Understanding How PTSD and Addiction Relate
PTSD can cause intense flashbacks of traumatic events, nightmares, and scary or intrusive thoughts to those who suffer from it. Understandably these feelings and experiences are difficult for people to deal with, so they may turn to drugs or alcohol as a way of self-medicating or to make themselves feel numb to them. In a sense, substance abuse is a symptom of PTSD for some because they have found no other way to deal with the other symptoms they are experiencing. On the other hand, addiction can also cause PTSD due to the unsafe situations people may put themselves in when under the influence or when obtaining drugs. This cycle can be difficult to break because of the way the brain responds to both trauma and drugs.
What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a psychiatric disorder that results from witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event such as abuse, combat, natural disaster, or a violent accident. Symptoms of PTSD can occur days, months, or even years after the initial incident. The National Center for PTSD estimates that 8 million Americans experience PTSD in any given year and roughly 8% of the world population have PTSD during their lifetime. PTSD can affect anyone, not just veterans as it is more traditionally thought of, however studies have shown that around 12% of veterans returning from combat have PTSD.
How Can PTSD and Addiction be Co-Occurring?
According to the US Department of Veteran Affairs, almost ¾ of people who have experienced abusive or violent traumatic events have alcohol use disorder. This is because the brain’s production of endorphins, a chemical responsible for making us feel happy, is significantly decreased. To counteract this, people may begin to use drugs or alcohol as a way to lighten their mood. However, this can be a risky endeavor because of the changes the brain has endured due to trauma.
Healing from PTSD and Addiction
Healing from PTSD and addiction is possible. Treatment will target the root cause of addiction, trauma and the effects of PTSD by including a variety of trauma therapies. Find out how you or a loved one can heal from PTSD and addiction with the help of The Source Addiction Treatment Center by calling us today at (800) 204-0418.
The Source Offers Leading Edge Trauma Therapy
The Source Treatment Center understands the impact trauma can have on the development of addiction, and believes that treating the root cause of the addiction is the best way to ensure success in recovery. Providing trauma-informed care is what sets The Source above the rest when it comes to dual diagnosis, such as PTSD and addiction. At The Source, they know that unless the root cause of addiction is addressed, the person will not be adequately equipped to handle the struggles of recovery. The Source employs both traditional therapies as well as trauma therapies, which have been shown to rapidly decrease the effects of trauma. Trauma therapies available include:
- EMDR—Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy involves the client recalling details of the traumatic event in short intervals, guided by a licensed therapist who is directing the person’s eye movements. The idea behind this type of therapy is that these memories will become increasingly less difficult if your sight is diverted, resulting in the body and brain understanding there is no need for a response. EMDR has shown great success in rapidly decreasing PTSD symptoms as well as addiction.
- TIR—Traumatic Incident Reduction Therapy was developed by Dr. Frank Gerbode as “a person-centered desensitization method for helping people face traumatic events in their past that negatively impact their current lives and learn how to move forward positively.” This one-on-one technique has been proven to quickly and effectively treat addiction as well as PTSD.
- RRT—Rapid Resolution Therapy allows the person to rid themselves of the agonizing feelings associated with their trauma by using hypnosis, guided by trained therapists.
For more information about how trauma therapy at The Source can help you or a veteran in your life struggling with addiction, please call our treatment specialists at (800) 204-0418. We look forward to helping you find relief from the effects of PTSD and gain a better quality of life.