When used together, drugs and alcohol either heighten or reduce their effects. This interaction of substances in the body can cause severe side effects or lead to overdose. The dangers of mixing substances are often unknown to users, who either experiment with different substances or combine them unknowingly.
People who use prescription medications such as benzodiazepines or opioids often take them at the same time as alcohol or marijuana, not realizing that they can cause devastating side effects or a lethal overdose. Addiction treatment programs in Massachusetts provide extensive treatment for polysubstance abuse and addiction.
Why Do People Mix Drugs?
In spite of the dangers of mixing substances, people mix drugs for a variety of reasons, including:
A More Powerful Euphoria
One of the motivators of mixing drugs is to get as high as possible. Regardless of the drug, users and developers try to maximize its effect for as long as possible. This endless pursuit of the ultimate euphoric sensation causes people to combine almost any type of drug.
The Body’s Tolerance to the Effects of Drugs
All drugs are potent at first. As a person continues to consume a drug, its potency starts to wear off. This is because the central nervous system develops a tolerance to the drugs. A person may combine two or more substances to maintain the same feeling they experienced at the beginning.
Unaware of the Dangers of Combining Drugs
Part of the purpose of substance abuse treatment programs is educating clients on what it is they are consuming. Most people do not realize that the prescription medication, illicit drugs, or alcohol they are taking put them at risk of side effects or overdose. They are also unaware of how dangerous it is to combine these substances.
What Are the Dangers of Mixing Substances?
Mixing substances can lead to a wide range of side effects, including:
- Heart problems
- Stroke or heart attack
- Anxiety or depression
- Risky or dangerous behavior
At most, the side effects of combining substances are unpredictable, leading to long-term health problems or fatality. For instance, depressants such as Xanax or valium combined with alcohol can cause memory loss, dizziness, or a slowed central nervous system. Combined stimulants lead to a rapid increase in heart rate or blood pressure, as well as impaired judgment and lack of coordination.
When someone does not know what is in their drugs, they may be caught by surprise or inadvertently drink while taking prescription medication. Likewise, when someone combines drugs intentionally, they mistakenly believe that it will result in a more pleasurable experience. However, the reality is that the combination creates a higher risk of injury or fatality.
Drug Addiction and Treatment
A chronic drug user eventually becomes addicted to the substance, abusing multiple drugs at once over long periods. This level of polysubstance abuse requires extensive treatment from an inpatient rehab center in Massachusetts. A treatment center provides an array of treatment and programs such as:
- Medical detox center
- Evidence-based treatment
- Holistic care
- Individual, family, and group therapy
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Aftercare programs
Treatment begins with detox. The initial period involves cleaning multiple drugs out of the body while going through withdrawal symptoms. Once detox is complete, a client goes through a comprehensive assessment to determine what type of treatment is best. Dual diagnosis offers assessment and treatment for all addiction and any mental disorders. Aftercare programs allow an individual to continue their treatment and support after rehab is complete.
Polysubstance Abuse Treatment at Washburn House
Learn more about the dangers of mixing substances at Washburn House. We provide comprehensive care for all types of addiction at our drug rehab center in Massachusetts. Contact us by calling 855.298.3104 to find out more about your treatment options.