What Are the Effects of Polydrug Abuse?
The effects of polydrug abuse depend upon the mixed substances, but why people use more than one drug simultaneously is an excellent question. First, recreational drug users are aware of the effects of different medications and the results they produce. For example, they are increasing the desired effect of drugs by combining substances. Secondly, someone coming down from a specific drug may take another medication to reduce the adverse effects. Finally, recreational drug use is not always a pre-thought experience and can occur because of intoxication and the user is not thinking clearly.
What Is Polydrug Abuse?
Polydrug abuse involves mixing substances or being under the influence of one drug and taking additional medications to alter the desired effects. Polydrug abuse can include alcohol, prescription medications, and illicit drugs. However, the effects of polydrug abuse are a cause-and-effect experience to modify a specific level of intoxication or high. In 2019, fifty percent of overdose deaths involved multiple drugs. Therefore, it is essential to understand that drug abuse is dangerous, but polydrug use carries a much higher risk.
Polydrug abuse presents a higher risk for overdose, difficulty in detox, and the chance of death. Marijuana is regularly in use with a combination of multiple drugs and alcohol. In addition, known as “crossfade,” alcohol and marijuana used together increase the effects of alcohol, and the absorption of THC into the body is faster. Moreover, the effects of polysubstance abuse can result in high-risk behavior, psychopathology, and mental health dysfunction. Consequently, in Georgia, deaths from drug use show a high percentage result from prescription opioids, heroin, and synthetic opioids.
Causes of Polydrug Abuse
When exploring the effects of polydrug abuse and why people take a combination of drugs, realizing that this occurs to manage withdrawal symptoms. For example, if someone uses methamphetamines or cannabis, alcohol would allow for relaxation and sleep. However, the withdrawal symptoms from methamphetamines are feeling anxious and stressed with sleep disruptions. Consequently, this situation is dangerous because the results could be a polydrug addiction instead of intentionally switching to a different drug.
Common reasons for mixing drugs can include the following:
- Increase a drug’s desired effect and the quickness to achieving the desired effect
- Reduces the adverse effects of certain drugs
- Enhancement of the experience of using drugs
- Substitution factor when the availability of a preferred drug is not accessible
- Poor choices while intoxicated
- Unintentional polysubstance abuse due to manufacturers mixing substances
Why is Polydrug Abuse So Dangerous?
Recreational drug use is a scary experience. First, the frightening aspect of recreational drug use is the person taking the drugs has no idea what is in them. Secondly, the effects of polydrug abuse can be even more dramatic because mixing unknown chemical compounds can lead to severe consequences. Finally, severe side effects such as respiratory depression, heart attack, or overdose can present adverse physical and mental complications.
The following factors of polydrug use present the following high-level dangers:
Side Effects: Adverse side effects of polydrug abuse are more intense and severe with more than one substance. For example, prescription medications combined with over-prescription medications can produce pain and harm within the body. In addition, the common side effects of drug use can be amplified or intensified with multiple drugs. However, the common side effects of polydrug usage can include:
- Body aches and pains
- Heart rate fluctuations and problems
- Respiratory distress, and failure
- Blood pressure fluctuations
- Brain damage
- Liver damage, and stomach bleeding
Greater Risk of Overdose: The effects of polydrug abuse center on the combination of side effects altering the ability to know when to stop using. For example, cocaine, a stimulant, can mask the numbing effects of heroin. In addition, the user loses the ability to feel the full impact of either. Finally, losing track of how much of a substance is involved can lead to overdose and death.
Detox and treatment are complex with polydrug abuse: Professional treatment centers with experience with the effects of polydrug abuse know detox is custom for the individual. In addition, multiple drugs come with a separate set of withdrawal symptoms to manage. Therefore, medications generally used for MAT (medically-assisted treatment) may not be available with the combination of certain drugs.
Symptoms of Mental Health Conditions Resurface: The effects of a substance use disorder involving one substance can trigger symptoms of a mental health condition to resurface. Consequently, the effects of polydrug abuse can be more problematic. For example, depleting the brain’s chemistry of dopamine, depression, and anxiety can reoccur. Consequently, the symptoms of mental health conditions can exacerbate drug abuse.
Short and Long-Term Effects of Polydrug Abuse
It is challenging to predict the effects of polydrug abuse because when more than one drug is in use, the variants greatly expand. Moreover, the ingredients of more than one drug are in question. In addition, each person has specific quirks, mood swings, expectations, personality, and their own characteristics. Finally, the setting or environments in each situation vary. Therefore, predicting the effects on any person with many possibilities is complicated.
The effects of polydrug abuse on the brain and the body are devastating. But first, understanding that one use of two drugs can affect two people at different intensity levels is essential. In addition, what you can predict is that using more than one substance could wreak havoc on brain chemistry. Likewise, the physical stress from drug interactions producing opposite effects damages vital organs. Finally, the most dangerous side effects are disruptions in breathing, often depressing respirations to hazardous levels.
Explore Your Options with Polydrug Addiction Treatment in Georgia
Canvassing treatment centers is an essential component of accepting treatment. For example, the Retreat of Atlanta in Georgia offers diverse treatment options for polydrug-addicted clients. Detox is complicated; we are prepared for it with medically monitored and medication-assisted treatment. Contact us for more information and secure a bright, drug-free future plan!