Home > Polydrug use: health and social responses.

European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. (2021) Polydrug use: health and social responses. Lisbon: European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. DOI: 10.2810/756632.

External website: https://www.emcdda.europa.eu/publications/mini-gui...

This polydrug miniguide provides an overview of the most important aspects to consider when planning or delivering health and social responses to problems related to polydrug use, and reviews the availability and effectiveness of the responses. It also considers implications for policy and practice.

The term ‘polydrug use’ is used to describe the use of more than one drug or type of drug by an individual either at the same time or sequentially. It encompasses the use of both illicit drugs and legal substances, such as alcohol and medicines, and most people who use drugs will on occasion use more than one substance. Polydrug use is important because the use of multiple drugs potentially increases both the acute and chronic risks associated with consumption. Interactions can occur between substances, for example cocaine and alcohol, which can exacerbate the risks associated with using either substance in isolation. The more severe consequences of polydrug use include a greater risk of fatal and non-fatal overdoses and accidents, hepatotoxicity, co-dependency and compromised treatment outcomes.

This miniguide is one of a larger set, which together comprise Health and social responses to drug problems: a European guide 2021. The guide supports practitioners and policymakers in tackling the negative consequences of drug use.

Item Type
Publication Type
International, Guideline, Report
Drug Type
Alcohol, All substances, Cannabis, CNS depressants / Sedatives, CNS stimulants, Cocaine, Inhalents and solvents, Opioid, New psychoactive substance, Prescription/Over the counter, Tobacco / Nicotine
Intervention Type
General / Comprehensive, Treatment method, Prevention, Harm reduction, Rehabilitation/Recovery, Policy
22 October 2021
Identification #
DOI: 10.2810/756632
European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction
Corporate Creators
European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction
Place of Publication

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