There is no shortage of world events that can potentially lead to trauma. Wars, natural disasters, political upheavals, crashing economies, poverty, and pandemics can trigger various mental health issues that range from anxiety and depression to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). How do these catastrophic events impact addiction? More importantly, how do those affected by world events cope without turning to drugs and alcohol?
How Do World Events Impact Addiction?
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Perhaps the most significant impact that a world event has on any one person is trauma. Trauma is an emotional response to a traumatic event. A person who witnesses or experiences a traumatic event may not be equipped to deal with the emotional aftermath. As a result, they may turn to drugs or alcohol as a form of self-medication.
The symptoms of PTSD may include:
- Sleepless nights or nightmares
- Emotional outbursts
- Fears or phobias
- Social isolation
- Repressed feelings
It can take years for some symptoms to manifest. Consequently, a person with PTSD may not make the connection between the trauma and their addiction. Trauma-informed care can help those with PTSD manage their symptoms and overcome their past trauma.
Anxiety and Depression
The current coronavirus has caused a surge in anxiety disorders and clinical depression. Many people live in fear of contracting the virus. Others have already caught COVID-19 or have lost loved ones who had it. Pandemics cause mass fear, chaos, and uncertainty. These emotions can lead to high levels of anxiety. However, many people in quarantine are unable to get professional help for their condition.
Fortunately, many addiction treatment centers in North Carolina offer telehealth services to assist those with mental health disorders and addictions. Services that are currently available online include:
- Support groups
- Pharmaceutical services
- Document retrieval
- Addiction apps
- Educational resources
Someone suffering from addiction and trauma should have instant access to treatment and support to help they need to overcome their addiction.
Whether physical or emotional, world events can lead to isolation, which often contributes to drug or alcohol addiction. The coronavirus has led to forced quarantines in many parts of the U.S. The current presidential election has made many people feel emotionally isolated from their communities or their government. Recent hurricanes have separated families and caused many people to lose their homes. All of this leads to feelings of isolation.
For those struggling with addiction, isolation can easily trigger a relapse or cause them to go further into substance abuse. Group therapy programs and support groups can help people connect with others on the path to recovery. Many groups meet online, while others meet in the community, possibly in smaller groups due to COVID-19.
Catastrophic world events can often throw people into chaos. Schedules are derailed, uncertainty ensues, and lives are thrown into disorder. This type of instability is difficult for someone in recovery who relies on stability and routine to stay on track. For those who struggle with addiction, instability only leads to more addiction. In some cases, there is no accountability because people have their minds on the recent world event.
While it is impossible to control a world event, someone who has an addiction can still maintain a certain level of stability. They may start by putting their house in order and creating a stable environment. Or they can continue going to work if they have a job. Reaching out to support groups and treatment specialists can also create stability in uncertain times.
Get Help for Addiction at The Willows at Red Oak Recovery
If you are struggling with addiction, now is the time to get help. The Willows at Red Oak Recovery offers a variety of addiction treatment therapies for all types of addictions and mental health issues. Contact The Willows at Red Oak Recovery at 855.773.0614 to find out more about your treatment options. Let us help you get on the path to recovery.