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What Do I Do When I’m Addicted to More Than One Drug?

September 14, 2016 - , , - 0 Comments

Drug AddictionYour friends and family have started riding you about going to drug and alcohol rehab for your addiction. What they don’t know is that cocaine isn’t your only addiction. While getting alcohol and drug treatment for a single drug addiction seems overwhelming, getting help for multiple addictions becomes downright daunting. But, it is possible. In fact, the set-in-stone portrayal of an addict intensely craving one drug and one drug only just isn’t true for many people. It’s important to understand that while the features of addiction remain consistent, the manner in which those features express themselves varies across individuals. Just the same, the route to successful drug and alcohol rehab treatment is unique to the individual also.

There are two methods by which a person can become addicted to more than one drug. In the first case, a person goes into drug and alcohol treatment centers for recovery from, for example, cocaine and maintains sobriety for a time. However, when faced with certain triggers or stressors, the person relapses. Upon relapse, he starts abusing another stimulant, such as prescription medications for ADHD. This is called cross-addiction. Individuals with this issue may use another drug in the same class, become addicted to a new class of drugs, or develop a process addiction for shopping, gambling, food, or sex.

The second method by which a person comes to have more than one addiction is referred to as polysubstance dependence. This form of substance dependence happens when a person uses at least three different classes of drugs within a 12-month period without having any one qualify for dependence alone. For instance, a person abuses prescription pain killers, cocaine, and marijuana. The person does not fully meet the criteria for opiate dependence, cocaine dependence or cannabis dependence, but when all three substances are considered, he meets the criteria for polysubstance dependence.

Keep in mind the common warning signs of addiction that require drug and alcohol rehab:

  • Being unable to stop using despite negative consequences
  • Developing a tolerance to the drug requiring more and more to get the same effect
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you stop using or go too long without drugs
  • Neglecting activities that were once pleasurable to you
  • Feeling incapable of controlling your drug use

If either of the above-mentioned scenarios fits your case or you can spot the warning signs of addiction, it’s important to get drug and alcohol treatment right away.

It may be practical to start by confiding in someone you can trust. Be straightforward with this person, explaining that you have relapsed after leaving drug and alcohol rehab or have become dependent on several different drugs at once.

Request that this person accompany you to a doctor’s visit where you can receive a referral for drug and alcohol treatment centers. Your doctor will conduct an assessment of your symptoms and a formal screening to learn more about your addiction so that he or she can provide the best recovery treatment possible. If you are relapsing, you may already have a network of providers from drug and alcohol rehab available whom you can contact.

Drug and alcohol treatment for multiple addictions is determined case-by-case with your treatment providers considering all the variables of your situation before deciding on a course of treatment. Depending on the severity of your addiction, you may be admitted to an inpatient drug and alcohol rehab facility in order for doctors and nurses to monitor your health as you experience withdrawal symptoms after stopping the drug(s).  It is also likely that you will have to participate in some form of outpatient drug and alcohol rehab treatment, including counseling, medical monitoring, and group therapy.

Don’t be discouraged by relapse. Rates of relapse with addiction are comparable to relapse in other chronic conditions like diabetes or hypertension. Just because you fall off the horse, you do not have to unpack and stay there. Drug and alcohol treatment for addiction, especially multiple addictions, involves modifying long-term behavior patterns and developing an entirely new set of healthy lifestyle habits. This process takes time. But, with commitment, adequate drug and alcohol rehab recovery treatment, and a support system, you can overcome cross-addiction or polysubstance dependence.

His House Rehab offers industry leading Drug Addiction Treatment Programs. We were founded in 1994 and we base our Drug and Alcohol Treatment programs on five key principles: commitment, honesty, integrity, respect, and service. These five principles guide us in all that we do and all the care we provide. Contact us today to see how we can help you or your loved one at (888) 681-4594.

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