Polysubstance abuse is a term to describe the use of more than one drug at a time in a compulsive manner. It can describe the abuse of both illicit and prescription medications when taken at higher doses than prescribed. Polysubstance dependence can be dangerous and lead to numerous health complications. For people facing addiction issues in the Boston area, Greater Boston Addiction Centers provides comprehensive care through our polysubstance abuse treatment program. Give us a call at 877.920.6583 to learn more.

What Is Polysubstance Abuse and Why Does it Happen?

There are some instances in which a person may mistakenly take two substances at once – such as prescription medications with alcohol – but what polysubstance abuse really indicates is the use of substances intentionally. Some people do this to get a more potent effect from using multiple substances. 

When combined with others, some drugs can become more powerful or create more of a euphoric event. Doctors sometimes prescribe medications in order to help people manage the side effects, for example, using a depressant as a way to control the anxiety that a stimulant can bring on. Mixing substances like this can lead to polysubstance dependence. It can also create a higher risk of overdose.

There are some drugs that are often abused together. Some common examples of polysubstance abuse include:

  • Cocaine and alcohol use
  • Valium and alcohol
  • Steroids and cocaine
  • Opioids and benzos
  • Ecstasy and alcohol
  • Methadone and heroin

Mixing drugs increases the risk of complications and side effects. This can lead to acute health problems due to toxicity. It can also lead to complicated treatment because the medications used to treat one condition may not help others. Polysubstance use can also lead to co-occurring disorders, a situation where you develop mental health disorders along with addiction.

What Is Polysubstance Dependence?

Polysubstance dependence occurs when the brain’s chemistry and communication with the body changes. The body becomes dependent on the drugs in order for you to feel normal. You also feel intense withdrawal symptoms as your brain tries to encourage you to continue using them. It is possible to develop a dependence on just one drug in polysubstance abuse or both.

If you feel withdrawal symptoms, that is an indication you have an addiction to a drug. This may include unexplained pain, muscle and bone aching, vomiting and diarrhea, headaches, as well as emotional symptoms including agitation, mood swings, and fear. When you reach this level, it is critical to get help.

How to Get Help in our Polysubstance Abuse Treatment Program

Polysubstance dependence may put you at risk for health complications and lead to sudden death due to overdose. It can also cause numerous complications from an addiction standpoint, such as failed relationships and struggling with success at work or school. It does not have to lead to this. Our polysubstance abuse treatment program is comprehensive, offering care designed to help you break your dependence for good.

If you are engaging in polysubstance abuse, recognize the benefits of stopping. Our professionals can help you overcome the cravings and withdrawal symptoms and put you on a better path towards healing. Take the first step in that process. Reach out to us to learn more about each of our treatment programs, including:

Get Supportive Help Today When You Call Greater Boston Addiction Centers

 If you believe you may have polysubstance dependence, recognize the importance of seeking help now. Our polysubstance abuse treatment program is designed to provide a supportive, compassionate level of care from experienced therapists and doctors. To learn more, reach out to Greater Boston Addiction Centers by calling 877.920.6583 or connecting with us online.