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Explore Our Mental Heath and Addiction Treatment Center in Raleigh, ND

The Link Between PTSD and Addiction

a woman decides it is time for help dealing with and treatment for both her ptsd and addiction

If you’ve ever experienced a traumatic event, you know that the aftermath can be just as difficult, if not more so, than the event itself. Many people who go through a traumatic experience develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a condition that can lead to a host of other problems, including addiction.

PTSD and addiction often go hand-in-hand, and the link between the two is strong and complex. At Prairie Recovery’s PTSD treatment center, our experienced and compassionate team will work with you to develop a customized treatment plan that meets your unique needs.

We can help you heal the wounds of the past and build a foundation for a bright future. Contact us today at 844.979.4310.

Understanding PTSD and Addiction

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition that can develop after a person experiences or witnesses a traumatic event, such as a natural disaster, a car accident, or a violent assault, or from long-term exposure to a traumatic environment, such as combat or child abuse.

People with PTSD may relive the event through flashbacks and nightmares, and they may avoid anything that reminds them of the trauma. They may also feel numb and disconnected from others and have difficulty sleeping and concentrating.

PTSD can lead to other problems, including depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. In fact, research has shown that people with PTSD are more likely to develop an addiction than people who don’t have the disorder.

The Link Between PTSD and Substance Abuse

PTSD and substance abuse share some common risk factors, including genetics, environment, and brain chemistry. Both conditions are associated with an imbalance of neurotransmitters, chemicals that help the brain communicate. This imbalance can lead to impulsive behavior, anxiety, insomnia, and depression, all of which can contribute to addiction.

Co-Occurring Addiction and PTSD

When someone has both addiction and PTSD, it’s called a co-occurring disorder or dual diagnosis. People with PTSD may self-medicate with drugs and alcohol to numb the pain of their memories or to avoid feeling the emotions associated with the trauma. Substance abuse can also provide a temporary escape from the reality of PTSD. But, in reality, substance abuse only makes the symptoms of PTSD worse.

Having a co-occurring disorder can make treatment more challenging, but it’s important to remember that both disorders can be treated successfully. At Prairie Recovery, our team of experts has extensive experience treating co-occurring disorders. We understand the challenges you face, and we’re here to help you every step of the way.

Treatment Options for Complex PTSD and Addiction

The good news is that complex PTSD and addiction are both treatable conditions. At Prairie Recovery, we offer a comprehensive, individualized treatment program that includes a variety of evidence-based therapies that can help you manage the symptoms of addiction and PTSD.

Some of the most common treatments for PTSD and addiction include:

  • Psychotherapy—Psychotherapy, or “talk therapy,” can be an effective treatment for PTSD. During therapy, you’ll work with a therapist to identify and process the emotions and memories associated with your trauma. This can help you develop healthy coping mechanisms and reduce your symptoms.
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)—Uses eye movements to help you process and heal from trauma. EMDR can be an effective treatment for PTSD, and it can also help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms in people with addiction.
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy—This can help you change the negative thoughts and behaviors that contribute to PTSD and substance abuse. CBT can help you develop healthy coping mechanisms, manage stress, and avoid triggers.

There are a number of effective treatments for complex PTSD and addiction, and the best approach for you will depend on your unique needs.

Find Relief From PTSD and Addiction at Prairie Recovery

If you or someone you love is struggling with PTSD and substance abuse, we can help. At Prairie Recovery, we understand the challenges that come with having a co-occurring disorder, and we’re here to help you every step of the way. Contact us today at 844.979.4310 to learn more about our treatment program and how we can help you heal.