstasy and mushrooms
  • Frisco special/Frisco speedball: Cocaine, heroin, and LSD
  • Fry daddy: Crack cocaine and marijuana
  • Happy stick: Marijuana and PCP
  • Back to back: Abuse of heroin alongside crack cocaine
  • Cocoa Puffs: Smoking marijuana and cocaine together
  • Crescent roll: Marijuana laced with cocaine
  • Banano: Tobacco mixed with marijuana and laced with cocaine
  • H-bomb: Ecstasy and heroin
  • He-she: Heroin and cocaine
  • Kitty Bending: Xanax or Valium and ketamine
  • Kitty Boosting: Ketamine and Amphetamine
  • Jet fuel: Methamphetamine and PCP
  • Jedi flip: Mushrooms, LSD, and Ecstasy
  • Hugs and kisses: Combination of ecstasy and methamphetamine
  • Houston cocktail: Hydrocodone and Soma
  • Hippie flip: Mushrooms (psilocybin) and ecstasy
  • Greek: Marijuana and powder cocaine
  • Goofball: Cocaine and heroin
  • Geek joints: Marijuana cigarette with powdered cocaine or crack cocaine mixed in
  • Fry/Fry sticks: Marijuana dipped in PCP or embalming fluid
  • Jim Jones: Marijuana with PCP and cocaine
  • Kitty Tripping: Ketamine and LSD
  • Lace: Cocaine and marijuana
  • Love boat: Marijuana dipped in formaldehyde; a cigar filled with marijuana
  • Kitty Flipping: Ecstasy and ketamine
  • Super grass: Marijuana treated with PCP
  • Squirrel: PCP and marijuana laced with cocaine
  • Pancakes and syrup: Codeine cough syrup and Glutethimide (hypnotic drug)
  • Ozone: Cigarette containing marijuana, PCP and crack cocaine
  • Octane: PCP laced with gasoline
  • Nox: Nitrous oxide and MDMA
  • Murder one: Heroin and cocaine
  • Moonrock: Crack cocaine and heroin
  • Super X: Methamphetamine and ecstasy
  • Speedball: Heroin and cocaine; methylphenidate (Ritalin) may also be mixed with the heroin
  • Missile basing: Crack cocaine and PCP
  • Methball: Methamphetamine and heroin mixed in a syringe
  • Love trip: Mescaline and ecstasy
  • Parachute: Smoking crack and PCP
  • Party and play: Methamphetamine together with ecstasy and Viagra
  • Joy stick/Killer weed: PCP and marijuana
  • Juice joint: Marijuana and crack cocaine
  • Pharming: Mixing prescription drugs
  • Pikachu: Pills containing PCP and ecstasy
  • Polo: Heroin and dimenhydrinate (Dramamine)
  • Primos: Marijuana joints treated with crack cocaine
  • Quiktrip: Methamphetamine and psilocybin
  • Red rock opium/Red rum: Sleeping pills, strychnine, heroin, and caffeine
  • Screwball: Heroin and methamphetamine
  • Woolies: Marijuana and crack or PCP
  • Yerba mala: PCP and marijuana
  • Sherman stick: Marijuana and crack cocaine in a cigar
  • Wollie/Woo: Crack rocks in a marijuana cigarette
  • Wild cat: Methcathinone mixed with cocaine
  • Twisters: Crack and methamphetamine
  • Troll: LSD and MDMA
  • Torpedo: Marijuana and crack
  • Space cadet/Space dust/Space blunt/Space base: Crack dipped in PCP
  • Woolie: Marijuana and heroin; marijuana and crack cocaine; marijuana and PCP
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The chief advantage of being familiar with the above list is that it will help you recognise if a loved one or someone else is referring to a drug combination with what may seem like innocent-sounding words. If someone you know uses any of the above slang frequently, it may be in your best interest to investigate further and ensure that they aren’t partaking in dangerous drug habits.

Examples of Mixing Drugs

Any drug can be combined for a variety of reason by a drug addict. Some commonly seen examples of mixing drugs include:

  • Mixing a depressant with a stimulant
  • Alcohol and benzodiazepines, or other prescription medication
  • Cocaine and heroin
  • Cocaine and heroin with morphine
  • Cocaine and ketamine
  • Cocaine and morphine
  • Cocaine and LSD
  • Alcohol and cannabis
  • Alcohol and cocaine
  • Cannabis and crack cocaine
  • Cannabis and PCP
  • Cannabis and heroin or opium
  • Amphetamine and cocaine

The above list is not exhaustive. It is simply to give you an idea of the combinations people experiment with just to experience a new “high”

Substances Commonly abused Together

While there is a diverse variety of substance combinations people abuse to get high, the ones listed below are those most commonly seen among youths from various walks of life.

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Mixing Weed and Alcohol

Weed (also known as marijuana or cannabis) can be ingested orally or smoked. Consuming weed will bring about a ‘high’ that consists of feelings of increased wellbeing, and experiencing distorted perception. The active component in marijuana is Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and it is what causes the drug’s psychoactive effects.

When marijuana and alcohol are mixed, it can intensify the effect of marijuana by increasing THC concentration in your system, compared to if you were using weed alone. Combining alcohol and weed is one of the most common recorded substance combinations where car accidents are involved.

Side effects of combining weed and alcohol can include:

  • Impaired coordination and judgment
  • Slurred speech
  • Memory problems
  • Slowed sensation of time
  • Lethargy
  • Dry mouth
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Social withdrawal
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Anxiety
  • Stupor
  • Possible coma

Mixing Prescription Pills and Alcohol

Some people innocently combine their prescription medication with alcohol because they’ve failed to read the warning on the label, or their doctor didn’t give them sufficient warning. Others simply combine alcohol with their prescription medication to heighten its effects. Either way, combining prescription medication such as sedatives, painkillers, antidepressants, and antipsychotics with alcohol is a habit that can cause a host of dangers to your health.

Some of the most commonly witnessed side effects of combining prescription pills with alcohol include:

  • Mood swings
  • Confusion
  • Coordination problems
  • Drowsiness
  • Extreme respiratory depression
  • Impaired judgment
  • Inattention
  • Incoordination
  • Lethargy
  • Memory impairment
  • Severe drowsiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Stupor
  • Possible liver damage
  • Potentially fatal overdose

Mixing Cocaine and Marijuana

Polydrug abusers who combine marijuana with cocaine do it to reduce the effects of one drug or heighten the euphoric effects of both. While the resulting high of combining cocaine and marijuana may be enjoyable, it can also lead to a number of health problems. The most dangerous of which is a potentially fatal overdose.

Cocaine is an illegal, and highly potent, stimulant which can cause you to experience a surge in energy and confidence, and a rush of euphoria. On the downside, the drug will also cause you to experience elevated blood pressure, increased heart rate, and possibly paranoia.

Marijuana, on the other hand, is a depressant and hallucinogen, meaning its effects are the opposite of that of cocaine. Because of their differences, combining both substances can lead to serious physical and psychological side effects when consumed together.

Mixing a stimulant like cocaine with a depressant, like marijuana, can confuse your body and cause significant health problems. Some of these problems include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • A possibly fatal overdose

The effects of marijuana may reduce that of cocaine, but continued polydrug abuse of both substances will, over time, lead to an increase in your tolerance to both drugs. Once your tolerance begins to build up, you become dangerously close to developing a physical dependence and addiction to marijuana,cocaine, or both.

Dangers of Polydrug Abuse

The type of drugs or substances you are combining is what will determine the specific short and long-term health risks you expose yourself to during polydrug abuse. But, there are certain psychological and physical health dangers that are clear, regardless of the combination of substances used during polydrug abuse.

Some of these health dangers include:

  • Heightened severity of side effects: Every drug, be it prescribed or illicit, has negative side effects, especially if abused. If a drug is combined with another, the potential severity of one drug’s side effect is increased. This occurs as the effects of each substance combine to create new effects. The resulting new side effects are typically more severe than what would’ve been experienced if either of the combined substances were taken independently.
  • Acute health problems: Different drugs interacting with each other can reduce your metabolism and thus increase the concentration of the consumed substances in your blood. This leads to increased toxicity, which may poison your system. Various disorders may occur in this scenario, such as: liver disorder, or increased risk of myocardial infarction.
  • Overdose: Polydrug abuse increases the risk of overdose. This is because certain substances mask, or minimise, the effects of other substances. This can cause you to use more of a drug than you should, to achieve the desired effect. When you take more of a drug than your body can process, a potentially fatal overdose may occur.
  • Complicated treatment: Addiction to multiple substances, or an overdose from multiple substances, is generally more complicated to treat. For instance, overdosing on opioids can normally be treated with naloxone. But when combined with alcohol or benzodiazepines, treatment becomes far more complicated.
  • Complications caused by co-occurring mental disorders: If you have a co-occurring mental disorder, you are more likely to engage in polydrug abuse. This drug abuse will then worsen your mental health disorder, which will in turn worsen your abuse as you try to self-medicate.

Simply put, polydrug abuse amplifies the negative effects normally experienced when abusing one drug.

Celebrity Deaths From Mixing Drugs

Over the years, many of our favourite celebrities have died from complications caused by mixing drugs. Many celebrities abuse drugs as a way of coping with the demands and high stress of always of being in the spotlight. Also, celebrities usually have easy access to a wide variety of both illicit and prescription drugs. This makes them especially vulnerable to becoming substance abusers.

Some of the biggest celebrity deaths in recent years that stemmed from substance abuse include:

  • Prince

Prior to his death, Prince was known to be abusing prescription medication, especially Percocet. In 2016, he was found dead from an apparent drug overdose. Police found various prescription medication bottles in his home that had been mislabelled and concluded he must have accidentally combined medication. A toxicology report released after Prince’s death showed that he’d overdosed on fentanyl.

  • Heath Ledger

Prior to his death in 2008, Heath Ledger was known to suffer from a heroin addiction. On January 22, 2008, he was found dead in his apartment by his masseuse. The autopsy revealed that Heath Ledger had used a variety of drugs in non-lethal doses, but their combination had led to a fatal result. The combination of abused drugs that led to Heath Ledger’s death include temazepam, hydrocodone, oxycodone, diazepam, and alprazolam.

  • Philip Seymour Hoffman

Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his apartment on February 2, 2014 from an accidental overdose. He was found with a syringe still stuck in his arm. His autopsy showed that he died from polydrug intoxication after combining cocaine, heroin, benzodiazepines and an amphetamine.

  • Amy Winehouse

Beloved singer, Amy Winehouse, died from an alcohol overdose in 2011. The singer had a history of mental illness which was exacerbated by her drinking.

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  • Whitney Houston

The legend, Whitney Houston, after years of success making unforgettable music, was found dead in 2012. Prior to her death, Whitney Houston had been plagued by drug related scandals. Upon her death, it was found that she was abusing marijuana, cocaine, Xanax, Flexeril and Benadryl. She was found drowned in a bathtub with atherosclerotic heart disease from her apparent cocaine use.

  • Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll, officially died from atherosclerotic heart disease and hypertensive cardiovascular disease. But it is believed that the combination of ten prescription medications present in his blood must have contributed to his death.

  • Jimi Hendrix

Prior to his death, Jimi Hendrix was known for his recreational use of LSD and other substances. He died of barbiturate intoxication on September 18, 1970, after consuming nine different sleeping pills which had originally been prescribed to his girlfriend. His autopsy ruled that he died from suffocation after inhaling his vomit.

Short Term Effects of Polydrug Use

Polydrug abuse can have a variety of short term effects on your body and mind. The severity of the effects are typically dependent on the combination of drugs and at what dose they are being abused. Generally reported short-term effects of polydrug abuse include:

  • Disinhibition
  • Impaired judgment
  • Violence
  • Erratic behaviour
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Suicidal thoughts or behaviours
  • Tremors
  • Sweating
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Increased or decreased heart rate
  • Chest pain
  • Arrhythmias
  • Stupor
  • Suppressed breathing
  • Seizures
  • Respiratory arrest

Long-Term Effects of Polydrug Use

Long-term effects of polydrug abuse may depend on how the drugs are consumed or administered. For instance, injecting increases, not just the desired effects, but also the risks of abusing specific substances. Some of the long term side effects of such drug behaviour can include:

  • Liver failure
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Paranoia
  • Coma
  • HIV
  • Tuberculosis
  • Infection of the heart lining
  • Hepatitis
  • Brain damage
  • Respiratory failure
  • Possible death

Polydrug abuse drastically depletes your brain’s feel-good chemicals, and this can lead to behavioural and emotional disorders such as anxiety and depression.

The Role of Alcohol in Polydrug Abuse

Alcohol more often than not plays a part in polydrug abuse. If it is not the primary substance of abuse, then it will usually be the drug being combined with the primary substance of abuse. People typically combine alcohol with other drugs or substances to enhance their effects, and this is especially the case when it comes to prescription painkillers.

Studies have shown that about 80% of alcoholics receiving treatment were also abusing at least one other substance. Alcohol abuse can occur in conjunction with the abuse of cocaine, barbiturates, hallucinogens, and opiates.

The Role of Benzodiazepines in Polydrug Abuse

Asides from alcohol, benzodiazepines are also popular among polydrug abusers. According to a recent study, benzodiazepines such as Xanax and Valium contributed to more than 30% of fatal drug overdoses in the US in 2013.

People combine other drugs with benzodiazepines because the combination is known to prolong the euphoric high they’re known for. This result is most likely when benzodiazepine is combined with opioids. But benzodiazepines and opioids can also lead to more severe adverse effects, as is evident in a 2011 report which indicated that benzodiazepine/opioid combinations led to the most number of emergency hospital visits related to nonmedical use of psychotherapeutic medications.

50% of new entrants into methadone clinics usually also need to undergo benzodiazepine detoxification.

Abusing benzodiazepines alongside other substances is extremely harmful for a number of reasons, including:

  • The combination may magnify the effects of each drug to deadly levels.
  • When combined, some substances can mask the effects of others. This may cause you to overdose as you use more of the drugs than your body can handle to achieve your desired effect.
  • Polydrug abuse with benzodiazepines can lead to cognitive/memory impairment, especially while under the influence.
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Treating Multiple Addictions as Seen in Polydrug Abuse

Compared to receiving treatment for a single addiction, getting treatment for multiple addictions is a more complicated affair. This is because each substance typically comes with its own unique set of physical and psychological side effects. For instance, if you are addicted to alcohol, the right benzodiazepines administered during detox can minimise your withdrawal symptoms. But, in a scenario where you are addicted to both benzodiazepines and alcohol, typically-used detox drugs or treatment plans will likely not be so effective.

When trying to overcome an addiction, it is best if the root cause of the substance abuse disorder is first identified. By doing so, chances of the rehab program being successful are greatly increased. Polydrug abuse symptoms during recovery are usually similar to those of a pre-existing psychological or behavioural disorder (like anxiety or depression). Treating a disorder like this, alongside your addiction, is referred to as dual diagnosis. A dual diagnosis can be defined as dealing with the underlying cause of you abusing drugs in the first instance.

After you have passed the difficult stage of withdrawal, treatment for your polydrug addiction should be promptly followed by different types of therapy. These therapies will help shed more light on the root causes of your addiction, and use life lessons to guide you in how to manage your cravings in the future. Therapy will also educate you on how to live a fulfilling and satisfying life without relying on drugs.

Because polydrug withdrawal is more complicated than that from a single drug, an inpatient medical detox is the best path to ensure your safety. This is because, under inpatient medical detox, your physical and mental health will be supervised and managed around the clock by medical experts. This will ensure that you receive prompt medical attention in the event there are any sudden health complications during withdrawal.

Also, while receiving treatment at an inpatient facility, medication can be provided wherever necessary to minimise or counteract certain withdrawal symptoms. For example, nausea and diarrhoea, which are often experienced during withdrawals, can be significantly reduced. Antidepressants can also be provided for mood fluctuations.

Depending on the severity of your substance problems, the use of long-term maintenance medications may be required. For instance, if you were frequently abusing Vicodin (or other prescription painkillers) alongside cocaine, you may be provided an opioid replacement medication like buprenorphine or methadone. Such substitute medication, or long-term maintenance medication, will help minimise the severity of withdrawal symptoms. On the other hand, because cocaine withdrawal isn’t usually very severe, its withdrawal symptoms may be simply monitored and treated as required.

For someone abusing a benzodiazepine as one of their drug choices during polydrug abuse, instead of substituting the benzodiazepine, a tapering approach may be used to minimise withdrawal symptoms. This will involve gradually minimising the benzodiazepine dose until you are completely weaned off the drug. This approach will ensure withdrawal symptoms are less intense than if you were to quit “cold turkey”.

There is a greater degree of unpredictability when withdrawing from multiple substances. It is for this reason that continual medical monitoring is recommended, as it makes it possible to notice and treat any changes in a recovering addict’s health as soon as it occurs. Also, the continued monitoring and support provided during a medical detox will greatly reduce your chances of suffering a relapse.

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A medical detox is only the first step in treatment and it only takes care of the physical aspects of your addiction. In order to make a full recovery, once detox treatment is over, it should be immediately followed by a comprehensive rehab program.

A comprehensive rehab program will make use of behavioural therapies, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), to modify your thoughts concerning drug abuse and help you achieve a much healthier way of thinking.

Therapy and other aspects of addiction treatment are usually more effective when they are tailored to suit your unique mental and health needs. When it comes to polydrug abuse, this involves first identifying what typically causes you to abuse any drug. After the underlying cause for your drug abuse has been identified, it can then be dealt with as necessary with the proper therapy. If the underlying cause is a co-occurring mental health issue, it will be appropriately cared for alongside polydrug addiction.

Normally, a treatment programme will be modified throughout the course of treatment to match the changing needs of the recovering addict. With comprehensive care, you can make a full recovery from polydrug abuse and move on to living a healthy and addiction-free life.


How Big of a Problem Is Polydrug Abuse?

A very big one. Polydrug abuse is more widespread than most people think. Many people begin engaging in polydrug abuse because they have built up a tolerance to their primary drug of use and are unable to achieve the desired high with it alone. This leads them to attempt to enhance the effect of the drug by combining it with other substances. Alcohol is commonly used in combination with painkillers to achieve a more intense high.

What many polydrug abusers fail to realise is it’s not just the desired effects of a drug that are amplified during polydrug abuse, but also its negative effects. Some of these amplified negative effects may even prove fatal. There’s also the problem of polydrug abuse leading to complicated addictions which are more difficult to treat and fully recover from.

According to SAMHSA, out of more than 2 million drug-related emergency hospital visits in 2011, 1.4 million of them were caused by polydrug abuse

Why Is Polydrug Abuse So Dangerous?

Abusing multiple substances at once is very unsafe, and poses a great risk to your mental and physical wellbeing. Some specific dangers posed by polydrug abuse include:

  • Combining different substances magnifies the effects of each one, possibly to deadly levels depending on the drugs combined. For instance, combining opioids, alcohol, and benzodiazepines is potentially fatal.
  • Certain drug combinations mask the effects of other drugs in the mix. This can cause you to use more of the masked drug to try and feel something, which can lead to a possibly fatal overdose. This can occur where stimulants and opioids are used concurrently.
  • Cognitive/memory impairment can occur when multiple drugs are consumed at once. For instance, combining alcohol with prescription medications.

Polydrug abuse is responsible for almost 75% of all drug overdoses, and leads to death in 98% of such circumstances.

What Is Polydrug Abuse?

Polydrug abuse is the misuse of multiple drugs or substances all at once. During polydrug abuse, a variety of substances may be abused at the same time, including prescription medication, illicit drugs, and over the counter medication.

What Is the Best Strategy for Recovering from Polydrug Abuse?

The best strategy for recovering from polydrug abuse is to start with a medically assisted detox which, upon completion, should be followed immediately by rehab in an inpatient treatment programme. Therapy during rehab is more effective if it is tailored to suit your unique mental and health needs.

Also, the underlying cause for your drug abuse should be identified, and treated alongside your addiction. If the underlying cause is a co-occurring mental health issue, it should be appropriately cared for alongside your polydrug addiction, to reduce your chances of continuing drug abuse once treatment is complete.

Why Are Multiple Addictions So Dangerous?

Polydrug abuse gives rise to very serious health risks. This is the case regardless if one of the drugs in your combination is generally considered a “safe” drug (such as marijuana). But certain drug combinations are more dangerous than others. For instance, benzodiazepines combined with Vicodin or oxycodone, or a similar painkiller, can lead to respiratory failure.

Other dangers of polydrug abuse, depending on drug combination, include:

  • Heatstroke
  • Liver damage
  • Memory loss
  • Seizure
  • Heart attack
  • Coma
  • Overdose

If you, or a loved one, are engaging in polydrug abuse, get help today by visiting a rehab centre, or call a confidential helpline for professional guidance on what your options are for addiction treatment.

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