Poly drug use occurs when two or more drugs are used at, or near, the same time. Mixing drugs can also occur when a manufacturer combines different drugs to achieve a specific effect or to save money by mixing in cheaper chemicals. This can result in a person combining drugs unintentionally.

The risk of harm is increased if more than one drug is used at a time, especially when drugs of unknown content and purity are combined. This includes mixing over-the-counter drugs, prescription drugs and illegal drugs.

Poly drug use increases the risk of the following symptoms and effects:

  • heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature may be exaggerated, which can increase the chance of serious problems occurring;
  • overdose; and severe emotional and mental disturbances such as panic attacks and paranoia.