The above link refers to the ‘DrugScope Street Drug Trends Survey 2009: Falling illegal drug purity ‘accelerates trend’ in uses combining different drugs’.
This survey emphasises that recreational use and substance addiction is unlikely to involve just one drug. Whilst the purity of drugs (such as cocaine have fallen to as low as 2% on the illegal market) has contributed to poly drug use there are also other motivations for the increase in people using a mixture of drugs. A significant proportion of users report using alcohol with illegal drugs, but the rise in the popularity of ‘legal highs’ and prescription drugs have added to the problem of ‘mixing’.
When you think of addiction or recreational drug use how many drugs come to mind? Four? Five? Maybe more? The facts are that substance abuse does not revolve around a few drugs, but a huge variety of legal, illegal and new substances that have unreported effects, especially when mixed with other drugs. It is well known that Benzodiazepines when mixed with alcohol can be extremely dangerous, but what about drugs that are only just registering on the radars of many support groups? Ketamine is a prime example, it has been available on the streets of the UK for over 10 years, but how many GPs know about the drug and how it is used?