Up to 66 percent of people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) also suffer addiction, according to TIME Magazine. In fact, this means people with PTSD suffer addiction two to four times more frequently than those without. However, the only way out of this deadly cycle is through addiction treatment with a PTSD treatment program.
Role of PTSD in Addiction
PTSD is a stress disorder affecting about eight percent of American adults at some point in their lifetime. Moreover, this condition comes from experiences of a traumatic or life-threatening nature. Experiencing danger causes your brain to trigger the fight-or-flight response. Specifically, this changes your brain chemicals, heart rate, breathing, body temperature, and blood pressure.
During your fight-or-flight response, your focus and adrenaline increase. Furthermore, you feel alert and wide awake. These changes help you escape danger. They are healthy responses when the danger exists. However, after the danger ends, if these feelings remain for a long period of time, you suffer PTSD.
Being diagnosed with PTSD means you suffer these effects for at least a month. They interfere with your daily life. For example, you experience a wide variety of symptoms, including:
- Avoidance of reminders of the event
- Flashbacks, nightmares or frightening thoughts
- Problems with sleeping, edginess, anger and being easily startled
- Negative feelings, low self-esteem and guilt
- Memory and concentration problems
- Lost interest in favorite activities
- Social isolation
Many people with PTSD start abusing substances to relieve their symptoms. Unfortunately, early soothing by drugs or alcohol gives way to tolerance and addiction. The substances stop relieving PTSD symptoms and start making them worse.
Benefits of Addiction Treatment with a PTSD Treatment Program
When you suffer both addiction and PTSD, you need a specially designed PTSD treatment program for addiction. Therefore, both conditions must gain treatment at the same time. This treatment starts in detox and continues through rehab and into recovery. Without a trauma informed approach in a PTSD treatment program, the PTSD fuels the addiction to relapse.
PTSD makes many addiction withdrawal symptoms worse. In fact, these symptoms sometimes last for months after substance abuse ends. For this reason, you need a PTSD treatment program in a rehab specializing in trauma recovery. Dual diagnosis treatment helps both conditions at once, your stress disorder, and your substance abuse.
In rehab, a variety of tools and methods treat your trauma and addiction. These methods include behavioral therapies, medications, and education. For example, your behavioral therapies take place in individual, group, and family counseling settings.
In individual therapy, you gain important behavioral therapies for PTSD treatment. These behavioral therapies include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Additionally, CBT helps you learn how to manage your stress, change your thinking, and improve your self-esteem. It also teaches you about your own personal triggers and how to overcome them and prevent relapse.
Medications help many people with PTSD live healthier lives. In addition, these medications treat anxiety, depression, and sleeplessness. When you enter rehab, your therapists perform an assessment. This assessment and other tests help them determine whether you need medication for your condition.
The most important role of rehab for addiction and PTSD is to treat both conditions at the same time. Treating only one condition leaves the other unchecked, causing you to relapse in both substance abuse and mental illness.
Trauma and Addiction Treatment in North Carolina
Crest View Recovery Center in Asheville, North Carolina understands your struggle with PTSD and addiction. At CVRC, you gain the addiction therapy services and treatments you need for strong recovery from both of your conditions.
Specifically, programs at Crest View Recovery Center include:
- Rehab treatment
- Eight hours of daily treatment
- Gender-specific group therapy
- Intensive outpatient program
- Reality therapy for life skills development
- Weekend activities
- Wellness program