PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is a mental health issue that can occur after someone experiences or witnesses a traumatic event. PTSD and alcohol abuse. For many people, alcohol is a way to self-medicate and numb the pain of their trauma. Alcoholism, on the other hand, is a chronic disease characterized by an uncontrollable urge to drink alcohol despite the negative consequences. Everyone experiences a form of trauma at some point in life, and millions of Americans struggle with alcohol use disorder. Knowing whether there is a connection between PTSD and alcohol abuse can help you spot the signs of trouble in someone you care about.
If you or a loved one is struggling with past trauma and need a PTSD treatment center, then contact Evoke Waltham right away. Our staff members are ready to help you take the practical steps necessary to cope with and overcome the symptoms of PTSD. If you want to learn more about how a PTSD treatment program can help, contact us at 866.276.1920. Our specialists are standing by to explain the full benefits of timely treatment and answer any questions you may have about our facility. There’s no reason to let PTSD or any associated substance use disorder stop you from living the life you deserve.
What Is the Connection Between PTSD and Alcohol Abuse?
What is this connection between PTSD and alcoholism, and why is it so strong? There are a few key reasons why people who struggle with PTSD are more likely to develop an alcohol use disorder:
- Alcohol can be used as a way to cope with the symptoms of PTSD. Drinking can help people forget their trauma, at least for a little while. It can also sometimes help them sleep better and make them feel less anxious.
- People with PTSD may turn to alcohol because they feel like they have no other options. They may feel like they can’t cope with their symptoms without drinking. This can lead to a spiral of increased drinking and more severe symptoms.
- Drinking may be seen as a way to self-medicate for other mental health conditions that often accompany PTSD, such as depression and anxiety disorders. Alcohol may seem like an easy way to escape from these difficult emotions.
- Trauma itself may increase the risk of developing alcoholism. This is because trauma changes the brain, making it more difficult to control impulses and make healthy choices.
The connection between PTSD and alcoholism is strong and complex. It’s crucial for those struggling with PTSD to seek treatment from a mental health professional instead of trying to self-medicate with alcohol. Getting help early on can prevent further damage and improve a patient’s chances of recovery.
How Are PTSD and Alcoholism Treated?
Alcohol is only a temporary solution to the problems caused by PTSD. It can make symptoms worse in the long run. Drinking too much can lead to blackouts, which can cause even more trauma for people with PTSD. Additionally, alcohol use can sometimes interfere with the medications used to treat PTSD, making them less effective.
When someone has a substance use disorder and an associated mental health condition, it’s called a dual diagnosis. Both conditions have to be treated at the same time with dual diagnosis treatment. Because the connection between the two disorders is so complex, treating one condition at a time is often ineffective, as the other will usually recur after a short period.
Turn to Evoke Waltham for a PTSD Treatment Program in Waltham, MA
If you or a loved one is dealing with PTSD, alcohol addiction, or almost any other mental health or substance use disorder, contact the professionals at Evoke Waltham. We can help assess what type of treatment would work best for your unique situation. Our experienced and compassionate staff members are experts in treating PTSD, addiction, or any combination of both issues. We offer comprehensive treatments and therapies, including a PTSD treatment program, dual diagnosis treatment, relapse prevention therapy, family therapy, and medication-assisted treatment.