Polysubstance Abuse Signs and Symptoms

Polysubstance Abuse Signs and Symptoms

Learn More: What are the polysubstance abuse signs and symptoms, and what kind of treatment is available for someone that struggles with it

Have you wondered what it is like to abuse several different drugs, during a particular period of time? You may be able to recognize polysubstance abuse signs and symptoms if you know exactly what to look for. Not everyone knows what is polysubstance abuse or how to treat it, so... In order to understand these concepts, let's look at what they actually mean.

What is polysubstance abuse? It refers to the use and abuse of 2 or more drugs, simultaneously or at different times, during a particular period of time - usually 10 to 12 months. The consumption of these drugs is not only therapeutic, but also recreational, and it includes consumption of illegal drugs and alcohol. In other words, what is polysubstance abuse can be described as the usage of any variety of drugs, with therapeutic or recreational purposes, and mixed to prolong the effects of the high.

It is believed that, a person suffering from polysubstance dependence or abuse, is a person who is psychologically addicted to the effects that come from drug usage, without having a particular preference to any one substance, which makes the practice extremely dangerous. Polysubstance abuse signs and symptoms will - therefore - be those associated with those arising from common drug use.

The most obvious polysubstance abuse signs and symptoms affect the behavior of the abuser. This will often be:

  • Increased irritability
  • Severe mood swings
  • Inexplicable aggression
  • Agitation
  • Depression
  • Dramatic changes in sleeping, eating and daily habits
  • Isolation and changes in family dynamic
  • Uncommon and strange behavior (financial problems, lying, sneaking around, stealing, etc.)
  • Violent and/or abusive episodes

In addition, medical research shows that polysubstance abusers are at greater risk of psychiatric comorbidity - or suffering from a dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorders. This is caused by presence of higher level of psychological and emotional distress, and the stronger prevalence of symptoms of anxiety and depression.

This leads to a vicious cycle, where a person takes one drug to alleviate the emotional symptoms, going to the point of almost crashing, and taking another drug to recover the high or prolong the effects of the original one, trying to avoid the feelings of distress or depression.

While all of these factors help to explain what is polysubstance abuse, a question still remains: is there polysubstance abuse treatment available? And, is it effective? Polysubstance abuse treatment is available and highly effective, because it works under the same modalities as any other drug abuse treatment program.

The first step into any polysubstance abuse treatment program will always be detoxification. Detox can be more complex, because of the mixture of substances the person has been abusing, and different tests may be required to determine which type of process should be implemented. However, detoxification can be achieved and a person can regain its natural chemical balance, and be ready for the therapeutic part of the program.

In the case of a polysubstance abuse treatment, the recommendation is to rely on the services of an inpatient facility. This provides the around-the-clock care and supervision that could be extremely useful in treating polysubstance abusers. Amongst the therapeutic modalities that work under a polysubstance abuse treatment program, patients may engage in cognitive-behavioral therapy, contingency management, 12-steps programs, family therapy and support groups.

Depending on the case, medication may also be useful to treat certain symptoms and ease out withdrawal from some of the abused drugs. The important thing is to understand that treating polysubstance abuse requires the support and guidance of experts that will be able to help you recover and regain control of your life. If you are trying to find a facility that offers polysubstance abuse help, we can help. Call us right now at (804) 441-9980.

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