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

Why Is it Common for Someone to Abuse More than One Drug?Addiction is a complicated physical and psychological disorder that is often connected to other emotional problems. Many addicts suffer from at least one other co-occurring psychological problem, and they may also abuse more than one drug at a time. Alcohol, cocaine, opiates, marijuana, amphetamine and benzodiazepines all provide short-term relief to the following disorders:

  • Depression
  • Panic attacks
  • Personality disorders
  • Psychosis
  • Paranoia
  • Rage
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Compulsive behavioral habits
  • Bipolar disorder

People may abuse multiple substances for a range of reasons.

Changing Drugs Due to Tolerance

The body develops a tolerance to most addictive substances, which means people will need larger or more frequent doses to feel the same relief. Some people begin abusing strong drugs, like OxyContin, but they move on to even stronger substances, like morphine or even heroin, once they become tolerant to such painkillers. Adding different substances together is also common when users become tolerant of a substance. For instance, alcohol is commonly added to opiates or benzodiazepines to heighten the high.

Switching Substances Due to Access Issues

Some people switch from one drug to another because access to their drugs of choice becomes limited. For instance, a local supply of marijuana might be disrupted, which may send pot smokers to seek synthetic drugs or hard liquor. For several years many heroin addicts moved to cheaper prescription painkillers, but medication addicts are now switching to heroin since the street price of painkillers has gone up. Cocaine addicts may move to crack, or crystal meth, when they can no longer afford the highly refined version of the drug.

Some People Just Need to Be High

The truth about most substance abuse is that addicts are self-medicating psychological pain with whatever substance they can use. While they might start out drinking or using pills, they may ultimately use anything that provides relief. Once someone uses at least 3 different substances to get high on a regular basis, she is considered a polysubstance addict.

24 Hour Addiction Help

The underlying principles of addiction recovery are the same regardless of drug type, but multiple drug abusers must detox carefully. The most successful treatment plans include medically supervised detox, during which doctors can carefully monitor withdrawal symptoms to relieve many of the worst symptoms. These programs go on to offer psychological rehab through the following techniques:

  • Personal counseling and diagnosis
  • 12-Step group meetings when appropriate
  • Group counseling meetings
  • Education
  • Coping skill development
  • Meditation, prayer, yoga or other spiritual practices

The most important aspect of addiction recovery is holistic treatment for emotional and physical health. If you would like more information about polysubstance abuse, or if you would like to be connected to the best treatment program for your specific needs, then please call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline anytime. The call is confidential, and there are no strings attached, so call now for instant support.