The impacts of trauma during childhood often linger on into adulthood and can lead to the development of psychological problems and/or addictions. Indeed, research has established such a firm link between childhood trauma and substance abuse that some treatment facilities now offer concurrent treatment of addiction and any underlying trauma.
Regardless of their age, social status, race or education level, females are statistically more prone to experiencing traumatic events precisely because of their gender. To cope, females may tend to develop substance dependence.
The rate of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) may be up to 15 times higher in the military population than it is in the general population, which likely explains in part the prevalence of substance use disorder in the military. Consequently, when people see or hear the term PTSD, they likely think of veterans.
It is no mystery that many people turn to substances and alcohol as coping mechanisms. Symptoms of stress and anxiety are often treated by “self-medication” instead of counseling or therapy. Past or present traumatic experiences are well-known to create long-term stress, anxiety, and other related wellness disorders.
Remember what you know. Now is the most important time ever to not allow negative or fearful thinking to pull you back toward the rabbit-hole of addiction. Thoughts are not a reality unless you allow them the power to become a reality. Thoughts, in and of themselves, are harmless. It’s the action that can create harm and consequences.
Someone with PTSD can feel helpless and hopeless. Suicidal thoughts are common, as is the abuse of alcohol or other substances in an attempt to stop the intrusive thoughts, memories, and experiences triggered by PTSD.
The Veterans Administration calculated that in 2017, seventeen United States veterans chose to end their life each day that year. Those fatalities are of male and female veterans who served in active duty, an additional average of 2.5 veterans who never served in active duty also chose suicide every day.
In recent years the opioid epidemic has grown so much that it’s overshadowed the more lethal scourge of alcoholism, which claims its victims through a wider range of methods.
It’s the holiday season and festivities abound. Many of those festivities include alcohol or sometimes other substances that can make relapse easy.
Human nature makes us want to postpone what we know might be uncomfortable, or something that we are a little afraid of. It always seems that it will be easier in the future, but the truth is that the best time isn’t in the future, it’s right now.