Addiction Definition: Multiple Substance Abuse

Written by Chloe Nicosia

What Is Multiple Substance Abuse?

The first question many people ask when they hear the term multiple substance abuse or polysubstance abuse is: what is it? It sounds as if it’s the abuse of one specific drug, but it’s actually the abuse of multiple drugs. The exact polysubstance definition is using one or more drugs within a period of at least a year or 12 months. Specifically, the user may use one or more drugs at different times or simultaneously. The drugs may be used for recreational purposes, or they may be used therapeutically. Most of the time, multiple substance abuse refers to the use of illicit drugs such as heroin or cocaine, but in the sense that we are talking about, multiple substance abuse may also refer to the of use and abuse of prescription opioid painkiller medications such as Vicodin or ketamine.

Polysubstance abuse signs and symptoms

Polysubstance abuse signs and symptoms are basically the same as the signs and symptoms for other drugs. In general, it will also depend on which drugs the individual is using as signs and symptoms vary from drug to drug. When two or more drugs are used together, this may cause different symptoms to appear as well. But it’s essential to know which drugs are being used first in order to know what those unique symptoms would be.

With that being said, it is still possible to note some of the common signs and symptoms of substance abuse. They are as follows:

  • Lying and stealing
  • Trouble with the law
  • Trouble at work or school: loss of placement at school or loss of a job
  • A disheveled appearance and an overall lack of hygiene
  • Sleeping disturbances, such as sleeping too much or too little or sleeping at odd times
  • Unexplained financial charges
  • Being sick all the time
  • Unexplained and sudden weight loss
  • A change in social circles
  • A lack of interest in once important hobbies and activities

Co-occurring Mood or Mental Health Disorders

It is not uncommon for those who are struggling with multiple substance abuse to also be struggling with a coexisting mood or mental health disorder, such as bipolar disorder or chronic depression. Often, individuals attempt to self-medicate these conditions with multiple drugs.

Detox for Multiple Substance Abuse and Addiction

Only professional rehab can help you stop abusing multiple substances. Rehab begins with detox, which helps the individual get off their drugs of choice. It ends with thorough and intensive counseling and therapy.

Better Addiction Care Can Help

At Better Addiction Care, we answer commonly asked questions about what the polysubstance definition is and how multiple substance abuse works, and we also address other questions concerning substance abuse problems and addictions. In addition to being a powerful resource for those who are going through addiction, we also connect individuals to treatment centers that can help them recover from any type of addiction.

Once we talk with you, we’ll get an idea of what your situation is, we’ll learn about your substance abuse history or the substance abuse history and addiction past of your loved one, and we’ll find a treatment center that matches your needs. We are the number one resource for those who are struggling with addictions of any kind.

Let us know how we can help you today by giving us a call at 1.800.429.7690.