Poly-Substance Addiction Treatment


What is Polysubstance Addiction?


Poly-substance addiction is the term we use to describe multiple addictions occurring at once.

It can include many different combinations of addictions to alcohol, prescription drugs, or illicit drugs.

For some people, poly-substance abuse can be accidental.

For example, you may have a drink or two before realizing that you should not be mixing alcohol with your prescription pills.

However, poly-substance abuse is more commonly intentional.

Many people will abuse multiple substances to achieve greater effects.

But. this practice also increases the potential for negative side effects and poly-substance addiction.

Our poly-substance addiction treatment program can help.

Immediate Placement in Drug and Alcohol Rehab

Understanding Poly-Substance Addiction 

In addition to the potential for known negative side effects, combining substances can also lead to unpredictable consequences.

If you are abusing multiple substances at once, it is impossible to predict which of the range of possible negative consequences will follow.

It is also impossible to predict the severity of these consequences.

But we have long known that combining substances often leads to increased risks of fatal and non-fatal overdoses, accidents, comas, and long-term health consequences.

Increased side effect severity, acute health problems, and mental health complications are also common.

Additionally, poly-substance addiction is linked to escalating economic and social costs.

Consequences like damaged relationships, criminal activities, increased healthcare costs, and loss of work becomes more likely with each additional substance.

Drug addiction is one of the largest public health problems, creating an annual financial burden totaling $740 billion.

Abusing multiple substances opens the door to a variety of negative possibilities.

Polysubstance Addiction Treatment Emerald Isle - An individual who is struggling with poly-substance addiction is smoking marijuana and having a beer as the individual contemplates poly-substance addiction treatment.

Singular Addiction to Poly-Substance Addiction

The transition from one substance use disorder to poly-substance addiction can occur swiftly.

Having one substance use disorder increases your susceptibility to developing a dependence on additional substances.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information, which focuses on researching and reporting on biomedical and genomic information, has drawn the following parallels for us:

  • The increased risk of developing heroin dependence is twofold for alcohol misusers.
  • The increased risk of developing heroin dependence is threefold for cannabis users.
  • The increased risk of developing heroin dependence is 15-fold for cocaine users.
  • The increased risk of developing heroin dependence is 40-fold for prescription misusers.

Mental Illness and Polysubstance Addiction

One of the most troubling concerns in this area is the link between polysubstance addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders.

Rates of mental health disorders tend to increase as the number of substance abuse disorders increases.

This means that individuals with poly-substance addictions are more vulnerable to troubling mental health disorders.

Co-occurring disorders, or dual diagnoses, are complicated but treatable conditions.

Consider poly-substance addiction treatment at Emerald Isle Health and Recovery, where our experts will help you find that freedom from addiction.

Effects and Abuse

Common Poly-Substance Addiction Combinations

Alcohol is often involved in poly-substance addictions.

It is often combined with either illicit or prescription drugs to seek a faster, better, or longer-lasting high; or, to counteract the side effects of other substances.

Alcohol abuse and prescription drug abuse are often linked.

According to research from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, individuals with alcohol use disorders are 18 times more likely to report non-medical use of prescription drugs than others who do not drink.

Alcohol lowers our inhibitions, making participation in reckless, dangerous, or uncharacteristic activities more likely.

Combining alcohol and prescription drugs can cause alcohol poisoning, blackouts, severe respiratory depression, and may even prove fatal in severe cases.

Some of the most common poly-substance addiction combinations include:

  • Alcohol and prescription opiates (Vicodin, Percocet, or OxyContin)
  • Alcohol and stimulants (Ritalin or other attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder)
  • Alcohol and anxiety medications (Xanax or Valium)
  • Benzodiazepines and opioids

Combining Cocaine and Alcohol

One of the most common and troubling combinations of poly-substance abuse is cocaine and alcohol.

Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant. It may make you feel drowsy or calm. But, it is also used in most social gatherings where you may want to experience increased energy.

For these reasons, many people use cocaine when they drink, as it counteracts the depressant effects of alcohol and allows them to continue drinking for longer.

Because these two drugs offer opposing effects, combining them can lead to an overdose or another potentially deadly complication.

Combining Benzodiazepines and Opioids

Another troubling and potentially deadly combination is benzodiazepines and opioids.

When taken together, these central nervous system depressants can lead to respiratory depression linked to fatal overdoses.

Permanent brain damage and physical impairments due to restricted oxygen flow to the brain are also possible.

Emergency room statistics draw a concerning parallel between benzodiazepines and opioids.

Compared to benzodiazepines alone, combinations involving benzodiazepines and opioids or alcohol were linked to a 24-55% increased risk of more serious outcomes.

These serious outcomes include hospitalization and death, instead of treatment and release.

Learn More About our Benzo and Opioid Rehab Program




Inpatient care is often recommended for anyone recovering from poly-substance addiction.

Withdrawing from multiple substances at once is more dangerous and complicated than withdrawing from one substance.

For this reason, most patients will start with an inpatient detox that may be medically assisted. This allows us to monitor your progress and ease your withdrawal symptoms and cravings to set you up for success. It also allows us to provide immediate medical attention if there are any emergencies.

After your detox, your inpatient program will involve 24-hour care, support, and guidance.

This extends to all aspects of your life – physical, psychological, and emotional.

We will employ various therapies, remedies, and proven treatment methods to help you improve your condition and seek long-term sobriety.

When you are ready to move forward with your poly-substance addiction treatment, we offer several supplemental programs that act as a natural “stepping stone” between full-time inpatient care and full-time freedom at home. These include:

Polysubstance Addiction Treatment Emerald Isle - A group of individuals in poly-substance addiction treatment show support for one another by sharing stories and comforting those who are struggling with their recovery process and treatment.

Payment Options

Do you want treatment but are worried about how you can pay for it?

We have a team of financial professionals who provide free insurance verification.

We will work with you to determine how to move forward with the treatment in a way that works for you and your financial situation.

Free Insurance Verification for Rehab


How to Get Help


Our rehab programs are built with your unique addictions and needs in mind.

We do not expect you to fit into a program that we believe works best for everyone.

We consider your circumstances, needs, and preferences so that we can align them with the most effective program, setting, and treatment methods.

You do not have to face your poly-substance addiction or poly-substance addiction treatment alone.

Call Emerald Isle at 855-613-0620 to schedule your consultation.