image of a man suffering from PTSD

The Link Between PTSD and Addiction

Post-traumatic stress disorder is often associated with military service, however, any person of any age can be diagnosed PTSD.

image of US MarinePost-traumatic stress disorder has often been associated with persons who have served in the military. However, the condition itself has nothing to do with military service, and any person of any age can be diagnosed with it. The causes of PTSD are myriad and include one-time incidents as well as exposure to longer-term trauma. Vehicular accidents, domestic abuse, sexual assault, loss of a loved one, and combat situations have all been linked to the development of PTSD and associated symptoms.

While Pysciatry.org indicates that “one in 11 people will be diagnosed with PTSD in their lifetime,” it is important to remember that such numbers, as high as they are, fail to take into account undiagnosed PTSD cases. There is an untold percentage of sufferers who have never seen a doctor, never gotten help, and perhaps attempt to “self-medicate” as a way to cope with the pain.

There are several reasons why people choose not to seek assistance. For some, there’s a fear of being perceived as weak for needing help — a fear of what others might think. Contrasted to that, many do not seek treatment because they’re afraid of what others might do to them. This group includes women who may have been (or still are) victims of trauma at the hands of another person, such as a spouse or significant other. They may be afraid to speak to a mental health professional due to safety concerns, and so are left undiagnosed and untreated sometimes for years.

image of woman sharing PTSD related trauma with therapistPTSD symptoms are highly unpleasant.

The National Institute of Mental Health notes that symptoms fall into broad categories, such as:

  • Arousal symptoms (anger management problems, insomnia, stress)
  • Avoidance symptoms (staying away from triggers that remind them of the trauma)
  • Mood symptoms (negativity, lack of interest in hobbies)
  • Re-experiencing symptoms (nightmares, flashbacks)

Whether diagnosed or not, PTSD sufferers struggle to take pleasure from their daily lives. Without treatment (and potentially medication), they are prone to developing associated mental health conditions ranging from social phobias to depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and Substance Use Disorder (SUD). In fact, according to a report published by the National Library of Medicine, out of “treatment-seeking populations,” those diagnosed with PTSD are “up to 14 times more likely...to have a SUD.”

Why are those with PTSD so predisposed to developing an addiction to substances?

image of woman with hands on hipsTo a large extent, it is because they turn to “recreational” substances as a method of self-medication for their symptoms. Many drugs fall under the umbrella term “recreational drugs,” including alcohol, cannabis, synthetic cannabinoids, cocaine, meth, LSD, and misused prescription medications such as Adderall and opioids. Each of these drugs have different effects, but all induce an altered state of consciousness, which is the user’s goal. They also have differing levels of addictiveness, but can all be abused, leading to a substance use disorder. Without professional diagnosis and treatment of both the PTSD and the substance abuse, the dual problems can feed into each other and quickly create a life-threatening crisis. Fortunately, there are several types of treatment programs and therapy options for those ready to get better!

If you or someone you care about, has an ongoing history of alcohol or substance use and/or relapse, contact Gulf Breeze Recovery or call: (855) 433-4480 to speak to an addiction expert to learn more about their residential program, out-patient program, and intensive out-patient program, and which of these can best fit your individual needs.  These programs have helped many people overcome their addiction and embrace their new happy, healthy, substance-free lifestyle.

We help people not just to survive, but to THRIVE!

Post-traumatic stress disorder is often associated with military service, however, any person of any age can be diagnosed PTSD.

image of US MarinePost-traumatic stress disorder has often been associated with persons who have served in the military. However, the condition itself has nothing to do with military service, and any person of any age can be diagnosed with it. The causes of PTSD are myriad and include one-time incidents as well as exposure to longer-term trauma. Vehicular accidents, domestic abuse, sexual assault, loss of a loved one, and combat situations have all been linked to the development of PTSD and associated symptoms.

While Pysciatry.org indicates that “one in 11 people will be diagnosed with PTSD in their lifetime,” it is important to remember that such numbers, as high as they are, fail to take into account undiagnosed PTSD cases. There is an untold percentage of sufferers who have never seen a doctor, never gotten help, and perhaps attempt to “self-medicate” as a way to cope with the pain.

There are several reasons why people choose not to seek assistance. For some, there’s a fear of being perceived as weak for needing help — a fear of what others might think. Contrasted to that, many do not seek treatment because they’re afraid of what others might do to them. This group includes women who may have been (or still are) victims of trauma at the hands of another person, such as a spouse or significant other. They may be afraid to speak to a mental health professional due to safety concerns, and so are left undiagnosed and untreated sometimes for years.

image of woman sharing PTSD related trauma with therapistPTSD symptoms are highly unpleasant.

The National Institute of Mental Health notes that symptoms fall into broad categories, such as:

  • Arousal symptoms (anger management problems, insomnia, stress)
  • Avoidance symptoms (staying away from triggers that remind them of the trauma)
  • Mood symptoms (negativity, lack of interest in hobbies)
  • Re-experiencing symptoms (nightmares, flashbacks)

Whether diagnosed or not, PTSD sufferers struggle to take pleasure from their daily lives. Without treatment (and potentially medication), they are prone to developing associated mental health conditions ranging from social phobias to depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and Substance Use Disorder (SUD). In fact, according to a report published by the National Library of Medicine, out of “treatment-seeking populations,” those diagnosed with PTSD are “up to 14 times more likely...to have a SUD.”

Why are those with PTSD so predisposed to developing an addiction to substances?

image of woman with hands on hipsTo a large extent, it is because they turn to “recreational” substances as a method of self-medication for their symptoms. Many drugs fall under the umbrella term “recreational drugs,” including alcohol, cannabis, synthetic cannabinoids, cocaine, meth, LSD, and misused prescription medications such as Adderall and opioids. Each of these drugs have different effects, but all induce an altered state of consciousness, which is the user’s goal. They also have differing levels of addictiveness, but can all be abused, leading to a substance use disorder. Without professional diagnosis and treatment of both the PTSD and the substance abuse, the dual problems can feed into each other and quickly create a life-threatening crisis. Fortunately, there are several types of treatment programs and therapy options for those ready to get better!

If you or someone you care about, has an ongoing history of alcohol or substance use and/or relapse, contact Gulf Breeze Recovery or call: (855) 433-4480 to speak to an addiction expert to learn more about their residential program, out-patient program, and intensive out-patient program, and which of these can best fit your individual needs.  These programs have helped many people overcome their addiction and embrace their new happy, healthy, substance-free lifestyle.

We help people not just to survive, but to THRIVE!

The front of Gulf Breeze Recovery a non 12 step holistic drug and alcohol rehab specializing in helping guests overcome chronic relapse

About Gulf Breeze Recovery:

Gulf Breeze Recovery, unlike other treatment centers in Florida, is a non 12 step holistic drug and alcohol rehab that is changing the future of addiction treatment with their THRIVE® (Total Health Recovery) program focused on overcoming chronic relapse.
Gulf Breeze Recovery’s THRIVE® program is a non 12-step approach designed for those who are looking for a drug and alcohol treatment program to produce a different and positive result.
This non-12 step program allows you to drive beyond your addictions and promotes a new outlook on life.
We are licensed by the Florida Department of Children and Families, and our last audit scored 99.7! Also, we are gold certified by the Joint Commission.

Program logo: Gulf Breeze Recovery offers a true non-12-Step, holistic drug treatment program with licensed mental health professionals who have small caseloads so that they can offer individualized and intensive care and it's called THRIVE®

End Chronic Relapse and Start a New Life!

At Gulf Breeze Recovery we don’t want you to have just a great recovery, we want you to have a great life!

Contact Us, or Call: (855) 433-4480

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