Author: Charles Frank

Polysubstance Use During Pregnancy

polysubstance addiction

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances. Whether intentional or not, mixing drugs is never safe because the effects from combining drugs may be stronger and more unpredictable than one drug alone, and even deadly. The Päihdelinkki online service maintained by the A-Clinic Foundation contains information on intoxicant abuse and addictions. Some of the AddictionLink services are also available in Swedish, English and Russian.

The risk of overdosing is higher when using multiple substances, especially when one of them is an opioid. Depending on the type of drug, the effect on the body can vary. Polysubstance use can make it difficult for someone to be consistent with treatment.

People with alcohol use disorder also need to be aware of liver damage when combining with medications like Indocin. Many drug combinations occur in people who use alcohol and other street drugs while taking prescription medication. Studies of polysubstance use with this combination find increased death rates, with 20% or more of people who died found to be using both drug types. Both drugs act on areas of the brain that cause them to suppress a person’s ability to breathe, with a stronger effect when taken together. Mixing these substances can prove lethal, or cause strokes and other serious health issues. Studies note that some combinations can lead to additional drug use, including heroin use that follows sedative use.

Working closely with a treatment team will determine the best approach. In the event of an overdose or medical emergency, call 911 immediately. If you know or think someone is struggling with addiction, ask them if you can help. Your concern might be just what they need to start their recovery journey, and your support could make all the difference in their success. It may be hard to tell whether a person is high or experiencing an overdose.

Healthcare providers can help you make decisions about treatment programs. The goal is to help you decrease or stop taking the substances. Individuals who use multiple substances have a higher risk of developing health problems, experiencing a decline in mental health, and overdose or death. Substance use treatment can help people reduce and stop their behavior.

polysubstance addiction

PUD includes use of a drug such as cocaine or misuse of alcohol, tobacco, or a prescription medicine such as opioids. A mental health professional will conduct an evaluation to get a sense of the patient’s mental health and substance use history. This information can also help a healthcare provider and patient determine the best approach to treatment.

Cognitive behavioral therapy

Generally, people should not take stimulants (like Adderall) with other substances unless directed by their healthcare provider. Antihistamine drugs should also be avoided with others that slow or suppress breathing, including opioids and alcohol. Research suggests that the use of more than one substance, also known as polysubstance use, during pregnancy is common.

Additionally, various diseases and disorders are more common in those who abuse multiple substances. For example, chronic diseases, such as hepatitis C, are often seen in heavy drinkers who inject drugs, and tobacco smokers who use cocaine are more at risk for heart attack. Sometimes you instinctively know something isn’t quite right with a friend, a family member or colleague. You suspect potential drug or alcohol use but you feel helpless and don’t know how to approach the subject. In this article, we’ll give you some important information about what is called polysubstance dependence, signs to look for, and how you can help.

polysubstance addiction

This includes when two or more are taken together or within a short time period, either intentionally or unintentionally. If you have question or are still unsure how to handle a dependence problem, please reach out to us. Bradford Health offers a no-cost consultation and in-patient and outpatient programs, as well as specialized treatment for medical workers, first responders and the military. We ask questions, listen carefully, gather information, and make recommendations to patients and their families free of charge. These brain changes explain why quitting is so difficult, even when an addicted person feels ready.

Comorbidity of mental disorders

Sociocultural causes can be divided into social causes and cultural causes. Mixing stimulants and depressants doesn’t balance or cancel them out. In fact, the results of combining drugs are unpredictable, often modifying or even masking the effects of one or both drugs. This may trick you into thinking that the drugs are not affecting you, making it easier to overdose. The use of more than one drug, also known as polysubstance use, is common.

Relapse is serious and, depending on the situation, can increase the risk of health problems and overdose. One study of 2,016 intoxicated drivers tested for substance use found that 5.6% used both alcohol and cocaine. To complicate matters, many individuals use multiple substances. The sociocultural causes are areas in a person’s life that might have influenced their decision to start and continue using multiple substances.

More research is needed to understand the possible effects from exposure to multiple substances compared to one substance during pregnancy. Your healthcare provider will ask about the substances, and how much you take. Blood or urine tests may be used to check the levels in your system. The tests can also check for physical problems the substances may cause. Treatment may be offered in a hospital, outpatient facility, or drug rehabilitation center.

  1. Seek treatment at an A-Clinic through the intoxicant abuse services (päihdepalvelut) of your area of residence.
  2. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have concerns about polysubstance abuse or questions about how prescribed medications might interact with alcohol or other substances.
  3. This information could help explain the effects of prenatal polysubstance use compared to the effects of each individual substance.

We recommend you spend some time educating yourself about dependence and then calmly talk to your friend or loved one. Emphasize to them that it takes a lot of courage to seek help for a drug problem and that there is a lot of hard work ahead, but you will be there to help however you can. There is a great deal of scientific evidence that treatment works, and people recover every day. Like other chronic diseases, addiction can be managed successfully.

What are the signs of Polysubstance Dependence?

For instance, it’s imperative to identify whether substance use disorders will be treated concurrently or independently, and what other professionals may be part of the care team. Taking drugs or combining them can aggravate mental health symptoms and make them worse. This includes using substances on top of prescription medications for mental health conditions. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have concerns about polysubstance abuse or questions about how prescribed medications might interact with alcohol or other substances.

Polysubstance abuse refers to the use of multiple substances, including drugs and alcohol, often at the same time or within a short period. Polysubstance abuse can increase the risk of addiction, overdose, and other negative health outcomes. It’s important to seek help from a healthcare professional if you or someone you know is struggling with polysubstance abuse. Sometimes, a person doesn’t have just one “drug of choice.” They may use several different substances at different times. This addiction to any kind of high is called “polysubstance dependence,” and the term refers to people addicted to intoxication itself, with no particular drug of choice. It can be alcohol, marijuana, heroin, opioids, prescription medication or a combination of all of the above – the user wants anything that creates an intoxicated state. provides accurate and independent information on more than 24,000 prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Data sources include Micromedex (updated 3 Mar 2024), Cerner Multum™ (updated 4 Feb 2024), ASHP (updated 12 Feb 2024) and others.