What is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)? PTSD is one of the leading causes of substance abuse in the world. People who struggle with PTSD but don’t seek professional help often turn to drugs for relief. Even after they get treatment, they might relapse if they don’t support a PTSD treatment center to deal with triggers. What are some PTSD triggers that can cause individuals to relapse? The Santé Center for Healing team is familiar with trauma’s effects on substance use disorder. Call 866.238.3154 to speak with someone from our caring and compassionate team about our mental health services, which are designed to help individuals identify and unlearn unhealthy coping mechanisms, develop new and healthy coping mechanisms, and ultimately overcome their trauma and take back control of their lives as they heal.
How Do PTSD and Addiction Relate?
Both PTSD and addiction are severe conditions. While PTSD is a mental health issue, addiction is a disease. When the two conditions appear together, individuals can have a complicated time healing. Once the brain develops a mental health condition, it becomes increasingly likely to develop another. As a result, people who struggle with PTSD are at risk of developing an addiction if they don’t seek help.
To make matters worse, most people struggling with PTSD don’t seek medical assistance. Instead, they try to self-medicate the problem. Unfortunately, the drugs that they take only provide temporary relief. To keep getting relief, they continue to abuse drugs, which eventually transforms into full-blown drug addiction that needs drug addiction rehab.
However, simply going to rehab may not treat both PTSD and addiction. Dual diagnosis treatment may be needed to treat both conditions effectively. By attending a dual diagnosis program, individuals can get treatment for their PTSD and addiction simultaneously.
Common PTSD Triggers
A good PTSD treatment center knows the most common triggers of PTSD. Its goal is to teach people about these triggers so that they can avoid them. Because of that, they can prevent a PTSD relapse.
First, it’s essential to understand how PTSD develops. During traumatic events, the brain survives and prepares to flee, fight or freeze. During this survival mode, certain functions of the brain stop to deal with the threat. For example, short-term memory doesn’t always work correctly. However, the brain can sometimes fail to process trauma properly. When that happens, it doesn’t always file the memory of that event. As a result, people might feel distressed even when they don’t face a threat. With that said, the brain still retains some of the memories of the incident. These memories often turn into triggers. Many other things can trigger PTSD, too, such as:
- Stressful events that remind the individual of their trauma
- Being alone
- Certain sounds, smells, or sight
- Holidays and anniversaries related to a traumatic event
People who suffer sexual abuse might have episodes when they see the people who abused them. Also, feelings can be triggers. Because of that, it’s often problematic for people to figure out everything that triggers their PTSD response. A PTSD treatment facility and trauma therapy can help people reprocess their memories so these triggers don’t always cause PTSD episodes. As a result, people stop having traumatic experiences when there’s no threat.
The key to learning all the triggers is looking for signs of panic attacks. Once these triggers set off PTSD episodes, people typically experience panic. Over time, they link these attacks to specific triggers.
Finding the Right Treatment Center for Co-Occurring Conditions
At Santé Center for Healing, we provide addiction and detox recovery services. Using our dual diagnosis program, we help people address the root cause of addiction. Our programs include treatment to overcome PTSD triggers. Beyond dual diagnosis treatment, we offer programs such as:
- Residential treatment
- Individualized counseling
- Addiction detox programs
- Intensive outpatient program
- Transitional living programs
Don’t let PTSD lead you to alcohol and drug abuse.