The 5 psychological traps in which poly-drug addicts fall

Multiple drug addiction is a reality that shows how addictions have the ability to seep into all areas of a person’s life if not treated in time.

This phenomenon, which consists of developing an addiction to various drugs, makes the person who suffers from them much more vulnerable both physically and mentally.

However, drawing the line between drug addiction and addiction to more than one substance is not an easy task, because once the addiction begins to consolidate, it can shift into a wide variety of psychoactive elements. And this is so because the more a human being is accustomed to using a drug, the more likely he is to fall into it. certain psychological traps that plunge him more and more into poly-drug addiction.

    What is poly-drug addiction?

    Multiple drug addiction is the abuse and dependence on two or more drugs in which the person feels they are losing control of their actions. This can be reflected either in the combined use of drugs (taking them at the same time at a given time, to combine their effects) or in the intercalation of these drugs (leaving several hours of difference between the use of each one).

    In any case, the mixture of psychoactive substances with addictive potential without a prescription has a very harmful effect on the physical and mental health of the person. This wear is generally more intense than if a single type of drug were consumed in the same quantity, because the combination of substances potentiates the negative effects of each of the products used.

    Outraged, even though people who develop poly-drug addiction are aware of this fact, this is not a sufficient reason for them to give up their addiction for good.; the pattern of behavior on which their drug use is based or depends on whether they make informed decisions or not, but other psychophysiological aspects that go beyond words. Either they ignore the harmfulness of the mixture of drugs or they try not to think about it, because it is very difficult to control its behavior.

    This is why poly-drug addiction is such a common and frequent phenomenon among drug users; there are even researchers who consider it as one of the stages of maximum consolidation of addictive disorders, sketching a scale of consumption ranging from the experimentation of a single drug to the constant use of psychoactive substances of all kinds.

    And if the addictions were dependent on the information available to people, each step would be a line that the person knows they shouldn’t cross, but it isn’t. However, it is estimated that in Western countries about half of people with drug addiction are addicted to more than one substance at the same time, and most of those addicted to alcohol, opioids, cannabis or, most importantly, cocaine. and heroin.

    Sure, this does not mean that it is impossible to overcome a substance abuse problem once the poly-drug addiction has consolidated; what is happening is that it is more complicated, and the intervention of health professionals is becoming more urgent than ever.

      Psychological traps for consolidating poly-drug addiction

      It is the psychological mechanisms that act as a “slippery slope” leading to multiple drug abuse.

      1. The line between the healthy and the unhealthy is blurred

      The combined or intercalated use of drugs makes each of these substances trivial, that he goes through one more element of everyday life, blurring with the rest of everyday objects surrounding the person.

      This removes the emotional reaction of danger and / or caution aroused by awareness campaigns and against drug use; the person has less reason to question whether the use of these substances is good or bad for their health, since the concept of “drugs” is standardized and stripped of most of the negative connotations.

        2. It is standardized in the consumption of a single substance

        If the behavioral dynamics induced by drug addiction in its early stages already normalize the consumption of several substances at the same time, it does it even more with the consumption of only one type of drug.

        For example, it’s easier to drink alcohol without snorting cocaine on the same day, which seems like a “healthy” thing, which doesn’t really matter, because compared to the idea of ​​taking several things at the same time, in the eyes of someone. who already has a drug addiction problem hardly seems noticeable.

        3. Acceptance of drug use with opposite effects appears

        Another of the psychological traps associated with multiple drug abuse is the idea that it is okay to use drugs that apparently ‘cancel each other out’ (although in reality this is not true). For example, using a substance that depresses the activity of the nervous system, such as benzodiazepines, to counteract a previous intake of a psychostimulant such as cocaine.

          4. Self-deception results from trying to treat one addiction by pushing another

          On the other hand, it is also common for people with multiple drug addiction to self-deceive. assume that taking a drug helps people to get out of an addiction to another drug, even if they are not doing so while following medical instructions or using prescription drugs.

          5. The person is surrounded by social environments with easy access to various drugs

          Finally, dependent people tend to invest their free time, particularly in relationships with other dependent people. This is due to the availability of various types of drugs due to exposure to other people with similar problems, the use of different substances is perceived as a means of integration into a group or practically as a social ritual.

          Are you looking for treatment for addictions?

          If you are looking for psychotherapy or medical treatment and drug addiction services, contact our team of professionals.

          Of CITA clinics we offer both outpatient care and intervention through admissions in our residential module, accompanying patients through all the stages involved in overcoming an addictive disorder.

          We specialize in the treatment of addictions with or without substances, and in our residential facilities you will find a calm and fully equipped environment where you can perform all kinds of activities during therapy: library, swimming pool, gym, relaxation area. equitherapy, and more. You can find us in Dosrius, Barcelona.

          Bibliographical references

          • American Psychiatric Association (APA). (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.
          • Avena, New Mexico; Simkus, J .; Lewandowski, A .; Or, MS and Power, MN (2021). Substance Use Disorders and Behavioral Addictions During the COVID-19 Pandemic and COVID-19 Restrictions. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 12, 653674.
          • Dunn, N .; Cook, CC (1999). Psychiatric aspects of alcohol abuse. Hospital medicine. 60 (3): p. 169 – 172.
          • Jeanne, WS; Mannelli, P .; Schwartz, RP; Subramaniam, Georgia; Wu, LT (2019). Prevalence, patterns and correlations of multiple substance use disorders in adult patients in primary care. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 187: p. 79 – 87.
          • Kauer, investigating judge; Malenka RC (2007). Synaptic plasticity and addiction. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 8: p. 844 – 858.
          • Sarason, IG (2006). Psychopathology: abnormal psychology: the problem of maladaptive behavior. Pearson Education.

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