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 is present in 38% of all medical emergencies involving stimulants.
- Fifty-six percent of all medical emergencies involved multiple drugs.
- Fifty-three percent involved multiple types of prescription medications.
- Sixty-six percent of all non-emergency detox requests involved multiple drugs.
What is a Polydrug Addiction or Dependence?
Many people will take a depressant to come down from a stimulant high or a hallucinogen and possibly fall asleep while others seeking a particular euphoric high might intentionally combine uppers and downers such as shooting a speedball (cocaine and heroin).
Dangerous drug mixes can also happen unintentionally with people who take medication for pain, depression, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and/or anxiety especially if they drink while on these drugs. A legal yet dangerous combination of uppers and downers is alcohol and energy drinks.
Polydrug abuse is when a person uses more than one type of drug, either at the same time or at different times, to achieve a high.
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, and petrol, paint, and other inhalants.
This repeated pattern of taking multiple drugs 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 drug users usually find themselves using some drugs not just to stay out all night, but just to wake up and function throughout the day. You end up using drugs throughout the whole day every day and get addicted to multiple drugs.
Dangers of Multi-Drug Addiction Detox
Since detoxing and withdrawal from multiple substances is more complicated than withdrawal from one substance, inpatient medical detox is generally recommended.
Due to the potential unpredictability of withdrawal from multiple substances, continual medical monitoring is always needed. It is always needed because of the dangers of polydrug detox. One treatment for one substance could interfere with the other treatment for the other substance therefore complete knowledge of all substances need to be known. Also, the support and encouragement available in medical detox decreases the likelihood of relapse and increases the chances of successful withdrawal from all substances of abuse.
With medical detox, clients are supervised 24 hours per day by medical professionals. This ensures continuous monitoring of vital signs, and prompt action should any medical emergencies occur. Also, supervising physicians often administer medications to counteract certain withdrawal symptoms, such as anti-nausea medications to deal with vomiting and intestinal upset or antidepressants to address mood fluctuations.
Medical Detox for Polydrug Abuse
At Allure Detox, we can take care of any patient that is going through polydrug detoxification at our medical detox facility. Patients choose medical detox because it allows them to continue participating in their former lives. This aids the healing process of recovery and teaches the value of living without drugs and alcohol. And it has been statistically proven that a longer detox period is more likely to lead to long-term recovery than a shorter period.
For these reasons and many more, patients choose the expert, compassionate care of Allure Detox. We look forward to working with you and your family to get your lives back on track. Contact us around the clock for a confidential assessment and let’s see if Allure Detox is the right treatment center for yourself or a loved one.