PTSD and Addiction

PTSD and AddictionA 2012 publication by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) notes that about 7 percent of the population struggles with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, drug addicts struggle with this issue at a rate of 26 to 52 percent. Substance use disorders occur in 21 to 43 percent of those diagnosed with PTSD. SAMHSA notes that, although PTSD patients can abuse any drug, heavy drugs like cocaine and opioids is common.Seattle residents with PTSD will need specialized help if they also struggle with addiction.

How Stress Affects Addiction and Relapse

Stress is associated with addiction because the corticotrophin releasing hormone (CRH) appears to be involved. CRH regulates the stress hormone system and often rises in addicts before they relapse. Stress also affects addiction by altering the way the brain perceives pleasure: rewards of an activity are remembered more strongly while negative effects are minimized. WhenSeattleresidents are addicted to a drug, they will use that drug despite negative consequences. Stress may make it more difficult for people to remember the damage of substance abuse.

Integrated Treatment for PTSD and Addiction

SAMHSA notes that patients with both opioid dependence and PTSD do not improve their anxiety symptoms through substance abuse treatment. Therefore, if aSeattleresident seeks treatment, it should address both PTSD and substance abuse in an integrated way. Therapy is likely to include the following components:

  • A safe therapeutic environment
  • A high level of trust between counselors and patients
  • Teaching patients to control intense emotions
  • HelpingSeattlepatients differentiate between PTSD symptoms and drug cravings
  • Patience with the process
  • Teaching skills to avoid relapse
  • Teaching patients to recognize negative emotional states and cope with them in healthy ways

Seattle residents who want to recover should seek this helpful treatment. You can deal with both problems if you treat them at the same time.

Help for Seattle Drug Addicts with PTSD

If you or a loved one needs integrated treatment that addresses both addiction and PTSD, we can help you find a treatment program. Our phone counselors understand the needs of people with co-occurring disorders and they can answer your questions about treatment. Our helpline is toll free and available 24 hours a day. Our counselors can even check your insurance coverage if you wish to help you identify your full range of treatment options. Call today and let us help you break free.