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Can PTSD Impact Addiction?

woman seated on her bed in a darkened room wondering can PTSD impact addiction?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and addiction often coincide with each other, as many people believe the euphoric response from taking drugs or alcohol is helping their condition. In reality, substance abuse is nothing more than a poorly functioning bandaid that will fall off at the slightest breeze. The best way to treat PTSD and addiction symptoms is through an accredited co-occurring disorder treatment program.

At Evoke Wellness at Coconut Creek, our mental health treatment programs support those who are struggling with PTSD or other mental health disorders and have developed an addiction as a result. When you first meet with our dedicated team, they will run a full health assessment to determine the best course of action in treating the underlying disorder and the addiction that fuels it. You will work with a professional therapist in group and private therapy sessions while receiving medication to ease symptoms and cravings.

For more information about our PTSD treatment program, call 866.693.3871 today to schedule a tour and begin a healing journey.

Understanding the Connection Between PTSD and Addiction

Post-traumatic stress disorder is an anxiety disorder caused by past or recent traumatic events. This can include such experiences as combat, the sudden death of a loved one, natural disasters, and other frightening experiences. People with PTSD can experience sudden and intense feelings and emotions that make it seem like the event is happening all over again.

In most cases, a person who experiences trauma will turn to drugs or alcohol for relief instead of talking with a professional therapist. According to a national study, 51.9% of men and 27.9% of women with post-traumatic stress disorder also have a substance use disorder1.

While it may seem like it is helping, using drugs or alcohol to “feel better” will only worsen the original problem. Now, your body begins to associate substance cravings with PTSD triggers. The immediate thought is not, “I need help,” but instead becomes, “I need a drink/smoke.”

Evoke Wellness at Coconut Creek in Florida supports people who are struggling with PTSD and addiction and want help breaking the endless cycle of abuse. Our co-occurring disorder program focuses on the underlying disorder as well as the addiction simultaneously and gives people a real chance at living a healthy and sober lifestyle.

Treating Co-Occurring Disorders

Treating addiction and PTSD at the same time requires a mix of different therapeutic methods. It tackles physical withdrawals and cravings while working through the original trauma and finding new ways of processing reoccurring feelings and emotions that cause a problem.

If this is your first time enrolling in a therapy program, the following is what you can expect from a co-occurring disorders treatment program:

  • Medication-assisted treatment – Using medication to treat mental health disorders is safe. It is the best way to reduce disruptive symptoms, such as addiction withdrawals, cravings, and any anxiety symptoms caused by PTSD. Medical staff will administer specific dosages and monitor your progress throughout the program. As your symptoms diminish, they will begin tapering you off the medication until no longer necessary.
  • Behavioral therapiesCognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the best therapies for treating PTSD and addiction. You will work with a therapist who will uncover the original trauma and help you process those feelings and emotions by developing new coping skills. Other types of behavioral therapies that can aid in the recovery process include:
  • Holistic therapies – Recovering from a co-occurring disorder will require making several necessary life changes. This can include eating healthier and developing supportive peer relationships. Some holistic therapies used in treating multiple disorders include group discussions, role-playing, nutrition education, animal-assisted therapy, and art or music therapies.
  • Family therapy – Another important step in the recovery process is repairing family or personal relationships. All family members are encouraged to participate in therapy to learn more about the diagnosis and how they can become an integral part of the healing process.

Treating PTSD and addiction is possible by enrolling in an accredited co-occurring or dual-diagnosis treatment program. These programs give patients the skills and confidence necessary to manage their symptoms and triggers and stop letting the past trauma impact their lives today.

Enroll in PTSD Treatment at Evoke Wellness at Coconut Creek

Evoke Wellness at Coconut Creek is a fully accredited addiction treatment facility that supports Florida residents in improving their mental health. Our therapists are experienced in treating the underlying condition as well as any substance abuse that has developed. Each program includes a mix of medical support and behavioral therapies in a discreet setting that promotes understanding and sobriety.

If you or a loved one is struggling with PTSD and addiction, today is the day to make a positive change. Contact us online or call 866.693.3871 today to speak with our compassionate team.

1U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs – “PTSD: National Center for PTSD”