The Dangers of Abusing Multiple Depressants

The Dangers of Abusing Multiple Depressants

Multiple Depressants

While you or an addicted loved one may have a drug of choice when it comes to substance abuse, addiction and dependence are rarely limited to one substance. In fact, polydrug abuse is an unfortunately common occurrence: according to the American Family Physician, “an estimated 80 percent of benzodiazepine abuse is part of polydrug abuse” (“Addiction: Part I. Benzodiazepines—Side Effects, Abuse Risk and Alternatives,” April 2000). Also, the drugs most often used in combination with benzodiazepines are other depressants, such as alcohol, heroin and methadone. The aforementioned article states that “80 percent of alcoholics under the age of 30 have been addicted to or use at least one other drug,” and that other drug may also be a depressant. Polydrug abuse and the abuse of multiple depressants is incredibly dangerous, because it has short and long-term consequences on health and happiness.

How Depressant Drug Abuse Affects Memory

Depressants have strong and immediate effects on memory formation. For instance, alcohol disrupts the brain’s ability to transform short-term memories into long-term ones, and other depressants have similar amnesiac effects. The American Family Physician shares that “episodic memory (the remembering of recent events and the circumstances in which they occurred and their time sequences) is particularly impaired [in benzodiazepine users] and more markedly so in heavy alcohol drinkers who also use benzodiazepines.” The effects of abusing multiple depressants can be felt immediately, and continued abuse will have longer-ranging consequences on memory formation and recall.

Depressant Drug Abuse and Overdose Dangers

Overdose is a risk associated with any kind of drug abuse, and the risk becomes greater when multiple drugs are involved. Any depressant can slow heart or breathing rate to fatally low levels, and combining any substances increases the likelihood of overdose. The American Family Physician reports that “fatal overdoses in addicted patients often involve the combination of benzodiazepines and alcohol, with or without opiates.” Overdose and depressants have a close relationship, and the use of multiple depressants makes it harder for emergency personnel to take proper action.

Depressant Drug Abuse and Withdrawal Symptoms

While addiction detox is usually difficult, the withdrawal symptoms of certain depressants can be fatal. Alcohol, benzodiazepines and opiates can create extreme withdrawal symptoms that may result in dehydration, seizures and other effects that can cause death. Long-term depressant abuse creates more withdrawal symptoms, and physical dependence on multiple depressants further complicates detox. Ending the abuse of any one depressant is dangerous enough, but treating addictions to multiple depressants requires medical supervision to ensure the healthiest and most effective recovery.

Treatment for Depressant Abuse

Polydrug abuse requires professional help for long-term health. Recovery from an addiction to multiple drugs can lead to permanent physical consequences, and the effects of abusing multiple depressants require professional treatment. Our admissions coordinators can help you find the services that will work for you or your addicted loved one, so call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline now to end the dangers of drug abuse as soon as possible.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email