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PTSD and Addiction: Are they Related?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is characterized by extreme anxiety, flashbacks, and intrusive memories. A leading cause of PTSD is war. Seeing people suffer every day and having the knowledge that at any moment, a bomb could blow or people start shooting. Seeing people die and living in horrid conditions can lead to it. The battlefield is a horrific place, and these memories can stick forever.

Unfortunately, PTSD can develop in more ways than war. War is just one of the main contributors. It can develop from several types of different traumatic events, such as:

  • Childhood abuse
  • Traffic collisions
  • Threats to your life
  • Violent assault
  • Sexual assault
  • Natural disasters

These memories can cause plenty of distress. These dreams can develop into nightmares pretty easily. They can also interfere with people’s lives. Flashbacks and extreme anxiety are common. Sometimes people might try to deal with these problems by drinking or doing drugs. There is also a chance people do prescription drugs to handle the pain of their past. Unfortunately, it’s more of a problem than people realize.

Living through a normal day can be difficult when suffering from PTSD. Certain events like a loud train or loud noises might trigger someone’s PTSD.  Turning to alcohol and drugs isn’t the solution though, but it’s becoming increasingly common. Alcohol and drugs don’t make PTSD go away. In fact, they can often make a person suffer even more. Being blackout drunk or doped up on heroin doesn’t make the problem better, it just pushes it away for a short amount of time.

In fact, one in every three veterans who seek treatment for substance abuse also suffers from PTSD. This is according to the U.S. Veterans Affairs website. This means that substance abuse and PTSD can might be related, and that if someone is suffering from PTSD, they might turn to substance abuse.

If there is someone suffering from PTSD and substance abuse, they might need something like dual diagnosis. Dual diagnosis helps people deal with coexisting conditions such as substance abuse and mental health disorders. PTSD is a mental health disorder. So help is available.