Substance Abuse and PTSD

Defined as an anxiety disorder, caused by trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is found to be one of the hardest mental health conditions to live with.

This is down to the realistic, tangible symptoms which amount from such trauma and stress, making it challenging to lead a normal, quality life.

Unfortunately, through such symptoms of PTSD, substance abuse is rife. Used as a way of coping, to suppress the rate and severity of symptoms, drugs and alcohol are seen as a respite from the realism of PTSD. However, unknowingly, such assistance can result in a rebound, aggravating PTSD symptoms while also posing the risks of addiction.

Drug and alcohol abuse themselves are catalysts for weakening cognitive functioning, clarity, and health. Through the toxicity of such substances, and the pressures that they place on the mind, such trauma, either linked to the consequences of addiction or from mental decline, can amount to PTSD.

Emotionally driven conditions can be challenging to see beyond as they consume life, consume outlooks, and consume actions. This is what makes both substance abuse and PTSD difficult to bypass, especially while connected.

Are you using drugs and alcohol to work through trauma? Are you experiencing PTSD from excessive substance abuse and the trauma of such a lifestyle? Through a dual diagnosis, appropriate treatment will be required, available here at Asana Lodge.

Drugs and alcohol will not fix the emotional impacts of PTSD. While respite may initially be encountered, pain can in fact aggravate through the rebound effect. Avoid this by entrusting dual diagnosis treatment.

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Are you suffering from substance abuse and PTSD and need help? If so, Asana Lodge is a leading UK based expert in Dual Diagnosis Treatment. Find out how we can help by getting in touch with our friendly team today. You can either call our confidential helpline or request a callback by clicking on the below form.

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The use of drugs through PTSD

PTSD both emotionally and mentally impacts sufferers. This is through a range of symptoms, including nightmares, flashbacks, and sleep problems, all of which heighten anxiety and stress levels.

Commonly, coping strategies will be promoted to alleviate the symptoms of PTSD, from prescription medications to maintain a calm, balanced lifestyle. Yet, for someone without a diagnosis, knowing where to turn to can be very tough.

Through the symptoms and experiences of PTSD, substance abuse is, therefore, an uneducated form of coping which many individuals select, as it helps to blur reality, calm down symptoms and relax the mind.

It also works to alleviate feelings of depression, of panic and helps to switch off the fight or flight response which can commonly be active for someone with PTSD. Such abuse can be of anything from alcohol and illicit drugs, to prescribed anti-depressants, all easily latched upon through PTSD.

Substance abuse and PTSD do go hand in hand, which can turn an already significantly serious condition into a dual diagnosis of addiction. While momentarily, the use of drugs and alcohol will act as a supportive comfort blanket, such comfort can result in a false sense of security.

If you’re currently feeling secure, by managing your symptoms of PTSD through substance abuse, treatment will be a recommendation for you.


Symptoms of PTSD

PTSD is an independent condition, meaning that its symptoms are very different to other types of anxiety. While anxiety is a symptom, and the physical signs that come with such emotions, symptoms of PTSD are very specific, down to the trauma that induces such an emotional response.

Symptoms of PTSD include:

  • Nightmares
  • Insomnia
  • Flashbacks
  • Depression
  • Paranoia
  • Panic attacks
  • Withdrawal from everyday life
  • Chronic stress
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart palpitations
  • Migraines
  • A lack of control over emotional responses and actions
  • The inability to differentiate memories and reality

Symptoms of PTSD

As PTSD can be brought on by a range of trauma, anything from accidents, to labour, operating in the armed forces and chronic stress, symptoms are usually surrounding the causation of anxiety. Yet, most individuals with PTSD will struggle with emotional responses, linked to psychological thoughts and memories of stress.

If you’re experiencing any symptoms which resonate with the above, and/or lean in substance abuse for relief, considering dual diagnosis treatment will be the next step for you.


PTSD as a consequence of substance abuse

Substance abuse, especially to chronic levels can induce trauma. Drug and alcohol consumption, while viewed as innocent at first use can develop into an addiction that can carry significant consequences.

Those consequences can be anything from unimaginable health issues, mental health weaknesses, homelessness, suicide risks, overdose scares, financial crises, and legal implications.

Such levels of trauma and stress can amount to post-traumatic responses, meaning that those experiences, while intoxicated can amount to symptoms of PTSD.

Again, substance abuse is a personal condition that can be caused by any degree of stimuli, meaning that trauma can be a contributing factor, displaying the relationship between substance abuse and PTSD.

The difficulty here is that if addiction is still churning, while experiencing symptoms of PTSD, there will be a high chance that consumption will continue, to alleviate mental health issues. Yet feeding an addiction to relieve the mind will in fact be unrealistic, as dual impacts will instead be expected.

Substance abuse can turn very severe depending on the drug to hand, the rate of its consumption and personal responses to drug and alcohol abuse. Treating substance abuse will therefore be necessary, available here at Asana Lodge.


Treating substance abuse and PTSD

As living with a dual diagnosis can be exhausting, challenging, and frustrating, as one condition will be fuelling the other, it is wise to consider treatment. Through a reputable treatment centre, like ours, psychologically designed treatments services will be accessible to work through both substance abuse and PTSD.

Yet for comfort, recovery success and restorative efforts, treating both conditions individually, yet alongside one another will be the best option. This is how dual diagnosis treatment is formed, to focus on the key symptoms of each diagnosis, while also benefiting the other.

Substance abuse will commonly be treated through detoxification, talking therapies, relapse prevention planning, wellbeing management and stress management.

PTSD will be treatable and manageable through cognitive behavioural therapy, dialectical behavioural therapy, PTSD management, and sometimes prescription medications. However, depending on the nature of addiction, such drugs may be minimised, to reduce the risk of relapse.

cycle of addiction

Dual diagnosis treatment here at Asana Lodge

At Asana Lodge, we work to treat the mind and stabilise the brain in order to see positive results across physical recovery, actions, and behaviours. Through such efforts, we offer dual diagnosis treatment for substance abuse and PTSD, personally catered to each client.

Dual diagnosis can be tough to overcome with such personalisation, as each condition is complex, amounting to even greater concerns when paired together.

To overcome your experiences of both, for more information on dual diagnosis treatment, or to confide in someone about your worries, we are here for you.

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