One of the greatest dangers of addiction isn’t a particular drug but rather the mixing of various substances to create drug cocktails, also known as polysubstance abuse. Alcohol is one of the most common mixers and most addictive substances available. However, most people mixing alcohol with prescription drugs can benefit from an alcohol addiction treatment program in Laguna Beach.
At Oceanfront Recovery, we understand the complexity of polysubstance abuse. Our addiction treatment programs take a holistic approach, using evidence-based practices to address the root causes of addiction. To learn more, contact us at (877) 296-7477.
Understanding Polysubstance Abuse
Polysubstance abuse refers to regularly mixing an indiscriminate range of substances to achieve a high. A person who engages in polysubstance abuse may feel pain or social anxiety or feel like they are unable to go out with friends or function in a sober state. While they may not be addicted to a particular substance, they are strictly addicted to getting high and will try any combination.
It is a hazardous form of addiction because many drug combinations can quickly cause severe and unexpected side effects such as:
- Respiratory failure
- Cardiac arrest
- Organ failure
- Brain damage
Many people who engage in polysubstance abuse have experience compounding traumas and rely on substances to mitigate the effects of trauma. Unfortunately, substance abuse tends to have the opposite effect, adding additional layers of trauma and mental health issues such as severe depression and anxiety.
While it may seem more challenging to recognize, the signs of polysubstance abuse are similar to those of other addictions and include:
- Disappearing for periods of time without explanation
- An increased need for privacy
- Losing interest in activities or people they once enjoyed
- New financial challenges
- Getting in legal trouble (such as DUI or public intoxication)
- Increased injuries
- Declining health
- Notable changes in personality or behavior
- Difficulty maintaining relationships, work, school, or other commitments
- Regularly visible intoxication
How do You Treat Polysubstance Abuse?
Due to the fact that multiple drugs are involved, medical detox is the first step to treating polysubstance abuse. However, it can be dangerous to quit everything cold turkey because the unknown chemical combinations present in the body can lead to unexpected and severe withdrawal symptoms. Since withdrawal can be intense and physically taxing, it should be done under the supervision of a healthcare professional.
Following medical detox, a person can begin intensive outpatient or residential treatment. Residential treatment is ideal for anyone with more intense needs regarding supervision or care. Residential treatment is also suitable for people who can take time away from work or school to make a fresh start and focus on the work of healing. On the other hand, intensive outpatient treatment is a less expensive option that is ideal for people who need to maintain a presence at work or school or those with caregiving obligations.
During the initial phases of treatment, multiple evaluations will assess their individual needs. Then, a care plan can be drawn up. Treatment plans for polysubstance abuse can include the following:
- Individual behavioral therapy
- Group therapy
- Family therapy
- Peer support groups
- Experiential therapy
- Medications to assist recovery and reduce cravings
- A relapse prevention plan
- Learning healthy coping skills
- Addressing and healing the root causes of substance abuse
- Educational and career resources
Find a Safe Place to Heal at Oceanfront Recovery
We see individuals as more than the substances they turn to. At Oceanfront Recovery, we are committed to helping every person understand their worthiness. We provide a safe, serene place to heal with high-quality, evidence-based treatments tailored to each person’s individual needs.