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Polydrug Abuse: What It Is & Why We’re Concerned?



In the pursuit of happiness and pleasure, people often turn to drugs. However, when you combine two or more substances, it can result in serious problems that go beyond just drug abuse.

In this post, we’re going to discuss what polydrug abuse is and how it can affect your life. 

We’ll also touch on some warning signs and resources for getting help if you or someone you love is addicted to multiple drugs.


Table of Contents

What is polydrug abuse?

Polydrug abuse is a pattern of drug use that involves the consumption of two or more drugs at the same time. 

The drugs involved may be prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, or illegal substances.

The most common combination for polydrug abuse is alcohol and marijuana—also known as “pothead” or “stoner”—but it can include both legal and illegal substances. 

Under this category are often included tobacco, caffeine, and other prescription painkillers along with heroin and methamphetamine (meth).


Polydrug use is common, especially among teens and young adults

Polydrug use—the concurrent use of multiple drugs—is common. In fact, “polydrug users are more likely to be older and have serious mental health problems than single substance users”. 

But it’s not just adults who engage in polydrug use; teens and young adults also do so at a higher rate than older adults.

While most people think of alcohol as being the gateway drug, reports show that marijuana is used before alcohol by most teens and young adults. 

And while this may seem like good news, it’s not: Teens who try pot before drinking alcohol are significantly more likely to develop an addiction problem later in life. 

The same effect seems true for opioids—even if you don’t become addicted after taking prescription painkillers for an injury or surgery, your risk for addiction increases when you begin using heroin or other street drugs as well.


The Dangers of Polydrug Abuse

Drug abuse is a growing problem in the United States and around the world. Americans are using more drugs than ever before, and they’re mixing them with alarming frequency.

Polydrug abuse—the use of multiple substances at once—can have serious effects on your health and well-being. Mixing drugs can raise your risk for overdose, addiction, drug interactions, and other health problems. 

Polydrug abuse is one of the leading causes of death among young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 in America today.


Why Are We Concerned?

While the use of multiple drugs is not inherently dangerous, it is a concern because these combinations can be dangerous and even fatal. 

Drug interactions vary depending on the specific substance and chemical makeup of each drug, but some general dangers arise when mixing drugs.

First and foremost, mixing alcohol with other substances—whether they’re legal or illegal—can be deadly. 

Alcohol suppresses your breathing reflexes and lowers blood pressure, making it hard for your body to deal with any added effects from other drugs that may slow or stop your heart rate as well.

Additionally, some substances have different effects depending on how much you take in at once (or even how often). 

For example: when taken orally (swallowed), marijuana has less euphoric properties than when smoked; however, if taken intravenously (through an IV drip), its effects are far stronger due to direct absorption into the bloodstream before heading through the digestive system where it could be broken down by stomach acids into less potent components before entering circulation again.


Solutions To Polydrug Abuse

If you or someone you care about is struggling with polydrug abuse, there are many ways to seek help. Some of the most effective methods include:

  • Rehabilitation centers. These programs focus on treating substance use disorders in a safe environment where addicts can focus on recovery without being overwhelmed by everyday stresses and concerns.
  • Treatment centers. This type of program usually involves detoxification, counseling, and therapy sessions that help individuals learn how to manage their addiction in their daily lives to avoid relapse once they’ve completed treatment. They may also offer aftercare services, such as sober living communities or sober houses for those who have completed rehab but still need support before returning home or entering back into society as a recovered addict.
  • Support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous meetings where members share their struggles with alcohol abuse and recovery with one another at regular meetings led by trained facilitators who know what it takes not just survive but thrive through this difficult process.”


Summary: Polydrug use is common, especially among teens and young adults

Polydrug use is common, especially among teens and young adults. Polydrug use is when you take two or more drugs at the same time. 

For example, if you mix alcohol with other drugs like marijuana or cocaine, that’s polydrug abuse. 

It’s important to know that polydrug abuse can lead to other serious problems besides addiction.

When you combine different substances in your body, it increases the risk of overdose because there are more chemicals in your system than usual

—and some of them might be interacting with one another in ways that could cause an overdose effect. 

Overdose is a medical emergency, so it’s important to call 911 right away if you suspect someone has overdosed on one or more drugs they used together (or even just one drug).



The idea of polydrug abuse might seem like a bit much, but it’s becoming a more common trend. 

People are using substances in combination to create different effects. For example, many people who use opioids also take benzodiazepines and other drugs to either help them get high or ease their anxiety about using opioids.

The problem with polydrug abuse is that it can lead to serious complications for your health and well-being. Combining drugs can have unpredictable results on both the mind and body. 

Plus, it can be dangerous because there’s no way of knowing how each substance will affect the other when used together at once (or even over time).


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