Poly-drug addiction is substance dependency of two or more drugs and/or alcohol.
Addiction to numerous substances and/or alcohol is the rule not the exception. Poly-drug use serves four main functions:
- Self medicating to minimize the effects of co-occurring psychiatric disorders;
- Combining drugs to increase the “high”;
- Mixing drugs to minimize negative effects of other substances;
- Prolonging or mimicking sought after drug effects.
Alcohol + Marijuana Can Be Lethal
Alcohol and marijuana in combination with other Central Nervous System Depressants such as Prescription Opioids and Prescription Sedatives including benzodiazepines, barbiturates and sleep medications CAN BE LETHAL, and are involved in most overdose and drug related deaths in the United States.
These two substances are:
- Commonly used to self medicate psychiatric disorders;
- Recognized as the most commonly abused substances;
- Gateway drugs into abuse and addiction to other drugs;
- Most often part of the “mix’ of substances in Poly-Drug Dependency.
Lethal Consequences of Poly-Drug Use
In memory of Whitney Houston
- Overdose on benzodiazepines alone is rare, but the combination of a large dose of benzodiazepines and a large dose of alcohol and or an opioid drug can result in respiratory deaths.
- Cocaine in combination with alcohol leads to heart attack and stroke (coco- ethylene metabolite) and chronic heart and liver toxicity.
- Combined use of cocaine, Crystal Meth, and prescription stimulants or energy drinks can causes), seizures, stroke and heart attacks.
- Ecstasy in combination with alcohol results in body temperature dysregulation(severe feves) and dehydration resulting in death.
ARCH Diagnosis and Treatment
- ARCH’s evaluation begins with a Comprehensive Diagnostic Assessment led by our Addiction Psychiatrists focusing on Poly-Drug Addiction, Dual Diagnosis, and Co-occurring Medical Disorders. Our patients will:
- Be interviewed by our Psychologists and/or Behavioral Therapist;
- Complete a series of validated psychiatric diagnostic screens;
- Complete diagnostic laboratory tests helpful in diagnosing addiction and co-occurring psychiatric illness;
- Have an Individualized Recovery Plan designed to address poly-drug use.
Treatment Minimizes Poly-Drug Addiction Risks of:
- Drug Overdose;
- Substance related deaths such as auto accidents, violence and suicide;
- Recovery program drop out;
- Poor recovery outcomes;
- Co-occurring Medical and Substance Use Disorders;
- Drug Relapse.
“Cognitive Effects of Poly-drug Abuse”; Rosselli & Alrdila Jan 08 2008
Poly-drug Addictions are associated with significantly impaired short-term memory, attention, and thought processing;
Poly-substance users exhibited significant differences from non users in the following personal and family areas:
- Depression and anxiety traits;
- Self-aggression and lack of fear in childhood;
- Family history of substance dependency;
- Difficulties with interpersonal relationships.