Substance abuse and PTSD often go hand-in-hand. Also, it’s common for individuals to attempt to deal with the PTSD symptoms by turning to substances, such as drugs and alcohol. This form of self-medicating may help to briefly mask symptoms but inevitably worsens PTSD while increasing the risk of addiction. When a mental health issue coincides with a substance use disorder, professionals call it a co-occurring disorder and use dual diagnosis treatment to address it.
Recovering From Substance Abuse and PTSD
A significant factor in substance abuse and PTSD is the patient’s need for control. PTSD can be emotionally debilitating and comes with a sense of inability to control your own life or emotions. The use of a substance can feel like something you can control, at least at first, making it attractive.
PTSD follows a traumatic event and often leaves the individual feeling overwhelmed and powerless. Symptoms of PTSD can include:
- Anxiety and panic attacks
- Reliving the traumatic experience
- Feeling isolated
- Trouble sleeping
- Anger and irritability
A fundamental symptom of PTSD is reliving the traumatic effect. This is distressing, and many people turn to substances to help shut the flashbacks out. People also use substances when they feel guilty, for example, after lashing out at their partner because of their PTSD.
Substance abuse and PTSD often cause legal problems such as debt, imprisonment, divorce, assault charges, and employment dismissal. The extra stress from issues like these can compound the issue and fuel substance abuse.
Drug and alcohol problems are common in people living with PTSD, with nearly 30% of females and more than half of males having a dual diagnosis.
A dual diagnosis means a diagnosis of a mental health condition and an addiction simultaneously. It can mean that treatment becomes more complicated, but this needn’t be a concern. Many treatment centers can often dual diagnosis care, and many experts specialize in this.
Dual diagnosis is also referred to as co-morbidity, dual disorder, or co-existing conditions. The terminology can be frightening, but all it means is that you or your loved one has two conditions at once.
Fortunately, co-existing conditions are common, and there is help available. One of the best ways of dealing with multiple illnesses is residential treatment. A residential treatment center provides a safe, supported place to detox and takes steps towards recovery. You or your loved one will also have access to peer support and the opportunity to try holistic therapies, such as yoga.
If residential treatment isn’t right for you or your loved one, plenty of outpatient support is available. This can include addiction therapy, medication, yoga, support groups, and more. There are even activities like art therapy or equine therapy available to aid recovery.
Oceanfront Recovery Center
Our beautiful facilities lie just two blocks away from the Pacific ocean, a serene place to recover from substance abuse and PTSD. With our stylish furnishings and modern technology, we offer a wide variety of treatment programs, including:
- Anxiety treatment program
- Alcohol addiction treatment center
- Opiate addiction treatment center
- PTSD treatment program
- Prescription drug addiction treatment center
Oceanfront Recovery Center believes in treating every patient with compassion and determination. We have a friendly and approachable staff trained to help you or your loved one with your diagnosis.
Our intakes team is always available to guide you through the admissions process. For instance, we can discuss finance options with you and help you with the paperwork. We also accept most insurance policies.
We offer various holistic therapies, such as yoga and equine therapy, as we believe these are fundamental in aiding recovery. Peer support is also available.