Meth and the Dangers of Polysubstance Abuse
Meth addiction is a complex disease with a lot of side effects, symptoms, and associated risks. In the past, communities, families, and friends refrained from talking about the subject for fear of bringing shame upon their loved ones, and themselves. But, since more research has been conducted on substance abuse, the emphasis has changed towards getting loved ones help and understanding their conditions.
This is great, but still many individuals do not understand why their loved ones choose you, and how they become addicted. Addiction is extremely complex, and can have many inciting factors, and it never looks the same in comparison from one individual to another. Some people suffer from only one type of drug addiction, and others suffer from polysubstance abuse.
Polysubstance abuse is defined as the misuse of multiple forms of illicit or prescription drugs / medications to obtain the goal of getting high. Typically, the drugs most commonly misused together are amphetamines, cocaine, alcohol, heroin, opiates, benzodiazepines, inhalants, hallucinogens, and cannabis. These drugs can be combined in any manner, mixed with no certain amount of each drug. Meth is commonly known to be used in polysubstance abuse circumstances in social drug use settings. Since the drug works very much like an amphetamine, it has the potential to be abused in such settings to stimulate feelings of euphoria, and heighten energy levels. Typically meth is known to be combined with the following substances:
- Other prescription drugs (to ease the come down)
- Vitamins (to help ease the come down and manage side effects / risks)
Polysubstance abuse is extremely dangerous because people are mixing chemicals and cresting chemical reactions they do not fully understand, in their own bodies. Mixing drugs like this can exaggerate the effects of each drug’s known symptoms (good and bad), make withdrawal even faster to occur, raise the risk of overdose, and can make treatment for the multiple disorders and addictions very difficult. Some of the most common meth and other substance combinations include:
- Mixing Meth and Heroin:
- Over the last decade or so, both heroin and meth use has increased. Typically injected together at the same time, the mixing of meth and heroin is referred to as a goof-ball, or speed-ball. There is still not much known about the effects of mixing heroin and meth, other than it creates a more intense rush, and may combine the overall side effects of meth and heroin. But, research has shown that those who mix meth and heroin are at higher risk for overdose, as well as at higher risk for contracting a number of blood borne pathogens.
- Mixing Meth and Cocaine:
- Often done in an attempt to prolong a euphoric high, mixing meth and cocaine is typically done in “social” drug settings where individuals go clubbing or get together for the exact purpose of using drugs together. Using meth and cocaine together can cause extreme stress on the body, especially the heart and mind, inducing increased anxiety, panic attacks, and potential heart problems in the user.
- Mixing Meth and Alcohol:
- When individuals mix alcohol and meth they are oftentimes looking to prolong or enhance the effects of their high. Substance users typically try to use meth in conjunction with alcohol to mask the depressing effects drinking can have, and sustain their high for longer. But, using meth in combination with alcohol can place enmours strain on the heart and mind, resulting in severe heart complications, increase th