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PTSD and Addiction: Why Are They Often Linked?

a woman consoles a man who is leaning into his hands after learning more about the connection between ptsd and addiction

When you’re struggling with both substance use and trauma simultaneously, a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatment program can provide the support you need to overcome both conditions at once. Living with PTSD means overcoming substance use, which is difficult to achieve without undergoing trauma therapy.

Vertava Health of Mississippi Outpatient is a leading provider of outpatient substance use treatment in Mississippi. We offer outpatient programs to support addiction, PTSD, and veterans. Give us a call at 888.498.2376 to learn more about our PTSD treatment program at Vertava Health of Mississippi Outpatient.

What Is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health condition that can develop as a response to trauma. Anyone can develop PTSD after living through a traumatizing experience.

Trauma most often develops after a situation that evokes feelings of fear and powerlessness. Situations that are often considered traumatizing include:

  • Car accidents
  • House fires
  • Terrorist attacks
  • Warzone experience
  • Sexual abuse or assault
  • Physical violence

Reactions to trauma are often unique to the individual. One person may walk away from a situation without experiencing a significant mental health impact, while another might struggle greatly.

PTSD occurs when a person’s trauma response doesn’t fade over time. Symptoms like flashbacks, nightmares, and anxiety may worsen or interfere with daily life.

What Is the Connection Between PTSD and Drug Addiction?

Living with PTSD can make it difficult to maintain healthy relationships and fulfill obligations at work or home. Some individuals come to find that having a drink or using drugs offers a temporary sense of relief from PTSD symptoms. PTSD and addiction often go together for this reason.

Relying on substances to cope with life and mental health concerns is known as “self-medicating.” Although it might seem to help in the short term, it usually makes the symptoms of PTSD worse and puts a person at risk of developing a substance use disorder.

Healing from both PTSD and drug addiction is possible with the right support. Some substance use treatment centers offer co-occurring disorder treatment, which is designed to address both addiction and mental health concerns.

The right rehab program can connect you with trauma therapies, help you understand the connection between PTSD and substance abuse, and help set you on the path to long-term healing.

Helping Veterans with PTSD and Addiction

Veterans are at particularly high risk of developing PTSD. Warzone experiences often lead to trauma. Factors like distance from family and living on a military base can further exacerbate the effects of a traumatic experience.

Service members often rely on alcohol to bond and cope with traumatic experiences. Over time, PTSD often worsens as a substance use disorder develops. By the time service ends, many veterans have spent years living with both substance use disorder and PTSD.

Providing veterans with PTSD and addiction treatment that leads to a lasting recovery requires addressing the unique factors in a veteran’s life. Veterans treatment programs are designed to achieve this goal in a healing environment of peers.

Get Support for PTSD and Substance Abuse at Vertava Health of Mississippi Outpatient

At Vertava Health of Mississippi Outpatient, we understand the profound impact PTSD can have on your life. We offer co-occurring disorder treatment, so our clients get simultaneous support for both PTSD and substance abuse.

We also offer a veterans support program designed to address the unique experiences and challenges veterans face. Our veterans program places you into an environment of peers who have shared similar life experiences. We also work with you and your family to help you get approval for treatment through Veterans Affairs (VA).

Overcoming PTSD and addiction is possible with the right support. Contact us at 888.498.2376 today for more information on the treatment programs offered at Vertava Health of Mississippi Outpatient.