Substance abuse triggers profound changes in your brain. It interferes with normal functions and, perhaps more alarmingly, clouds judgment. One of those risks common to individuals with substance abuse issues: combining substances. Abusing one drug is hazardous enough. The dangers of combining substances are even more substantial. Medicine calls this an example of “polydrug” abuse.
Besides their individual effects, the drugs themselves could have interactions that put your health in grave danger. There’s only one way out in this case — seeking the help of a treatment/rehab center such as Santé Center for Healing. At Santé, we specialize in addressing substance abuse in TX for clients from all over the nation.
What is Polydrug Abuse?
Polysubstance abuse happens when someone takes multiple forms of drugs at an excessive level in a short period. We’re not talking about someone with significant health issues, such as cancer, taking medications as treatment. We’re talking about the recreational use of substances that can lead to illness or even death.
One of the factors in polysubstance abuse relates to the characteristics of substance abuse itself. The worse your addiction, the more it takes of a certain drug to achieve the same high. People with substance abuse sometimes turn to a second substance out of frustration or fear.
Common Drug Combinations
Polydrug abuse doesn’t have a single pattern. It can happen across drug classifications and frequently involves alcohol. Some of the common combinations include:
- Alcohol and painkillers. These are both depressants and can multiply their effects by slowing down the functioning and effectiveness of the central nervous system and accelerating liver problems.
- Cocaine and heroin, known as a “speedball.” Aside from the cutesy term, taking these simultaneously is incredibly dangerous. One is a stimulant; the other is a depressant. Together they increase the risk of addiction and fatal overdose.
- Combinations of various forms of opioids, known on the street as the “gray death.” Reports of this mixture of heroin, fentanyl, and other substances are growing.
- Opioids and benzodiazepines. This combination is appearing at a high rate of the nation’s drug overdoses. The two substances act on each other to cause significant health problems.
Dangers of Combining Substances
The list of dangers of combining substances is long and alarming. Keep in mind that the dangers come not only from the effects of each drug but in the interactions between multiple substances. These interactions can make a bad situation into a tragic one. Dangers of combining substances include:
- Brain damage
- Liver damage or failure
- Respiratory arrest
- Blood in your stomach
- Cardiovascular events
Beyond the physical issues, you can also face significant psychological difficulties. The dangers of combining substances are very difficult to predict, given many of the variables. If you or a loved one is in a period of polydrug use, consider seeking treatment. Polydrug use is an increasing problem with substance abuse in TX and reinforces the need for substance abuse treatment across the country.
Substance Abuse at Santé Center
The dangers of combining substances are obvious. You are sending conflicting signals to your brain, and the impact can cascade throughout your body. It also makes treatment more challenging. The experienced staff at Santé Center for Healing has seen it all and can help. Every individual who comes to our center is different. We work with them to develop individualized therapeutic plans that make use of every element of our center.
Sante’s team provides individualized assessments, detox, residential treatment, intensive outpatient treatment, and transitional living, as well as more specialized services. We focus on your journey of healing to move you back toward stability and sobriety and a life of promise and hope. So to get started, reach a counselor at Santé Center for Healing by calling 866.238.3154 for an initial confidential consultation.