What is Polysubstance Abuse?

What is Polysubstance Abuse?

 Anyone can be addicted to substances at any point in their life journey. Drugs and alcohol do not interact well, no matter what the drug. It can create a perfect storm of challenges for people with pre-existing conditions, including health problems that require medical attention. Some substances interact negatively with others, which has a negative impact on a person’s lifestyle, relationships, and overall well-being.

Risks and Complications

When polysubstance abuse is present, treatment is the best goal to help the person live a fulfilling life. Understanding the impact can improve the outcome in the event of an overdose. Complications from polysubstance abuse disorder may include:

  • Use of addictive drugs long-term that increases the chances of addiction to another drug
  • Challenges with overdose treatment
  • Adverse interactions with other substances
  • Withdrawal due to detox from multiple substances

Diagnosis is key to getting the right help. When someone is diagnosed properly, medication and therapeutic support can be provided.


A diagnosis can come more formal support and help for people who struggle with polysubstance use disorder. This may include:

  • Tolerance for higher amounts of substances across the board
  • Time spent looking at and dealing with finding drugs
  • Giving up or quitting hobbies and important things to that person
  • Withdrawal from the drug, including symptoms that are a result of trying to prevent withdrawal
  • Cannot stop in spite of attempts to quit

Oftentimes, the drugs that people use in combination include opiates, marijuana, inhalants, amphetamines, and hallucinogens. Cocaine, alcohol, and opiates are often used together. Any combination of these is dangerous and risky but there are other options for polysubstance treatment.

Finding Help

People often fight addiction alone, only to realize they are not completely in the fight by themselves. When more than one substance is being used, the recovery rate for this is difficult. There are many ways to seek help. Disclosing all drugs and alcohol use upfront is key to finding healing. This helps ease the person into rehab and recovery so they can find the right support. Connecting people to resources, with the right guidance, can be the best thing for a loved one who struggles with this disorder. 

When you feel like you cannot go any further, we will be your last stop on the way to healing. Our rehab center focuses on your recovery with individual plans designed to help you navigate polysubstance use disorder, alcoholism, or any other addiction and mental health issue you face. We are located in beautiful Laguna Beach. Call us to find out how we can help you navigate addiction recovery: 888-981-4295