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Dangerous Drug Combinations

May 12, 2008
by Gary Enos
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Has polydrug use become more common in the clients you're seeing? A May 9 Boston Globe article, reporting on concern over a 32% increase in alcohol- and drug-related deaths in the Boston area last year, quoted sources as saying that talk of using drug combinations can be heard throughout area neighborhoods these days. More widespread use of methamphetamine and prescription medications appears to offer part of the explanation. Are you seeing more use of multiple substances in your population, and how does this affect the way in which you approach treatment?

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Almost all the inmates I see in my Relapse Prevention groups (at a county jail) are addicted to "more" which means they'll use whatever is available to them. Even In the halls of AA (remember singleness of purpose?), it's rare to find someone abusing only one substance.

Footnote to the published statistics about substance abuse related deaths in Boston: The actual figure must be substantially higher than reported. Many deaths attributed to heart attack, liver failure, pancreatic failure, etc. won't be counted as related to addictions, but were definitely the result of substance abuse.

Gary Enos

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Gary Enos

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www.addictionpro.com

Gary A. Enos has been the editor of Addiction Professional since its inception. He...