When people think of combining substances, they often think of alcohol and party drugs like gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB). This combination is an example of polysubstance abuse, and understanding the dangers of this type of substance abuse is essential for anyone seeking recovery from addiction. Call 717.969.9126 to speak with someone from Recovery Ranch PA about party drugs, the side effects of GHB and alcohol abuse, the dangers of polysubstance abuse, and what to expect from substance abuse treatment.
What Is Polysubstance Abuse?
Polysubstance abuse occurs when an individual uses multiple drugs or alcohol to enhance or prolong the effects of one substance. Common combinations include the following:
- Benzodiazepines and opioids
- Cocaine and marijuana
- Prescription pills and alcohol
Polysubstance abuse is extremely common among individuals struggling with addiction. Many times people combine substances to counteract the adverse side effects of one drug while still maintaining the desired high from another drug or alcohol. For example, someone may take a stimulant such as cocaine to increase energy levels, followed by marijuana to offset any anxiety caused by cocaine use. Similarly, someone may drink large amounts of alcohol to decrease their inhibitions before taking GHB to enhance the desired effects from both substances further.
However, the mixture of GHB and alcohol is one of the most dangerous combinations. GHB is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant once used medically as an anesthetic agent but has since been banned due to its high potential for abuse. It has been popularized as a party drug due to its euphoric effects when taken in large doses.
What Are the Side Effects of GHB and Alcohol Abuse?
There are many potential GHB and alcohol side effects, including the following:
- Impaired judgment
- Loss of consciousness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Slowed breathing rate
In severe cases, combining GHB and alcohol can even result in coma or death. GHB is also known as a date rape drug because it can be slipped into someone’s alcoholic drink and cause them to become unconscious or disoriented.
Long-term abuse can also lead to physical dependence on both substances, making it difficult for someone to stop using without professional help. In addition to these risks associated with polysubstance abuse, other dangers can occur—such as an increased risk of overdose or withdrawal symptoms when stopping use abruptly after prolonged periods using either substance alone or in combination with each other. These dangers highlight the need for professional help if you or a loved one believe that you’ve consumed GHB mixed with alcohol unknowingly or if a polysubstance abuse problem has developed.
What to Expect from Substance Abuse Treatment
Substance abuse treatment can help individuals struggling with abuse or addiction break free from their addictions to live healthier lives free from dependency on drugs or alcohol. Programs for substance abuse treatment typically consist of the following:
- Detoxification – The process of removing toxins from the body
- Therapy – Individual, group, or family therapy sessions to address underlying issues related to substance use and abuse
- Support groups – A way for individuals in recovery to build connections with other people in similar situations
- Aftercare planning – Assistance in creating an aftercare plan to prevent relapse when treatment is complete
If you or someone you know is struggling with polysubstance abuse, contact Recovery Ranch PA for more information about our programs and how we can help. Our professional team is here to provide the support and resources you need for successful long-term recovery.
Find Substance Abuse Treatment at Recovery Ranch PA
At Recovery Ranch PA, we offer comprehensive substance abuse treatment programs to meet each client’s needs. Our team will provide personalized care throughout every step of your journey toward sobriety, so you have all the tools necessary for success after completing our program. If you’d like more information about how we could help treat your polysubstance abuse problem, contact Recovery Ranch PA today at 717.969.9126.