Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition that about 7 to 8 percent of people will experience at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, PTSD and substance abuse often occur at the same time. Around 50 to 66 percent of people who have PTSD also struggle with addiction. If someone struggles with these problems, there are treatments available for mental illnesses and addictions.
How PTSD and Substance Abuse Work
PTSD typically happens after someone experiences a traumatic event. They may be the victims of sexual violence, physical trauma or domestic violence. Many military veterans develop PTSD during their years of service.
When someone is normally under stress and in danger, the mind goes through a fight-or-flight response. This causes the heart rate, respiration, blood pressure, and body temperature to go up. The body makes these changes to help the person respond to the danger. When the danger goes away, this stress response should also go away.
With PTSD, the stress response remains after the danger disappears. PTSD can begin a few months or a few years after someone experiences a traumatic event. The individual may experience flashbacks, memory issues, nightmares, or sleep problems.
PTSD and substance abuse often happen at the same time. Sometimes, the individual may use drugs or alcohol to reduce the guilt, fear, depression or other symptoms they experience PTSD. Unfortunately, drugs do not last for long, so the individual has to use over and over again to achieve the same effects.
Why Dual Diagnosis Care Is Important
In a PTSD therapy program, individuals can get dual diagnosis treatment. This type of treatment focuses on the addiction and the underlying mental illness at the same time. By focusing on both issues, clients have a better chance of recovering.
It is important to get treatment for all underlying disorders because each disorder can fuel other problems. If someone receives care for an addiction without getting help for PTSD, they may try to self-medicate after rehab is complete. Because of this, individuals should treat co-occurring disorders during rehab. With the right care, the client has a better chance of staying sober.
Discovering the Right Treatment Options
Thankfully, help is available for mental disorders like PTSD and substance abuse. Residential rehabs help clients recover from their addiction and receive care for mental health disorders. From detox to ongoing counseling sessions, these programs help people become sober and take charge of their lives again.
In a treatment program, clients can receive help through options such as:
- Dual diagnosis care
- Aftercare and continuing care programs
- Medically managed detox programs
- Counseling and individual therapy
- 12-step programs
- Family therapy
No one has to suffer from PTSD and substance abuse forever. At Authentic Recovery, clients can get support for mental disorders and addictions. Our treatment center makes the process easier by working with a range of providers like Blue Cross, Cigna, Anthem and Aetna. If you want to find out more about how we can help, call us today at 866.256.0051.