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Tranquillizers, sleeping pills, opiates and alcohol.
Alcohol and benzodiazepines
Polydrug use
Classification and external resources
Specialty psychiatry
ICD-10 F19

Polydrug use refers to the use of two or more psychoactive drugs in combination to achieve a particular effect. In many cases one drug is used as a base or primary drug, with additional drugs to leaven or compensate for the side effects of the primary drug and make the experience more enjoyable with drug synergy effects, or to supplement for primary drug when supply is low.[1]

Risks[edit]

Polydrug use often carries with it more risk than use of a single drug, due to an increase in side effects, and drug synergy. The potentiating effect of one drug on another is sometimes considerable and here the licit drugs and medicines – such as alcohol, nicotine and antidepressants – have to be considered in conjunction with the controlled psychoactive substances. The risk level will depend on the dosage level of both substances. If the drugs taken are illegal, they have a chance of being mixed (also known as "cutting") with other substances which dealers are reported to do to increase the perceived quantity when selling to others to increase their returns. This is particularly common with powdered drugs such as cocaine or MDMA which can be mixed with relative ease by adding another white powdery substance to the drug. This cumulative effect can lead to further unintended harm to health dependant on what is being maliciously added. Concerns also exist about a number of pharmacological pairings: alcohol and cocaine increase cardiovascular toxicity; alcohol or depressant drugs, when taken with opioids, lead to an increased risk of overdose; and opioids or cocaine taken with ecstasy or amphetamines also result in additional acute toxicity.[2] Benzodiazepines are notorious for causing death when mixed with other CNS depressants such as opioids, alcohol, or barbiturates.[3][4][5]

Scheduling[edit]

Within the general concept of multiple drug use, several specific meanings of the term must be considered. At one extreme is planned use, where the effects of more than one drug are taken for a desired effect. Another type is when other drugs are used to counteract the negative side effects of a different drug (e.g. depressants are used to counteract anxiety and restlessness from taking stimulants). On the other hand, the use of several substances in an intensive and chaotic way, simultaneously or consecutively, in many cases each drug substituting for another according to availability.[2]

Research[edit]

The phenomenon is the subject of established academic literature.[6]

A study among treatment admissions found that it is more common for younger people to report polydrug drug use.[7]

MDMA taken in combination with or the day after low doses of viagra (20mg) has been shown to reduce MDMA-induced serotonin deficit in rats by increasing resistance to MDMA-induced oxidative stress.[8][9]


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/html.cfm/index34913EN.html
  2. ^ a b EMCDDA Annual Report 2006 ch. 8
  3. ^ Serfaty M, Masterton G (1993). "Fatal poisonings attributed to benzodiazepines in Britain during the 1980s". Br J Psychiatry 163: 386–93. doi:10.1192/bjp.163.3.386. PMID 8104653. 
  4. ^ Buckley NA, Dawson AH, Whyte IM, O'Connell DL. (1995). "[Relative toxicity of benzodiazepines in overdose.]". BMJ 310 (6974): 219–21. doi:10.1136/bmj.310.6974.219. PMC 2548618. PMID 7866122. 
  5. ^ Drummer OH; Ranson DL (December 1996). "Sudden death and benzodiazepines". Am J Forensic Med Pathol 17 (4): 336–42. doi:10.1097/00000433-199612000-00012. PMID 8947361. 
  6. ^ Scholey AB, Parrott AC, Buchanan T, Heffernan TM, Ling J, Rodgers J (June 2004). "Increased intensity of Ecstasy and polydrug usage in the more experienced recreational Ecstasy/MDMA users: a WWW study". Addict Behav 29 (4): 743–52. doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2004.02.022. PMID 15135556. 
  7. ^ "Polydrug Use Among Treatment Admissions: 1998." OAS Home: Alcohol, Tobacco & Drug Abuse and Mental Health Data from SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies. Web. 29 Sept. 2011. [1]
  8. ^ Puerta, E.; Hervias, I.; Goñi-Allo, B.; Lasheras, B.; Jordan, J.; Aguirre, N. (2009). "Phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors prevent 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine-induced 5-HT deficits in the rat". Journal of Neurochemistry 108 (3): 755–766. doi:10.1111/j.1471-4159.2008.05825.x. PMID 19187094. 
  9. ^ Puerta, E.; Barros-Miñones, L.; Hervias, I.; Gomez-Rodriguez, V.; Orejana, L.; Pizarro, N.; De La Torre, R.; Jordán, J. N.; Aguirre, N. (2011). "Long-lasting neuroprotective effect of sildenafil against 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine- induced 5-hydroxytryptamine deficits in the rat brain". Journal of Neuroscience Research 90 (2): n/a. doi:10.1002/jnr.22759. 

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poly_drug_use — Please support Wikipedia.
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164 news items

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Irish Independent

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The court heard when the accused refused to continue with medication he was warned of the risk of relapse. The report noted poly-drug use, including heavy cannabis use. He had been arrested six times for being drunk and disorderly. In interview, Mr ...

Nature.com

Nature.com
Tue, 19 Jan 2016 06:40:10 -0800

These contradictory findings are likely due to study limitations including small sample sizes, genetic variability, poly-drug use and comorbid neuropsychiatric disorders. In contrast, recent evidence indicates that galantamine reduces the subjective ...

Irish Independent

Irish Independent
Sat, 16 Jan 2016 18:30:11 -0800

The figures also suggest that people use sedatives with other drugs - known as poly drug use. Of the 719 people in 2013 who cited "benzos" as the main problem drug, 76pc of them used other drugs too, according to the National Documentation Centre on ...

Drug Policy Alliance (blog)

Drug Policy Alliance (blog)
Tue, 11 Aug 2015 10:19:46 -0700

The timeline of cannabis use on earth is long and far reaching. For thousands of years, cannabis has been used across cultures, religions and geography as a medicine. Eaten, inhaled, or rubbed on the skin, our ancestors knew how to maximize the ...

TodayFM

TodayFM
Wed, 18 Nov 2015 02:41:15 -0800

Recent results of a National Student Drug survey found that 34% of students have used an unknown white powder or an unknown pill-and evidence suggests that there is a increase of poly drug use. The documentary looks at the issues around drug dealing, ...

Westword

Westword
Wed, 09 Sep 2015 06:35:48 -0700

We respect the people doing it, but worry about any system that allows for poly-drug use — a beer in one hand, joint in the other. I worry about establishments with under-age use. I also think there seems to a feeling that people have a right not to ...
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