What is Polysubstance Abuse?

woman struggling with polysubstance abuse

What is Polysubstance Abuse?

By Lakeview Health
Lakeview Health
Published: July 29, 2020

Polysubstance abuse refers to the use of three different classes of substances. For example, a person might use cocaine along with alcohol and ecstasy. They may or may not have a drug of choice but use multiple drugs to create the feeling they want. When this takes place, individuals must seek out the help of a polysubstance abuse treatment program to get the care they need to break free from this habit.

What are the Signs of Polysubstance Abuse?

For a diagnosis of polysubstance abuse, a person must show signs of multiple drug use for at least 12-months. Over that time, this person will develop a tolerance for numerous drugs and experience withdrawal when they stop using any three. They may continue to take the drugs just to avoid withdrawal symptoms.

Other signs of polysubstance abuse include:

  • Unsuccessful attempts to stop taking more than one drug
  • This person dedicates lots of time to take the drugs
  • Drug use interferes with their daily activities
  • They continue to use multiple drugs despite the potential harm it does to their health and quality of life

What Risks are Associated with Polysubstance Use?

A person abusing more than one substance at a time risks becoming dependent on multiple drugs. They may also build a tolerance to these drugs, leading to increased dosages and potential overdose. Prolonged drug use can damage the liver, heart, lungs, and gastrointestinal tract.

What Leads Someone to Abuse Multiple Drugs?

Different factors can push someone towards the abuse of multiple drugs at once. It’s a practice associated with “partying,” for example, so social and peer pressure often play a role. For some, the goal is to enhance the effect of a single drug like an opioid pain reliever to create a better high. They try a cocktail of drugs until they discover the feeling of euphoria they desire.

Some substances that are abused together often but are quite dangerous together include the following:

  • Alcohol and prescription medications
  • Alcohol and marijuana
  • Cocaine and alcohol
  • Benzos and opioids

In order to keep yourself safe as you work through your treatment, it’s best to seek out a medical detox center program to begin the treatment process. Medical supervision monitors your health and progress and keeps you comfortable and safe as you begin.

What Kind of Treatment Center Handles Polysubstance Abuse?

Treating polysubstance abuse is a complicated process, so it’s essential to find a program with experts able to handle this form of dependence. Any treatment program will begin by identifying a root cause for the abuse to address issues that might lead to drug use.

For this reason, a facility that offers dual diagnosis treatment can help discover co-occurring disorders that exist simultaneously with polysubstance abuse. A dual diagnosis treatment center provides mental health treatment for common ailments such as anxiety and depression as well as addiction services.

A polysubstance abuse program at Lakeview Health will also provide:

Lakeview Health offers:

  • Gender-specific services with men and women treated separately
  • Individualized care plans
  • Trama care – the best in the country
  • 12-step integrated treatment

There is no reason to live controlled by substance abuse. You can beat addiction with the help of a qualified drug rehab. Contact Lakeview Health today at 866.704.7692 and find a path to recovery.

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We currently accept Aetna, Cigna, and United Healthcare. We do not currently accept Medicare, Medicaid, or Florida Blue.