Substance addiction can have a devastating effect on an individual’s life and relationships. It is important to recognize the signs of addiction early so that it can be effectively treated. However, when it comes to polysubstance addiction, it can be harder to recognize the signs since they may not be as obvious or easy to spot. 

Polysubstance addiction occurs when an individual simultaneously abuses more than one type of substance. These addicts don’t have a drug of choice, although some of their substances may be more addictive than others. 

While the signs and symptoms of polysubstance addiction are similar to those that occur with other forms of addiction, there are additional signs that can be indicative of this type of addiction. 

It is vital to know that this is one of the most dangerous forms of addiction because it involves multiple substances that act together in unpredictable and harmful ways to the user’s health and well-being.

Common Signs Of Substance Abuse

Change In Behavior

One of the first indicators of polysubstance abuse is a sudden change in behavior or attitude. For example, someone who has been using multiple substances regularly will likely display changes in their behavior, such as mood swings, irritability, depression, or anxiety. 

They may also become increasingly secretive about their activities or withdraw from social situations and hobbies they used to enjoy. Additionally, they may start neglecting their responsibilities at home or at work due to a lack of motivation or interest in things they once enjoyed doing.

Physical Signs

Another sign to look for is physical changes in appearance or health related to substance abuse, such as weight loss/gain, slurred speech, red eyes, poor hygiene, dilated pupils, shaking hands, nausea/vomiting, fatigue/drowsiness, etc. 

Additionally, individuals who are struggling with polysubstance addiction may be more prone to accidents due to impaired judgment and coordination caused by substance use disorder.

Financial Struggles

A third sign associated with polysubstance abuse is financial struggles due to excessive amounts of money being spent on obtaining multiple substances at once. Individuals suffering from polysubstance use disorder will often prioritize buying drugs over other necessities like food and rent, resulting in mounting debt and financial strain on themselves and those closest to them.

Signs Of Polysubstance Addiction

Signs To Look For In Polysubstance Addiction

There are six signs to look for in polysubstance addiction that usually indicate a substance abuse disorder. However, these signs can also be linked to single substance abuse disorders. Here are the six most common signs to look for in polysubstance addiction:

  • Constricted or dilated pupils
  • Extreme and sudden weight loss or weight gain
  • Bloodshot or glazed eyes
  • Changes in behavior resulting in problematic or dangerous behaviors
  • Changes in social circles
  • Decline in personal hygiene and appearance

The signs to look for in polysubstance addiction can vary depending on the individual and the specific substances they are abusing, but they can be useful in identifying potential substance abuse and polysubstance addiction. 

Identifying these signs early can help you seek treatment and support for yourself or a loved one before the addiction becomes more severe.

Why Should Treatment Be Sought Early?

There are several reasons why it is important to seek treatment for polysubstance addiction early. One major reason is that the longer an individual struggles with polysubstance abuse, the more difficult it can be to treat their addiction. 

This is because substance abuse often leads to negative consequences for the individual, including health problems, financial difficulties, and relationship conflicts. Additionally, as the addiction progresses, individuals may start using more dangerous substances or combinations of substances that can be even more difficult to treat.

Another reason it is important to seek addiction treatment early is that polysubstance addiction often leads to various other mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety. These mental health issues may make it more difficult for the individual to recognize their addiction or seek help, increasing the risk of serious consequences from continued substance abuse.

Yet another reason why drug treatment should be sought early is that substance abuse can have negative effects on relationships with family and friends. Individuals who struggle with polysubstance addiction may become secretive about their activities, start neglecting important responsibilities at home or work, or spend more time with new friends who also use drugs or alcohol. 

These changes can lead to feelings of isolation, guilt, or shame that may further contribute to the individual’s substance abuse.

Seeking help for polysubstance addiction can help individuals avoid many of the negative consequences associated with continued substance abuse. Our drug treatment and alcohol treatment programs include a range of therapies and support services that are tailored to the individual and their specific needs. At The Robert Alexander Center for Recovery, we understand that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to addiction. 

We offer a variety of evidence-based treatment methods to help individuals find the support they need to heal and recover. With the right treatment and support, individuals can overcome their addiction with sustainable, long-term results.

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