Recognizing and Treating Polysubstance Abuse


It is common for those who use substances to use more than one at a time, known as polysubstance abuse. Treatment for multiple substances is more tedious than treating addiction to a single, particular drug. However, there are many techniques for treating polysubstance abuse. There are several reasons someone may engage in using multiple substances, such as genetics. Some people are exposed to multiple substance use somewhere in their childhood. A parent’s substance use can influence how their children see substance use and contribute to developing substance use disorder (SUD). There are also social factors that play into polysubstance abuse. Many teens engage in polysubstance abuse to experiment with drugs or as a result of peer pressure. However, they are not mature enough to use proper risk assessment when using multiple substances, nor do they possess adequate drug interaction knowledge.


Proper detox is essential for addressing polysubstance abuse as the withdrawal symptoms vary in severity. In inpatient detox programs, patients are monitored at all hours with regular checks on their vital signs. If necessary, a doctor may provide medicines to ease the severity of withdrawal symptoms such as nausea or depression. Due to the unpredictability of withdrawal from multiple substances, medical monitoring is always needed. Furthermore, the support and encouragement given in medical detox decrease the likelihood of a patient’s relapse and increase the chances of successful withdrawal from substances.


After detox, a user may require more inpatient treatment to deal with their addiction. The key to successful treatment is that it is tailored to the individual’s needs. If a person uses substances to self-medicate a psychological disorder, that issue needs to be addressed in treatment, or their risk of relapse increases. It is not uncommon for treatments to be restructured during the process. This is because new issues might arise, or a person may become more motivated through the process. It is vital to research a facility before choosing to seek treatment to see what experience they have with treating polysubstance use. 


Discovering motives behind substance use, regardless of the specific substances, is critical to the recovery process. It is not sufficient to treat only one problem and leave the other unattended. If a person’s substance use is linked to their mental illnesses, they may not remain sober on their own, as their risk of relapse may be increased. We are here to help. Our recovery specialists at Avalon Malibu find that simultaneously treating these disorders is the best practice for treatment. We combine evidence-based mental health therapies and effective addiction treatments to provide you with comprehensive care supported by an integration of mind, body, and spirit. Our staff will help you overcome the habits that do not benefit you while giving you the resources to prevent relapses.  We are here to help you heal from polysubstance abuse and live a sober life. Call us now at (844) 857-5992 to learn more about how we treat polysubstance abuse. 

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