It’s no secret that substance use and addiction are severe problems in the United States. However, the link between trauma and substance use may be less well-known. Trauma can profoundly affect mental health, and it’s often a contributing factor in developing an addiction. The link between trauma and substance use is complex, but understanding it is essential to developing effective treatment.
At Fort Behavioral Health, we specialize in treating co-occurring conditions like trauma disorders and addiction. Our comprehensive approach addresses both the underlying causes and the symptoms of these disorders. We know that recovery is possible, and we’re here to help you or your loved one get on the path to healing. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Call 844.332.1807 to learn more about our trauma therapy program and to get started today.
What Is Trauma?
Trauma is a deeply distressing or disturbing experience. It can be caused by a single event, such as a car accident or natural disaster. It can also be caused by ongoing stressors, such as chronic illness or exposure to violence. Many people who struggle with substance use have been exposed to some form of trauma in their lives.
There are different types of trauma, but all of them can have a profound effect on mental health. Trauma can lead to symptoms like anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It can also contribute to substance use disorders. In fact, trauma is one of the most common risk factors for developing an addiction.
The Mental Effects of Trauma
Trauma can have a severe impact on mental health. Some of the most common mental effects of trauma include:
- Anxiety – People who have experienced trauma may constantly feel on edge, as if they are in danger. This can lead to anxiety disorders or be a symptom of a severe condition like PTSD.
- Depression – Trauma can cause feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, and sadness. This can lead to depression.
- Flashbacks – People who have experienced trauma may relive the event through flashbacks. These can be triggered by anything that reminds them of the event, such as a sound or smell.
- Sleep disorders – Trauma can cause insomnia, night terrors, and other sleep disorders.
- Substance use – Many people who experience trauma use drugs or alcohol to cope with the pain. This can lead to addiction.
These effects can make it difficult to function in day-to-day life. Many people turn to substances as a way to cope with the pain and distress caused by trauma. Unfortunately, this only leads to further problems down the road.
How Trauma Can Lead to Substance Use
Many factors can contribute to developing an addiction. For some people, exposure to traumatic events is a significant risk factor. This is because people can use substances to numb the pain and distress caused by trauma.
Instead of dealing with the root cause of the problem, people who self-medicate with drugs or alcohol only end up worsening their situation. If you’ve been struggling with substance abuse, it’s important to seek help from a professional who can address any underlying issues that may be playing a role in your addiction.
Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment at Fort Behavioral Health
At Fort Behavioral Health, we understand the link between trauma and substance use. We offer comprehensive treatment for co-occurring disorders, including individual and group therapy. Our goal is to help you heal the underlying causes of your addiction so that you can live a healthy, sober life. If you or someone you know is struggling with trauma and addiction, please contact us online or call 844.332.1807 today to get started in one of our trauma therapy programs.