Most users take their drug of choice excessively. Others aren’t as particular, and therefore, they’ll use any substance they can get their hands on. Often, polysubstance abuse is the result when an individual’s priority is simply getting high. Overall, it’s difficult identifying the specific signs of drug abuse when someone uses several different substances.
What Is Polysubstance Abuse?
When a person takes more than one substance at the same time, this is polysubstance abuse. Sometimes, it’s unintentional. For example, someone might not realize they shouldn’t drink alcohol while taking prescription medications. Or, a person may take several prescribed medicines without knowing how they interact. This is why doctors ask patients to list all the medications they’re currently taking.
Often, however, polysubstance abuse is deliberate. Some people purposely use multiple substances to enhance each drug’s effects. For example, many people use alcohol with other drugs to create a more intense high. They usually have one or two substances they prefer, while not being very particular about what else they add to the mix.
Consequences of Polysubstance Use
Even if an individual knows what to expect when using one drug, they probably don’t understand exactly what to expect when mixing substances. The overall high may be more intense, but the negative side effects could be enhanced as well.
Additionally, polysubstance abuse causes serious health problems, including increasing the chances of an overdose. Treatment for polysubstance abuse is often tricky because the typical approach for one drug may be the opposite for another. Not to mention, someone may have a hard time recalling the various substances they consume regularly.
Therefore, specialized treatment programs are usually necessary for people recovering from this type of substance abuse. Ultimately, polysubstance abusers have co-occurring disorders. Anxiety and depression are common in those who abuse more than one substance.
The Signs of Drug Abuse
Identifying drug use isn’t always easy, and when it comes to polysubstance abuse, it’s often difficult to determine exactly what an individual ingests. They may exhibit conflicting signs depending on what they recently took.
Still, you can often identify notable signs such as:
- Dilated or constricted pupils
- Erratic behavior
- Unexplained weight loss
- Withdrawal from family and friends
- Loss of interest in usual activities
The time to convince a loved one to get help is now. However, this is difficult when so many people struggling with substance abuse are in denial. If you can encourage them to seek treatment, though, you can save a life.
Take Steps to Recovery
At Steps to Recovery, we’re ready to partner with you in your recovery. Whether it’s you or a loved one who needs drug addiction help, our facility puts your needs first. We’ll work to customize a treatment program that addresses your unique concerns to give you the best chance at recovery.
We believe in compassionate care that encourages honest expression, so we maintain a small, intimate environment. Our average staff-to-client ratio is 3 to 1, and your recovery is our top priority.
Our addiction treatment programs include:
- Alcohol addiction rehab
- Prescription drug addiction rehab
- Cocaine addiction rehab
- Heroin addiction rehab
- Family therapy
- Group therapy
If you recognize these signs of drug abuse in yourself or a loved one, reach out to us. We’ll partner with you on the road to a happier, healthier future. Call us today at 866-488-8684.