Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a real problem among men and women. What most people don’t know, though, is that PTSD and substance abuse often go hand in hand. In fact, the vast number of people who struggle with addiction have, at one point, suffered some form of trauma. To make matters worse, real addiction treatment can’t start until they deal with the PTSD with North Carolina PTSD treatment programs.
What Is PTSD?
Before people can learn more about the connection between PTSD and substance abuse, it’s important to fully understand PTSD. People who struggle with it have been through some kind of life-threatening or traumatic experience.
When people are in danger, the brain triggers what experts call a fight-or-flight response. During this time, the brain releases chemicals that increase blood pressure, heart rate and respiration. The purpose is to increase focus and heighten adrenaline levels. However, this altered state shouldn’t last when the threat is gone.
In some cases, however, people continue to experience these effects long after the threatening period. In general, these effects arise when something reminds them of the traumatic event. This type of reaction is what experts refer to as PTSD.
PTSD and Substance Abuse
The relation between PTSD and substance abuse is pretty extreme. However, it’s necessary to note that it’s possible to have one without the other. Just because people have PTSD doesn’t mean that they have a substance abuse problem too. Likewise, everyone with a substance abuse problem doesn’t always suffer from PTSD.
With that said, people who have mental disorders don’t always seek the professional help that they need. Instead, they self-medicate, which typically involves abusing drugs. Once codependency between a mental disorder and substance abuse develops, they have to treat both.
Treating addiction without treating the underlying cause usually results in relapse. The reason is that the mental disorder led to the development of the addiction. Simply treating the addiction means that people are likely to relapse when the mental disorder resurfaces. It’s the never-ending link between PTSD and substance abuse.
Is PTSD Really a Problem in the United States?
The relation between PTSD and substance abuse is hard to deny. However, is PTSD really that big of a problem in the United States? According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), it is. The NIMH reports that around eight out of every 100 people struggle with PTSD at some point in their lives.
The Time to Seek Treatment Is Now
There’s a strong connection between PTSD and substance abuse. If you struggle with both, it’s crucial to find North Carolina PTSD treatment programs that you can count on. At The Willows, we provide dual diagnosis treatment for women. A few of the other programs that we provide include:
- Group and individual therapy
- Partial hospitalization programs and outpatient treatment
- Holistic therapy
- Mindfulness based cognitive therapy
Don’t let this underlying mental disorder keep you from overcoming your addiction. Learn more about the connection between PTSD and substance abuse. Contact our staff today at 855.773.0614 to get started on dual diagnosis treatment.