When addiction and recovery issues are addressed, the typical solution to the problem is to treat a specific kind of drug abuse whether it is alcohol, prescription, or illicit drugs. What drug addiction treatment centers understand is that it isn’t always as simple as treating a particular drug abuse as the addict has found more than one way of medicating themselves against withdrawal. The effects of multiple drug use don’t overlap or cancel each other, instead, they stack and multiply in a way which requires specific treatment for ongoing maintenance of the addict’s health.
Use of Multiple Substances
One aspect of drug abuse which isn’t always recognized is how multiple drugs may be involved. Every addict has a favorite drug but has other drugs which can temporarily “cure the itch” until the preferred drug becomes available again. Some addicts simply won’t be satisfied until they get their favorite, others may find satisfaction through substitution. This process can lead to multiple addictions to several drugs, physical addictions which don’t allow the body and brain to function properly without the drugs they’ve become accustomed to and require prescription medication with direct doctor care to assure a safe withdrawal period.
Physical Aspects of Multiple Drug Use
Every drug has a direct and immediate physical effect on the body, and when multiple drugs are used those effects stack rather than canceling each other out. Alcohol damages the liver and in no way mitigates the lung damage caused by smoked drug usage. In turn, the damage caused by taking drugs through the nasal passage (snorting) causes its own damage regardless of what drugs have been ingested. Injecting drugs causes an entirely separate set of health issues. Any one of those means of ingesting drugs can potentially cause heart failure, doing them all doesn’t counteract the possibility of any one ending in a fatal heart disease.
The Mental Effects of Multiple Drugs
Outside of physical drug abuse symptoms, an addict suffers from mental abuse the drugs have done and requires a certain compassion while suffering withdrawals beyond the immediate dangers of physical symptoms. What people who aren’t addicts don’t understand is that the drug itself is a beloved friend to the addict. Treatment and recovery aren’t a simple matter of overcoming the physical need for the drug, but are giving up an important and defining aspect of the addict’s life. Such a fundamental paradigm shift doesn’t happen overnight, but again explains the need for drug addiction treatment centers and the professionals who help the addict toward recovery.
Treatment for Heavy Drug Abuse
There are cases in which a person became addicted to legitimate pain medication as prescribed by a doctor, and there are instances in which a younger person realizes they are no longer using drugs experimentally but need some help and advice toward finding a better lifestyle. With that said and understanding such exceptions, typically speaking, by the time someone needs the services of drug addiction treatment centers they have used drugs heavily by any standard, even those defined by other heavy drug users.
Treatment for heavy drug abuse requires patience and compassion alongside a strict enforcement of daily rules. Rules are integral, understanding of how the addict has never had rules and doesn’t even understand the procedure to follow them is equally important. Treatment becomes a nuanced perception of how the addict is an adult and is to be treated as such, yet the addiction is a peevish child and should also be treated as such. Determining to whom one is speaking is what makes the difference between a good and great drug treatment therapist, and more importantly, determines whether the addict will find ongoing success in their recovery.