Another thing that can lead to relapse is Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome or PAWS. PAWS isn’t the same for everyone, with some people experiencing no symptoms of PAWS, while others may have varying symptoms that decrease with time, but can continue for as long as two years.
The American Psychological Association defines trauma as an emotional response, yet we know that our bodies suffer physical symptoms as well. Indeed, a trauma-inducing event can wound all of our systems. It can affect our thought processes, sleep, digestion, immune systems, outlook on life, and how we feel about ourselves and others.
Cocaine continues to create havoc in people’s lives. Addiction and overdose death from prescription pain medications is often publicized in the media, but cocaine use continues to be common.
As a mental health issue, PTSD is not confined to servicemembers and veterans. It can affect any person who has gone through a significant and terrible life event. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “anyone can develop PTSD at any age.”
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.
Historically health care, mental health care, and addiction treatment have been treated as separate issues. Scientific evidence shows that this separation has created obstacles to successful care coordination. More recently, efforts have been made to incorporate care and focus on how the issues interact for an individual.
Addiction doesn’t follow a one-size-fits-all definition, everything about it varies. Some people become addicted very quickly, and for others, the addiction is a slower process with substance use slowly crossing the line to substance abuse and then full-blown addiction.
Alcohol use disorder (AUD), commonly referred to as alcoholism, affects a staggering 15 million Americans. Listed under the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), AUD requires professional counseling to be properly diagnosed and treated.
As noted by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, “alcohol is involved in at least 50 percent of homicides and assaults.” Drinking lowers inhibitions, impairs judgment, and can directly contribute to the escalation of arguments into violence.
For the best chance for a good outcome, try to find a time that you are in a good mood, and the person with the addiction is in a place where they are at least willing to listen. Don’t be disappointed if your first conversation doesn’t result in their willingness to get treatment for their addiction. But don’t give up.