When people abuse more then one drug or type of drug it is called polysubstance or polydrug abuse. For example, many smokers also drink alcohol. This one form of polydrug abuse. Polydrug abuse also refers to the use of a drug to counteract an unpleasant effect produced by another drug. It may also be used to help with withdrawal from another drug. People who take stimulants may become agitated. Sometimes this agitation is countered with tranquilizer. This helps protect against the unpleasant side effects. Polydrug abuse also refers to the use of different drugs at the same time.

Anytime drug use interfering with normal living activities, it has become abuse. This includes problems with family and friends. Psychological dependence has developed when your mind tells you that the drug is needed. This is usually followed by physical dependence which has developed when continuing increases of drug are required to get the same feeling or “high”. This is known as addiction or chemical dependency. A person’s risk is much higher if there is a history of chemical dependency in the family.

Signs of chemical dependency

  • You have been told by friends or family that drugs become a problem
  • You are suffering in work performance or in school because of drug use
  • You get sick from use of drugs but continue to use anyway
  • You need drugs to relate to people or feel comfortable in social situations
  • You use drugs to forget problems
  • You need chemicals to get you going
  • You lie about use or amounts of drugs (chemicals) used.
  • You are having blackouts (not remembering what you do while using).
  • You fight while using drugs

“Yes” answered to any of the above signs of chemical dependency indicates there are problems. The longer the use of drugs continues, the greater the problems will become.

If there is a family history of drug or alcohol use, it is best not to experiment with these drugs. Continual use leads to tolerance. After tolerance develops more of the drug is needed to get the same feeling. This is followed by addiction. With addiction, drugs become the most important of life. It becomes more important to take drugs that participate in other usuall activities of life. This includes relating to friends and family. Addiction is followed by dependency. Dependency is a condition where drugs are now needed not just to get high, but to feel normal.

Addiction cannot be cured but it can be stopped. This often requires outside help and care of professionals.

Where to seek help if you want to stop:

How much is too much alcohol?

Drinking too much alcohol can cause injury, accidents, and health problems. These types of problems can include:

  • Car crashes
  • Falls
  • Family fighting (domestic violence)
  • Drowning
  • Fights
  • Injuries
  • Burns
  • Damage to certain organs

One drink can be too much when you are:

  • Working
  • Pregnant or brestfeeding
  • Taking medicines. Ask your doctor
  • Driving or planing to drive

What is standard drink?

  • 1 regular beer (12 ounces or 360 milliliters)
  • 1 glass of wine (5 ounces or 150 milliliters)
  • 1 shot of liquor (1.5 ounces or 45 milliliters)

Blood alcohol levels

  • .00 A person is sober
  • .03 A person has no trouble keeping balance, talking, or seeing right, but a “but a buzz” may be felt.
  • 0.5 A person feels “buzzed” and relaxed.
  • .08 or .10 A person is drunk. He or she has trouble talking, seeing right, and keeping his or her balance.
  • .15 A person loses body control and may pass out (black out)
  • .2 A person has trouble walking 9staggering) and throws up (vomits)
  • .30 A person will pass out (unconscious)
  • .40 A person will be in coma. Death is possible.
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