There’s a major stigma that surrounds addiction because many people believe it to be a choice. While it’s a choice to pick up a drink or a drug in most cases, many people also struggle with mental health issues. For many people abusing substances, PTSD and addiction go hand-in-hand. You might be someone who suffered a traumatic experience and turning to drugs or alcohol was the only way you knew how to cope. Unfortunately, long-term substance abuse can make your life even more unmanageable.
How PTSD and Addiction Occur
Although picking up a drink or a drug is a choice, most traumatic experiences that happen are not. Many people who struggle with PTSD and addiction had something happen to them at a very young age. You can experience a trigger affecting your PTSD at any time. These triggers are why some individuals turn to alcohol or drugs. The more your brain associates symptoms of PTSD with drinking or using, the higher the risk of addiction.
The three reasons people use include:
- To achieve a feeling or emotion
- To get rid of an emotion or feeling
- To have an escape
For most people who struggle with PTSD, they’re using or drinking to get rid of a feeling or have an escape. When symptoms of PTSD happen, your brain can get stuck in rumination replaying past events. As you already know, this is a short-term fix for a massive long-term problem. This band-aid is why addiction therapy services are so essential to get your life back on track.
Overcoming PTSD and Addiction
The great news is that there are a lot of people who were once in your same position and have since recovered. It’s possible to recover from both PTSD as well as addiction, and it all starts with addiction recovery services. At a qualified, dual diagnosis treatment center, you’ll receive the proper care to recover. You’ll be in a safe environment where you can open up about your trauma and learn how to work through it.
One of the methods used in treatment is trauma-focused CBT, which is evidence-based treatment. This means that science has proven that this method works when treating people with traumas. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is about identifying your triggers, thoughts, and emotions and learning a new way to cope. This method helps to rewire the way you behave after trauma responses. Soon, you’ll be able to find healthy behaviors that no longer involve getting drunk or high.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment at Steps to Recovery
Steps to Recovery offers addiction treatment while also focusing on your symptoms of PTSD. This is extremely important because if the focus were only on addiction or PTSD, your chances of recovery would be much lower. By working on your addiction and PTSD at the same time, you’ll learn tools that’ll help you stay sober for years to come. It can be challenging to open up about your trauma in front of others, but you’ll quickly find that you’re not alone in your struggles.
At our facility, we offer:
If you need help with addiction and PTSD, reach out to Steps to Recovery. Let us help you regain control of your life. Call today at 267.719.8528 to learn about possible programs and treatment options.