Last Updated: February 16, 2023
Researchers estimate that more than half of people living with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) also battle addiction. This means that those affected by PTSD are two to three times more likely than their non-affected cohorts to suffer from addiction such as drug-dependency, alcoholism, or even food addiction. This article explores why these two disorders tend to co-occur and provides actionable tips for treating them at the same time through the Recovery Village Columbus’ unique Ohio drug rehab program.
What Is PTSD?
While post-traumatic stress disorder is gaining more mainstream visibility, many unhelpful stereotypes persist about the disorder. When many people imagine PTSD, they probably think of a combat veteran, usually male. Yes, PTSD does often affect war veterans, but it can also affect civilians from any background, gender, or race. Anyone who has experienced a traumatic event, such as a severe accident, sexual abuse, a violent attack, or even the death of a close friend or family member may at some point deal with symptoms of PTSD, which include:
- Flashbacks to the traumatic event with the same emotions as if you are still there
- Constantly reliving the event and going over “what-ifs”
- Recurrent nightmares
- Being triggered by things that remind you of the event, such as a smell, a person, a news report, etc.
What Is Addiction?
The medical definition of addiction given by American Society of Addiction Medicine is that addiction is a brain disease motivated by the chronic use of addictive substances or participating in addictive behaviors. Over time, drinking, drug use, or other repetitive self-destructive behaviors can change brain circuitry and chemistry. Individuals become less able to control their behavior, which leads to negative consequences to their health, cognition, and personal and professional lives.
How Do You Treat Addiction and PTSD At the Same Time?
PTSD and addiction have a complicated relationship that can make treating them at the same time a little more complicated. The stress that accompanies PTSD can make someone more likely to turn to drugs, alcohol, or other maladaptive behaviors. However, with professional help and family support, it is possible to recover from both simultaneously. Unlike most drug treatment facilities, The Recovery Village Columbus is well-equipped to help Ohio residents who are dealing with a dual-diagnosis of addiction and PTSD or any other mental health problems. Our compassionate care addresses the whole person, not just the symptoms, and provides the medication, counseling, and supportive environment needed to start the healing process. Want help for yourself or a loved one who is living with both PTSD and addiction? Contact us today to learn about our integrated treatment options that address the underlying causes of addiction and mental health issues while providing ongoing care and support for lasting recovery. Call us to learn about admission or outpatient treatment options.
Veteran Recovery Is Our Mission
Our Veteran Advocates can help you navigate your VA health insurance and get you the help you need. At The Recovery Village Columbus, our FORTITUDE specialty track for veterans and first responders offers:
- Exclusive group therapy sessions with your peers
- Experienced clinicians trained in military culture and veteran-specific care
- Dual diagnosis to treat addiction and mental health disorders together
- EMDR: A revolutionary treatment that alleviates trauma symptoms
Our Recovery Advocates are ready to answer your questions about addiction treatment and help you start your recovery.