Unfortunately, it is pretty standard for people to experiment with all types of drugs in different classes. Whether it is uppers, downers, and hallucinogens, to name a few. This is known as polydrug abuse, when a person uses more than one type of drug, either at the same time or at different times.
More specifically, polydrug use occurs when a person:
- Uses two or more drugs in combination
- Uses one drug to counteract the effects (or the after-effects) of another
- Uses different drugs at different times over a short period of days or weeks.
Polydrug use can include any form of drugs – alcohol, illegal drugs, prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines, petrol, paint, and other inhalants. Tobacco and coffee are not considered to be poly-drug use, but alcohol and energy drinks are.
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Multiple Drug Usage for Addiction
The use of multiple drugs at one time is frequently seen; the 2011 Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) report lists several relevant findings, including the following:
- Alcohol abuse is present in 38% of all medical emergencies involving stimulants.
- Fifty-six percent of all medical emergencies involved multiple drugs, and Fifty-three percent involved various prescription medications.
- Sixty-six percent of all non-emergency detox requests involved various drugs.
One of the most common combinations of drugs is uppers and downers, especially cocaine and benzodiazepines or benzos.
Cocaine is a dangerously addictive stimulant drug. It increases your heart rate and blood pressure and raises your body temperature. It usually is used to help keep a person awake by heightening alertness, focus, and attention.
What Are Benzodiazepines?
Benzodiazepines, called benzos for short, are a class of central nervous system depressants that are regularly prescribed to treat anxiety and panic disorders, muscle spasm, seizures, and insomnia. They have been known to aid in the management of alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Certain physiological functions under central nervous system control may be slowed and lowered when taking benzos, like heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, and body temperature.
An example of a typical situation where these two drugs would be taken together is going on a night on the town where late-night dancing is involved. You want to have all the energy to keep your toes tapping to the music, so you do some cocaine throughout the night to keep going. It is now the end of the night, and it’s time to wind down and get ready for bed before the sun comes up. You know the come down off cocaine is the worst – anxiety, depression, and restlessness, to name a few. So, even though you aren’t medically prescribed them, you pop a few benzos, like Xanax or Valium (both send signals to your brain that increase relaxation, relieves muscle tension, and lower your anxiety). You are soon enough off to sleep and ready to repeat this all over again when it’s time to party the next night.
This repeated pattern can be dangerous not just because you are putting yourself in danger of overdose, but this repeated pattern can, if not already, turn into an addiction. After a while, cocaine users usually find themselves using it not just to stay out all night but just to wake up and function throughout the day. So you are then using cocaine all the time and countering it with benzos. So you obtain an addiction to both.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports, in 2014, over 8 percent of adults in America battled addiction. Addiction is a brain disease that has physical, emotional, and social ramifications, and it is characterized by difficulties controlling or stopping drug use.
Some signs of cocaine addiction are:
- Weight loss
- Change in eating habits
- Missing work/school
- Missing important engagements
- Isolating/secretive about activities
- Disrupted sleep patterns
- Legal problems
- Relationship/marital problems
- Financial problems
- Loss of control over the amount and frequency of use
- Craving and compulsive using
- Continued use in the face of adverse consequences
Get the Help You Need
Are you or a loved one addicted to cocaine and benzos? At Allure Detox, we can help you tackle both and get you on the road to recovery and get your life back. We will work on the mental and emotional withdrawals as well as the physical. We are a state-licensed facility that employs a cross-disciplinary staff of medical doctors, psychiatrists, therapists, and counselors. Each staff member is committed to ensuring that every client receives direct medical supervision around the clock. Call us and get your life back today!
TL;DR: While some individuals use benzodiazepines to alleviate the symptoms of a cocaine comedown, this combination is risky and can lead to dangerous interactions.