Men and women suffering from addiction rarely only use one substance. When an individual uses two or more addictive drugs simultaneously or concurrently, it is known as “Polysubstance Abuse.” It is possible for an individual to develop two simultaneous addictions to two different drugs or to become psychologically dependent on different substance. As addiction develops, an individual’s tolerance is increased. In order to achieve a greater high, they may begin incorporating other substances that interact with their drug of choice to increase its effects. The Department of Health and Human Services’ Integrative Research on Polysubstance Abuse and Addiction explains, “Polydrug users report that the simultaneous ingestion of two addictive substances can produce additive/synergistic euphoric effects and concurrent use is intended to alleviate the negative consequences of another drug. For example, the co-administration of heroin and cocaine, otherwise known as ‘speedballing,’ produces enhanced reinforcing effects when compared to the delivery of either drug alone. Alternatively, benzodiazepines, opioids, or alcohol are commonly used to relieve the aversive symptoms during a cocaine ‘crash,’ an anhedonic state that is characterized by general dysphoria, agitation, and anxiety.” One can develop simultaneous addictions by incorporating other drugs to increase their high, or using other drugs to mitigate the negative feelings associated with the ‘crash’ of some substances. Polysubstance use can lead to deadly interactions. For example, combining two or more forms of depressants, such as benzodiazepines, opioids, and alcohol, increases the depressant effects of each drugs, and can quickly lead to respiratory failure and death. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction in Opioid Treatment Programs, “Concurrent opioid and other substance use is a serious problem in opioid treatment programs (OTPs). Patients in medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction (MAT) commonly use alcohol, amphetamines, benzodiazepines and other prescription sedatives, cocaine, and marijuana (THC [delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol]). Patterns of use range from occasional low doses to regular high doses that meet dependence criteria. Central nervous system (CNS) depressants such as alcohol, benzodiazepines, and barbiturates are especially dangerous when used with opioids.” Many other substance combinations can cause dangerous interactions. Any time that a person combines two or more substances, there is the potential for a lethal interaction to occur, and simultaneous addictions can make recovery more challenging.
Your story doesn’t have to be one of diminished health as result of addiction. You can make the decision to seek help now and begin building a brighter future on the journey of recovery. Oceanfront Recovery, located in beautiful Laguna Beach, offers and innovative and fluid approach to treatment that focuses on each client’s unique and individual needs. For information about individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777