Polysubstance use occurs when a person uses more than one drug at a time. Substances may include alcohol, drugs, or prescription medications. The dangers of mixing substances can range from emotional or mental disorders to health problems and fatality. Sadly, people who suffer from the effects of mixing substances are unaware of the dangers of polydrug use. They may discover the problems only after getting treatment from a drug addiction treatment center in Oregon.
One of the most common forms of simultaneous drug use involves taking prescription medications and drinking. Someone who is using benzodiazepines or opioids may drink wine or liquor regularly. This increases the risk of overdose. Let’s look more closely at the dangers of mixing substances below.
What Are the Dangers of Mixing Substances?
The risks of combining two or more substances depend on several circumstances, such as:
- The type of substances being mixed
- The amount of each substance a person consumes
- Whether a person has an addiction to one or more substance
- The overall health condition of the user
- Whether the substance was laced with another substance
The biggest risk involved in mixing substances is combined drug intoxication. This occurs when the substances overload the central nervous system, causing multiple side effects. A person who uses multiple substances may experience the following side effects:
- Respiratory failure
- Suppressed breathing
- Liver damage or failure
- Bleeding stomach
- Heart problems
In worst-case scenarios, a person may experience different levels of brain damage or coma. Someone who is suffering from the side effects of combined drug intoxication should seek treatment immediately.
Mental Illnesses from Polysubstance Use
A substance treatment center in Oregon provides treatment for addiction to multiple substances. However, clients quickly learn that the impact of multiple drug use on the brain is one of the reasons why they feel depressed or anxious. What happens to the brain when a person consumes multiple substances at the same time causes mental health disorders over time.
Mixing drugs depletes neurotransmitters that produce feelings of pleasure or relaxation. This can lead to a wide range of disorders such as depression, anxiety, borderline personality disorder, or bipolar disorder. A person who uses drugs at this level will need the help of the following programs:
Common Drug Combinations
For some people, using multiple drugs daily is a way of life. Some of the most common drug combinations include:
Alcohol and Prescription Medications
It is not uncommon for people to take prescription medication and drink a glass of wine or beer daily. This combination can be dangerous if both substances are taken at high levels. A person may increase the prescription dosage while continuing to drink wine, beer, or liquor. This can lead to numerous health problems.
Heroin and Cocaine
The idea of combining these two powerful drugs may seem absurd. However, the trend known as speedballing has grown, as users discover the powerful euphoric effects of both substances. Users believe that each substance will cancel to the negative effects of the other. However, this combination can be lethal.
Marijuana and Other Substances
Due to the perception that marijuana is harmless, many people will smoke marijuana as a way of ‘chasing’ other drugs to increase the psychotic effects. However, marijuana can only increase the likelihood of an overdose or side effect from the paired drug. Marijuana can also cause a person to lose self-control or judgment.
Polysubstance Abuse Treatment
Learn more about the dangers of mixing substances at Sunstone Recovery. We offer comprehensive treatment for all types of addictions and mental disorders. Contact us by calling 855.833.9199 to get started with your recovery program at our addiction treatment center in Oregon.