Many people blame themselves or their loved ones for needing substance abuse treatment and for suffering from addiction. But this substance abuse often occurs because of specific root causes. For many, there is a distinct connection between unresolved trauma and addiction. When someone struggles with substance use disorder in conjunction with a mental health issue like anxiety, depression, or trauma, they are dealing with a co-occurring disorder. When this is the case, individuals need quality dual diagnosis treatment. Trauma and substance use disorder need to be treated simultaneously so individuals can heal and avoid relapse or the worsening of either condition. At Santé Center for Healing, we understand that addiction is a disease with physical and mental aspects. We can recognize their trauma, treat it, and treat substance use disorder at the same time.
The Connection Between Unresolved Trauma and Addiction
If you doubt the connection between unresolved trauma and substance abuse, take some time to think about what you have heard from people who drink or use drugs often. Some people use excuses like needing “social lubrication” or a “pre-game” to drink before going out to events, parties, or other social gatherings. These common excuses actually point to social anxiety, general anxiety, or other feelings that sometimes have roots in trauma.
For others, drinking or using drugs helps with the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. Post-traumatic stress disorder occurs when someone experiences criminal victimization, military combat, an accident, injury, death of a loved one, or other traumatic events. PTSD also brings a wide range of symptoms, including anxiety, depression, flashback memories, attention problems, and anger. For someone with PTSD, soothing drugs or alcohol makes life feel better for a period of time.
The trap of self-medicating trauma with substance abuse is quick to shut. That is, drugs or alcohol only help at first. Your drinking or drug use doesn’t provide the same pleasant feelings and relief from your trauma. Due to tolerance, the substances no longer work in that way. From tolerance to dependence and eventually to addiction, self-medication only brings more misery and exaggerates your trauma symptoms even more. Seek trauma treatment from a professional for help.
Recovery Means Healing the Trauma to Heal the Addiction
When you suffer co-occurring conditions of trauma with your addiction, such as PTSD or anxiety, you must heal all of these conditions at once. If you leave one of the co-occurring conditions untreated, it simply pulls you back down into relapse. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network is just one agency of many dedicating time and resources to studying the link between these issues.
So if you or the person you love suffered trauma in the past and now struggle with substance abuse, quality rehab treatment providing dual diagnosis care can help you end this cycle of addiction and mental health problems. The first part of your treatment helps you understand your dual diagnosis and opens your eyes to the connection between unresolved trauma and addiction. Once you understand this connection, true healing begins in trauma-informed therapy.
Your healing for both conditions takes place in a range of therapies, including:
- Individual counseling
- Family therapy
- Group therapy
- Art therapy, yoga, and ropes course activities
- Evidence-based practices
Finding the Quality Rehab Center You Need for Trauma and Addiction Recovery
Located in a calm, peaceful environment in the small town of Argyle, Texas, Santé Center for Healing provides the trauma and addiction treatment you need to gain lasting recovery. This treatment includes multiple levels of care, alumni programs, and evidence-based therapies. Call Santé Center for Healing now at 866.238.3154 to start putting your co-occurring conditions behind you and start a better life.