Menu Close

Understanding the Connection Between PTSD and Substance Abuse

a young woman begins to make progress in addiction treatment when her ptsd is also addressed and managed

Addiction is a common disease that many struggle with. For those living with substance abuse, it is critical to seek professional help. At Northpoint Nebraska, our inpatient programs are provided to help them overcome the physical and mental side effects of addiction. We provide therapy and counseling programs to help patients understand the factors that contributed to their substance abuse. For many, an undiagnosed mental health condition or untreated trauma will cause a person to self-medicate. Our integrated approach to addiction and mental health treatment helps patients regain control of their lives. For patients struggling with untreated trauma, we provide PTSD treatment to help them understand their past experiences and how they contributed to their addiction. Call 888.351.3834 to learn more.

Signs of PTSD and Substance Abuse

It is not uncommon for an individual to experience PTSD and substance abuse simultaneously. This makes recovery more complex as it is crucial to treat both disorders for a successful recovery. Recognizing the signs of PTSD and substance abuse is critical for getting professional help for you or someone you know.

Some common signs of PTSD include:

  • Agitation
  • Hostility
  • Self-destructive behavior
  • Insomnia
  • Flashbacks or nightmares
  • Anxiety
  • Social isolation
  • A loss of interest in past hobbies
  • Intense feelings of fear

Signs of substance abuse are:

  • Not meeting home responsibilities or work obligations
  • Withdrawing from friends and family
  • Trying to quit and not being able to
  • Continuing to use the drug even when it causes problems in your life
  • Taking a larger dose or using more often than you intended
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you stop or reduce substance use

There are some similar signs, but if you notice a combination of these in yourself or a loved one, it may be time to seek professional help. If you are struggling, help is available.

Understanding the Connection Between PTSD and Addiction

There is a strong connection between PTSD and addiction. It is common for a person struggling with untreated PTSD to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol. The individual believes that substances will help clear their mind or distract them from negative memories or flashbacks. However, heavy drinking or drug use is much more likely to make PTSD symptoms worse and can lead to addiction. When an individual struggles with PTSD and addiction, the two disorders can enhance each other in negative ways. This has a strong negative impact on a person’s physical, mental, and emotional health.

Treating PTSD and Addiction

If you or someone you know is struggling with PTSD and addiction, the best thing to do is find a professional addiction treatment center. Treating PTSD and addiction requires treating both disorders simultaneously. For many, PTSD will have been a contributing factor in their addiction. If they only focus on recovering from the physical side effects of addiction and do not work through their trauma, they are more susceptible to unsuccessful recovery or relapse. Successful and effective recovery requires working on your emotional and mental well-being. Each person’s experiences with trauma and addiction are different. At Northpoint Nebraska, our team works to create individualized treatment plans that address each patient’s unique needs and concerns. We strive to help our patients heal fully and improve their overall well-being.

Seeking recovery from PTSD and substance abuse is scary and overwhelming. Northpoint Nebraska provides a safe and comfortable environment for all our patients. Treatment and recovery are not easy and can be uncomfortable at times. With the right combination of treatment and therapy programs, we can help our patients get back the life they want.

PTSD Treatment at Northpoint Nebraska

Many people struggle with PTSD and substance abuse, but they do not have to keep suffering. Help is available. Contact Northpoint Nebraska at 888.351.3834 or via our online form to start your recovery journey today.