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Popular Drug Combinations

Experimentation with drugs and alcohol generally begins during the teenage years. What starts as a one-time curiosity check may slowly turn into dependence, leading into addiction. Just as everything changes over time, so does experimentation with drugs and the way they are used.

Unlike earlier times, when drug users sufficed with the use of one drug or poly substance use (though not popular) teens nowadays tend to combine different types of drugs for various reasons. Using one or more drug at a time is known as poly substance use.

Poly substance use increases the effects of a drug making it more potent. According to experts, 7 out of 10 adolescents in the U.S. have combined prescribed painkillers with other drugs or alcohol, primarily to get a quicker and stronger high. Other drug combinations include alcohol and marijuana, marijuana and benzodiazepines, benzodiazepines and alcohol.

Causes of drug combination

Users tend to resort to poly substance use in case the preferred choice of drug is not available. Owing to severe cravings, the user tends to mix drugs to control them, avoid the withdrawal symptoms, and experience a high.

At times, even the cost of the combination drugs makes a difference. As teens need money to pursue their addiction, they tend to opt for the most inexpensive drugs available and combine two types of cheaper drugs to experience the high they desire.

After a period of use, a user tends to lose his sense of responsibility. Due to the development of drug tolerance by the body, a change in drugs or drug combinations is required to achieve the same high as before, paving the way for using more potent drugs. Other reasons for teens indulging in poly substance use is peer pressure, at parties, to self-medicate mental disorders, and easy availability.

Drug combinations used

One of the most popular choice of illicit drugs amongst teens is marijuana. According to a recent survey, teens are more likely to use marijuana first before any other illicit drug. Teenagers are known to combine marijuana with other drugs as well. Some of the popular drug combinations used by teens are:

  • Marijuana and benzodiazepine: Marijuana is a quick-acting drug. When smoked, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the hallucinogenic agent in marijuana, gets quickly absorbed in the bloodstream, which carries it to the brain manifesting almost immediately in a high. Marijuana use can make a person feel relaxed, heighten sensory perception, increase appetite, and alter the perception of time. On the other hand, benzodiazepine, popularly known as benzos, include anti-anxiety medication like Xanax and sedatives like Valium. Benzodiazepines are often combined with marijuana to produce a stronger effect that would last much longer.
  • Benzodiazepines and alcohol: When mixed with alcohol, benzos create a sense of relaxation, calming the agitated person. As both benzos and alcohol are depressants, they tend to suppress the central nervous system (CNS) to dangerous levels. Using both these drugs together may lead to instant multiple organ failure and death. Some of the effects of benzodiazepine combinations include cardiac arrest, lung failure, severe headaches, vomiting, and even falling into a coma.
  • Speedball: Speedball refers to a combination of cocaine and heroin/morphine. It is highly addictive and deadly in nature. While cocaine acts as a stimulant, heroin and morphine are depressants. Cocaine creates a rush, making the user more alert and sharper. On the other hand, heroin and morphine dull the nerve cells creating a sense of calm. Many users feel that heroin/morphine tend to curb the undesirable side effects of cocaine like increased heartbeat, anxiety, and paranoia. Users also tend to increase the dosage of one drug in order to counter the effects of the other, which may lead to overdosing.
  • Alcohol and prescription pills: According to an estimate, around 26 million people in the U.S. take prescription pills for depression. Most patients tend to combine these with alcohol assuming it will help in treating depression. Unfortunately, it is just the opposite. Alcohol effects the motor and cognitive abilities of a human body which in fact counters the effects of the antidepressants, making the individual feel sadder and more hopeless than before.

Seeking addiction treatment

Drug and alcohol addictions require a medically supervised detox treatment facility to flush out the toxins from the body. Afterwards, the patient needs to be given administered medications to help control the cravings while attending therapy to help them identify their triggers and learn ways to overcome them. But before these are planned for a patient at Adeona Healthcare, a leading residential behavioral healthcare center for teens aged between 12 to17, our medical experts conduct a thorough pre-assessment to understand the disease and the underlying causes that led to the addiction.

The pre-assessment provides a blueprint for the individualized treatment plan, which our specialists administer with the utmost care and compassion. Adeona Healthcare provides holistic and strength-based treatment approaches to care for adolescents dealing with  a mental health disorder, co-occurring disorder, and/or alcohol or substance abuse. For further information, please call our 24/7 helpline 888-379-9360 or chat online with a representative.

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