What is Poly-substance Abuse

Alcohol and drugs

Polysubstance abuse is the term used to describe someone who is addicted to two or more substances at one time. Though most addicts will tell you the drug they are most fond of is their only addiction, almost all addicts suffer from polysubstance abuse.

Now, many people believe polysubstance abuse is more than addiction and the only remedy is psychiatric drugs as a cure for a dual diagnosis situation. However, this isn’t true. Almost all drug use stems from one core problem, no matter the substance.

I can tell you from personal experience this was true for me. Before I arrived for drug addiction treatment at Narconon Louisiana, every day was a scheme to get high on whatever I could. Heroin was my main poison, but it honestly didn’t matter what I got my hands on, so long as I got my hands on something.

I was born and raised in New Orleans which is just one city on a long list of cities plagued by a drug epidemic. Before I went to Narconon, my life was a monotonous, drug-fueled cycle of delirium. I was a regular at the Methadone Clinic and in my free time I would scour through the streets looking for either heroin, crack, or both. Nowadays, Methadone is an opiate replacement drug like Suboxone. The big difference though is methadone doesn’t contain naloxone, otherwise known as the “opiate blocker”, whereas Suboxone does.

The reality is, someone who is on the methadone maintenance program can get high… but it isn’t that simple. Tolerance levels rise exponentially, so where I used to not be able to even do 1 bundle, I needed 3 for the same effect. That’s where crack came in. Methadone didn’t affect the high that crack gave me, so naturally, I started flocking all my leftover resources into my crack habit fund. This didn’t last long. Crack habits are nearly impossible to support even if you’re well off.

I worked in a grocery store during the day and borrowed my mom’s car to deliver pizzas at night. When I was all spent, at the bottom of my barrel and hopeless… something that was nothing less than a miracle happened. Someone from Narconon called and I went to drug rehab as soon as I could. I went from Methadone, Crack, Heroin and whatever else I could find to nothing. No substances at all. I’ve never been happier in my life and I have Narconon to thank.

— Mike A., Narconon Graduate



Aaron has been writing drug education articles and documenting the success of the Narconon program for over two years.