Why Is It Common for Someone to Abuse More than One Drug?

If you ask someone what drug he or she uses, it is likely that you will receive more than one answer. A considerable number of people who abuse drugs use more than just one. They may take them separately or combine them for a stronger high. But when it comes down to it, abusing more than one drug is risky and can complicate addiction treatment.

The Appeal of Abusing Multiple Drugs

For many, curiosity is the stem of multiple drug abuse. Many people initially use a single drug that is thought to be less dangerous, such as marijuana or salvia. This opens the door to using other drugs. After experiencing the effects of the first drug, they may then be eager to know what other drugs are like. Eventually, for many people, stronger and stronger drugs are used.

Not everyone ventures into multiple drug abuse in this way, though. Many people get into it through the desire to achieve a stronger high. When increasing the dose of one drug does not work as expected, they may instead try combining more than one drug. This can lead to risky and unanticipated side effects.

The Risks of Multiple Drug Abuse

Because each drug has its own specific chemical properties, interactions between drugs can sometimes be unpredictable. However, some combinations are known to have specific and dangerous effects. The combination of cocaine and heroin, called a speedball, is a prime example of this. This combination of a stimulant and a depressant has a unique effect to which certain undesirable side effects are cancelled out. Unfortunately, this leads many speedball users to believe they can handle a larger dose, ultimately resulting in overdose and possible death.

Mixing depressants is also common among people who use multiple drugs. Depressants include substances like alcohol, opiates, barbiturates, benzodiazepines and sleeping pills. All of these substances can make breathing slower and shallower, which can cause serious damage in some cases. When large doses are used or when depressants are used together, this respiratory depression can progress to respiratory arrest, a condition where breathing ceases altogether. The result of this is damage to the body’s important organs and death if left untreated.

Using more than one stimulant at a time can also be dangerous, though for different reasons. Stimulants, like cocaine and ecstasy, put a great deal of pressure on the cardiovascular system. In large doses or when combined with one another, this can eventually lead to serious complications such as stroke or heart attack.

Treating Multiple Drug Addiction

When multiple drug abuse leads to multiple drug addiction, treatment is the best way to turn things around. However, those addicted to more than one substance should be aware that treatment may be more complicated than it would be for someone addicted to just one substance. Withdrawal symptoms may be more severe and therapy may need to be a little more intensive. Fortunately, recovery is still a very real and achievable goal for those addicted to more than one drug.

Get Help for Drug Addiction

Recovering from addiction can help you to find health and happiness in your life once again. Therefore, if you or a loved one has become addicted to drugs, please call our toll-free helpline today. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about drug addiction treatment.

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