Many people who struggle with substance abuse have experienced some kind of profound trauma in their lives. Even though some may worry about the risks of bringing up traumatic experiences during addiction treatment, it is crucial to incorporate trauma healing strategies to give the patient the most promising chance of a full recovery.
To cope with the intense emotions that often accompany life after treatment and to aid in their recovery from addiction, some people choose to move far away from the scene of the trauma. For such people, we would suggest taking advantage of low cost prescriptions from online pharmacies that deliver the right to their door.
When do we experience trauma, and what causes it?
An individual’s mental state may become traumatic after exposure to a threatening or upsetting event. Violence, the loss of a loved one, a natural disaster, criminal acts, sexual violence, physical and emotional abuse, accidents, and neglect are just some of the many causes of trauma.
Many people’s reactions to traumatic events only last a month at most. However, for some people, trauma is an issue that will always be with them if they don’t get help for it.
Substance abuse can also be a reaction to traumatic experiences. Individuals who have experienced trauma are more likely to turn to substance abuse to cope with the overwhelming sadness and helplessness that often follow traumatic experiences. No matter how bad you may feel, try to find simple steps toward better health.
What Causes Trauma?
The unpleasant experiences of life can sometimes be endured without causing any lasting trauma. This is because these individuals either have exceptional emotional maturity or they have had a predictable experience. Situations where:
- It occurs unexpectedly;
- No preparation was made for it;
- It recurs;
- It was impossible to stop;
- It was the result of someone’s malicious intent;
- It began in childhood and persisted into adulthood.
Trauma’s Distinctive Features
Trauma’s effects can disadvantage a person’s ability to overcome their addiction. An individual is more inclined to revert to substance abuse in order to cope with the difficult emotions that result from trauma if they are not allowed to heal from those emotions.
A person who has experienced trauma and is working on their sobriety will:
- Suffer from emotional distress, particularly melancholy and nervousness
- Struggle with focus and attention; -Feel emotionally helpless in certain situations.
- Trouble trusting others; forming additional addictions; or forming eating disorders
- Increase their risk of self-harm and/or experiencing flashbacks to the traumatic event
PTSD and Substance Abuse
Many people who experience both trauma and addiction will develop post-traumatic stress disorder. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is diagnosed in people who have been affected by trauma symptoms for more than a month.
Most American adults (70%) have had some sort of traumatic experience, and among those people, 20% have developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Approximately 65% of people with a substance use disorder also suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. This further increases their vulnerability to trauma and the likelihood that they will continue toward addiction.
Addiction Therapy and the Process of Healing from Trauma
It is unlikely that the cycle of abuse can be broken if trauma and addiction are treated separately, so trauma healing should be incorporated into addiction treatment. Regardless of which comes first, traumatic experience or addiction, the two often reinforce one another.
The patient is at risk for further trauma and substance abuse if trauma is treated without the addiction. A person is at risk of relapsing into substance abuse if healing from trauma isn’t incorporated into their treatment for addiction.
Consequently, both issues need to be tackled simultaneously. Treatment for substance abuse may benefit from various methods, including behavioral therapy, relapse prevention training, narrative therapy, group and individual counseling, and family therapy.