Navigating the Dual Challenges of PTSD and Substance Abuse

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, about 46.4% of individuals who struggle with lifetime PTSD also struggle with a substance use disorder. Unfortunately, PTSD left untreated can lead individuals to turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with their symptoms. However, abusing drugs and alcohol only temporarily relieves your PTSD symptoms while negatively impacting your overall health and well-being. If you are struggling with PTSD and substance abuse, it’s critical you seek professional treatment to better manage your symptoms and overcome addiction.

At Arista Recovery, we are an addiction treatment center that helps patients struggling with substance abuse get the treatment that they need to overcome addiction. With several different addiction treatment programs, we help as many individuals as possible overcome addiction and regain control over their lives for the better. 

Ready to start your road to recovery? Contact us today. 

What Is a Co-Occurring Disorder?

Before learning about how to improve challenges when struggling with PTSD and substance abuse, it’s important to understand what a co-occurring disorder is, and why it occurs. A co-occurring disorder occurs when someone is struggling both with a mental illness and a substance use disorder, such as in the case of an individual struggling with PTSD and substance abuse.

If you are struggling with both conditions, it’s critical you seek treatment for both treatments at the same time. Otherwise, treating one condition but not the other can increase your risk of relapsing. For example, if you are struggling with PTSD and substance abuse and you only treat your SUD, this will inevitably increase your risk of relapsing as you’ll still be struggling with your untreated PTSD symptoms.

Common Challenges of Addiction and PTSD

Understanding Substances Only Provide Temporary Relief

Unfortunately, many people suffering from PTSD don’t seek out professional help to better manage their symptoms. Therefore, this significantly increases a person’s risk of turning to drugs or alcohol as a means to cope with their symptoms. This is because substance abuse secondary to PTSD typically occurs as an individual struggling with untreated PTSD symptoms will turn to drugs or alcohol to try and relieve their symptoms.

However, drugs and alcohol do not treat PTSD symptoms. Rather, they merely temporarily relieve your symptoms short-term, and cause you to excessively abuse this substance again and again which inevitably increases your chance of developing an addiction.

Acknowledging Addiction and PTSD Are Common

If you are struggling with PTSD and addiction, you may feel very alone and thus feel the need to handle your PTSD symptoms all on your own. Yet, this leads many to turn to drugs or alcohol and develop an addiction, rather than directly treating their PTSD symptoms. Therefore, it’s important to understand that not only are addiction and PTSD common, but that you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help in treating your co-occurring disorder. 

Seeking Co-Occurring Treatment for Both Conditions

As discussed previously, it’s critical that if you are struggling with a co-occurring disorder you seek professional co-occurring treatment to effectively treat both conditions simultaneously. Otherwise, failure to treat both conditions at the same will increase your risk of relapse.

So, if you are struggling with both PTSD and addiction, consider seeking out help from an addiction treatment center that also offers comprehensive treatment for mental illnesses, like PTSD. This will ensure you receive the exact treatment you need to best improve your health and quality of life. 

Top-Rated Midwest Recovery Center

If you are suffering from a co-occurring disorder like PTSD and addiction, it’s important to understand that abusing substances only mask your symptoms. In other words, abusing drugs and alcohol is not healthy when it comes to effectively managing your symptoms. This is because as you begin to abuse more and more substances, you’ll eventually develop a dependency and addiction.Therefore, if you are struggling with PTSD and addiction, it’s critical you seek co-occurring treatment. At Arista Recovery, we offer various treatment programs to help patients struggling with substance use and co-occurring disorders. Whether you are struggling with PTSD and alcohol addiction, or another co-occurring disorder, we’re here to help you every step of the way to take back your life for good. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you on your journey toward long-term sobriety.

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