PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorders
PTSD is the reaction to the experience of a traumatic stressor, that becomes psychologically disruptive. When people experience events such as
- witnessing death,
- being threatened with death or injury,
- being sexually abused
- other traumatic events
If a person is using alcohol or drugs, they are prone to increase their use to mask the intensity of the emotion until one day the memories make their way into dreams and flashbacks. At the time of the extremely stressful event, the person experiences intense fear, helplessness, or horror.
According to research the rate of PTSD among people with substance use disorders is 12 to 34 percent; for women who abuse substances, it is 30 to 59 percent.
A review of the literature found that PTSD often goes undetected due to lack of screening.
There are many different physical, cognitive and emotional disruptions that can occur in response to an acute traumatic event and/or PTSD. When these symptoms co-occur with substance use disorders, both conditions need to be treated as the symptoms of the unresolved trauma contributes to relapses in alcohol or drug use.
Mental Health Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP’s) provide two options:
People experiencing co-occurring health problems from PTSD such as chronic pain from fibromyalgia, diabetes, lower back pain and cirrhosis suffer from depression as a side effect of their ongoing medical condition.
Treatment for addiction and these co-occurring disorders leads to improved physical health, increased enjoyment and an overall healthier lifestyle.