Dangers Associated With Polysubstance Abuse
The term polysubstance abuse refers to the co-occurrence of multiple mental and substance use disorders. It is the consumption of more than one substance over a period of time that typically occurs with stimulant type drugs like Xanax, and is commonly associated with co-occurring mental health disorders.
Over 7.7 million adults in the U.S. suffer from co-occurring disorders and polysubstance abuse. The most dangerous aspect of polysubstance abuse is that the occurrence allows for multiple side effects to occur simultaneously from each disorder. So an individual who suffers from depression may drink to cope with their feelings, becoming addicted to alcohol as they continue to misuse it habitually and worsen their depression, thus turning to a drug like Xanax in an attempt to override their deep sadness and hopelessness, thus also becoming addicted to the drug as their misuse continues.
People who suffer from co-occurring disorders are likely to experience all of the worst effects of their drugs of choice at once, and at higher intensities, as the substances begin to interact with one another. This overlap can cause an individual to overdose on one or all of their substances in an attempt to escape these negative side effects, and can also make life-saving treatments and drug and alcohol rehab very difficult. Oftentimes, polysubstance abuse side effects begin to merge together, exaggerating the effects of one of the disorders and hiding the other behind those symptoms, which makes it extremely hard to diagnose.
Of course, with a little persistence and great attention to detail, it is possible for a doctor to identify and diagnose an individual with polysubstance abuse and a co-occurring disorder. Once they have been diagnosed, they can move on to withdrawal and treatment, but for individuals who suffer from polysubstance abuse, these treatment methods and tools normally take longer than normally advertised, as each co-occurring disorder must be treated simultaneously, but as separate issues. Individuals who suffer from polysubstance abuse disorders must attend treatment for longer periods of time, have more hands-on, supervised treatment sessions, and will need a medical staff that works closely together to plan their treatment carefully so that each disorder is treated simultaneously, but separately, and that one treatment method does not negatively impact another. Mixing Xanax with other types of substances can have disastrous effects.
Mixing Xanax and Heroin
Combining xanax and heroin produces a multitude of effects. The most prominent effects of which include a more potent, powerful high, as well as the heightened potential to experience life-threatening withdrawal effects and overdose. Although the main purpose noted for combining Xanax and heroin is for users to achieve a stronger, longer-lasting high, it has also been reported that using this combination of drugs to try and come down from highs on other types of drugs–or lessening the effects of withdrawal symptoms in a non-medical setting–is also popular.
Mixing xanax and heroin can have vastly different outcomes and lead to extremely dangerous situations, but the exact outcome is almost impossible to predict as both drugs may interact differently with each other (dependent on their purity and dose used), and may also interact with every individual differently than another.
Mixing Xanax and Cocaine
Mixing xanax and cocaine is extremely dangerous and can onset severe withdrawal symptoms, or cause an overdose. The use of these two stimulants together is extremely dangerous and can cause severe health complications in addition to raising the potential of experiencing acute withdrawal symptoms and overdose.
Individuals who mix Xanax and cocaine have a higher risk of developing and experiencing extreme cardiovascular (heart) issues, and may develop substance abuse induced psychosis that can cause them to misinterpret reality, and put themselves and others in danger. Even though these two substances are separately meant to make people feel at ease, and used in conjunction in an effort to intensify and lengthen a euphoric high, their combined use frequently inspires increased panic attacks and anxiety issues in individuals who mix Xanax and cocaine.
Mixing Xanax and Meth
The combination of xanax and meth use largely has the same effects and risk potential as the mixing of Xanax with cocaine. Meth (methamphetamine) is a central nervous system stimulant that when combined with Xanax often puts excessive strain on the heart, as Xanax tells the mind and body to calm and meth tells it to speed up.
This difference in signals from both drugs causes the heart to speed up its functions, increasing the individual’s heart rate and blood pressure, putting the user at risk to experience heart-related issues as well as increase the risk for them to overdose or develop potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.
Mixing Xanax and Alcohol
Both xanax and alcohol are considered to be substances that target the central nervous system. Although their initial effects stimulate feelings of well-being, euphoria, and energy, both substances are considered to be depressive in nature, helping to calm or sedate people when used correctly. But, when misused and used in conjunction with one another, Xanax and alcohol have devastating effects on the body. Individuals who combine Xanax and alcohol run the risk or slowing down their heart rate and breathing to a point where their heart or lungs cease working altogether, as well as run the risk of increasing their chances for fatal overdose, injuring others while they are intoxicated, increase their risk to experience a non-fatal overdose, and the potential of developing severe heart and lung-related health concerns. Mixing Xanax and alcohol can also cause a plethora of other health related issues, including building an individual’s tolerance to certain medicines.
Mixing Xanax and Fentanyl
More than 30% of overdoses involve both benzodiazepines and opioids. Xanax (a benzodiazepine) and fentanyl (a synthetic opioid) are also two drugs that are often misused in conjunction with one another, either in an attempt to prolong the effects of the high, or in an attempt to ease the effects of coming off of a high. Combining the use of Xanax and fentanyl (no matter in what manner or method) increases an individual’s risk for overdose. Other risks involved with mixing Xanax and fentanyl include–but are not limited to–developing or worsening mental health conditions, sleep issues, and suffering from heart-related complications.