Polysubstance abuse like any other forms of addition is affecting everybody without any favor based on race, religion, educational background or social status. Age doesn’t matter too since children and teenagers are also equal victims. With this vast scope of vulnerability, it will only be fare if we all pool together to help in the fight against all kinds of drug abuse including this one that forms the basis of our discussion. In our quest of addressing the problems of polysubstance abuse, we are going to rely on the expertise of doctor Dalal Akoury MD and also founder of AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center. It is therefore very important to note that adult polysubstance abuse and according to available statistics, is often associated with other mental health conditions. Homelessness, personality disorders, and psychiatric disorders such as major depression, psychosis, and bipolar disorder are common. The overlap of polysubstance dependence and psychiatric problems points to a lot of self-medication. Typically, among multiple substance users, individuals used alcohol or marijuana at an early age and then added other substances (or changed their drugs of choice) without quitting their original substances.
Further to that, among young people, polysubstance abuse is often the norm, and not the exception. Doctor Akoury reports that the most commonly abused polysubstance by adolescents include heroin, marijuana and alcohol. However the other drugs which are also used include MDMA (ecstasy), dextromethorphan, multiple forms of opiates, cocaine, hallucinogens, and inhalants. In a study where young people were involved, it was established that one-half of the young people had used an illicit street drug by the end of their senior year. This has now translated into the need of administering treatment to about two million young people for the abuse of alcohol and drug addiction. The point of concern is that even those this big number is in dire need of medication, it is regrettable that only 8 percent of the victims actually get it. Besides that the study also established that nearly one-third of young people are addicted to psycho-stimulants and are also suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with 20 percent said they gave their medications to others.
One treatment facility said that 33 percent of the adolescents currently in treatment had polysubstance addiction and the elderly are another population that clearly has a problem with polysubstance abuse. The vulnerability of the elderly indicated that they have more medical conditions that often require prescriptions. Over time with debilitating illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease the tendency to over medicate (taking more of a drug, more often, forgetting when and if medication was already taken) increases the likelihood of polysubstance abuse. If this is combined with alcohol, the results can be devastating, even fatal.
Elderly women tend to keep their substance abuse and chemical dependency secret. Alcoholism occurs later in women’s lives, perhaps due to problems associated with divorce or separation. Women who are over 55 have less tolerance for alcohol and are therefore more prone to addiction. They are also less likely than men to seek treatment and also use prescribed psychoactive drugs. From the narratives we can conclude that polysubstance abuse is increasingly becoming more prevalent among the street drug user population. Some of the different substances abused include heroin, prescription opioids, benzodiazepines, cocaine, crack, alcohol, and marijuana.
Addressing the problems of polysubstance abuse: Detoxification for Polysubstance Abuse and Addiction
It is must be noted that before the administration of any treatment that addresses the underlying causes of polysubstance addiction, detoxification must first be done. Detox is more complex and problematic with polysubstance addiction for several reasons. An accurate history of total substances abused must be obtained, and the patient may not be able or willing to provide complete details. Determination of the actual substance being used has to be made using screens for breath, urine, and blood.
Some patients can be treated on an outpatient basis, but others, particularly those with alcohol, sedative, hypnotic, opioid, and anxiolytic abuse may require hospitalization or inpatient detox. Repeated abstinence failures or severe anxiety, depression, or psychotic symptoms lasting 1 to 3 days after abstinence may also require inpatient substance abuse treatment. On admission of the patient, detoxification for opioids will began to show classic alcohol withdrawal symptoms, some professionals will administer treatment routinely to their detox patients with thiamine until a determination could be made that there was no history of alcohol use. Experts are confirming that diagnosis and treatment of patients who have been on psychotropic medications while they were already addicted is more difficult. Therefore if a patient doesn’t know, or is unable to discuss, use of opioid drugs and it’s been days since their last drug use, opiate withdrawal symptoms can lag and urine screens my not be able to detect the drug.
Treatment for mixed addiction that also includes alcohol use may include benzodiazepines during the acute phase of alcohol withdrawal. Benzodiazepines can help decrease tremors and prevent or reduce increases in heart rate and blood pressure.
If you are concern of the duration treatment will take, then it is important to note that the length of the treatment program can only be determined by how long and what type of substance dependence the patient has, whether or not organ damage exists, any underlying mental illness, the patient’s desire to change and willingness to undergo treatment, adequacy of the patient’s social support system, treatment choice, and plans for ongoing care.
Finally it is worth noting that fighting polysubstance abuse is not easy owing to the multiple of substances involved. It is very much different in relation to cases where a single substance is in question however it can still be done successfully. The likelihood of success depends on the individual’s determination and discipline to follow through on the requirements to abstain completely from substance abuse. Such determination and discipline does not come easily, especially for hard-core or long-term abusers and addicts. There may be repeated relapses before stability becomes a part of the recovering addict’s life.
After treatment, recovery from polysubstance abuse and addiction just like for any addiction requires ongoing diligence and participation in a support network. While understanding the difficulty involved in treatment and recovery of this nature doctor Dalal Akoury established AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center facility to help in the treatment of all kinds of addiction. Doctor Akoury cares for you and she is riding on more than two decades of experience. Calling on doctor Akoury will benefits you greatly irrespective of the kind of addiction you may be going through. Doctor Akoury is one of the veteran experts in addiction enabling patients make the best results by receiving a combination of medications, natural therapeutic approaches and psychosocial therapies to synergistically align the body, mind and spirit, to ultimately provide a long-term life change and healing. This is the home of all addiction solutions and all you need to do is to schedule for that appointment today.