What is multiple drug misuse?

Multiple Drug Misuse
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Use of multiple drugs in teens: Overview

You have had treatment to help your body get rid of a combination of any of these types of drugs:

  • Prescription medicines
  • Over-the-counter medicines
  • Alcohol
  • Marijuana or other drugs

Taking certain drugs together may cause a bad reaction. They can have unexpected or stronger effects on your body and mind. For example, opioids and alcohol both depress the nervous system. Taken together, each one is stronger than when it is taken by itself.

You are getting better. But it takes time for the drugs to leave your body. It may take up to 2 weeks or longer for your mind to clear and your mood to improve.

Depending on the drugs you took, the doctor might have:

  • Watched your symptoms or done tests to find out what drugs were in your body.
  • Treated you to control your breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate.
  • Tried to remove the drugs from your body by pumping your stomach or giving you a substance by mouth that absorbs chemicals.
  • Given you medicines to ease withdrawal.
  • Given you oxygen to help you breathe.
  • Given you fluids.

The doctor also watched you carefully to make sure you were recovering safely.

Teens: How can you care for yourself after using multiple drugs?

  • Adopt healthy habits to ease withdrawal symptoms. When you use alcohol and certain drugs regularly, your body gets used to them. This is called physical dependence. If you are physically dependent on them, you may have withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking them. These symptoms may include trembling, feeling restless, and sweating. To help get past these:
    • Get plenty of rest.
    • Drink lots of fluids.
    • Stay active.
    • Eat healthy foods.
  • Drink fluids to soothe your throat. If you had a tube in your throat to help you breathe, you may have a sore throat or hoarseness that can last a few days.
  • If you use opioids, ask your doctor or pharmacist about having a naloxone rescue kit on hand.
Get help to stop using drugs. You may need medical care to manage withdrawal symptoms when you first quit. Withdrawal can be dangerous without medical care. Ask your doctor about substance use treatment programs.

When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You feel you cannot stop from hurting yourself or someone else.

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have new or worse symptoms of withdrawal, such as trembling, feeling restless, and sweating, that you can't manage at home.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • You do not get better as expected.
  • You need help finding the right place to get help with drug or alcohol problems.

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The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.

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