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How Does PTSD Influence Addiction?

a person lies sadly on a bed possibly needing PTSD Treatment

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, it’s important to understand that you’re not alone. In fact, about 60% of people who have PTSD also struggle with addiction. While it’s not known exactly why this is, it’s likely due to the fact that people with PTSD often turn to substances as a way to cope with their trauma. Finding addiction and PTSD treatment can help manage the symptoms of both conditions and lay the foundation for a healthier future.

At Northpoint Seattle, we offer a comprehensive approach to addiction treatment that includes both individual and group therapy. Our goal is to help you develop the skills you need to manage your symptoms and live a healthy, productive life. In our outpatient, intensive outpatient, and partial hospitalization programs, you can receive dual diagnosis treatment that addresses both your addiction and your PTSD. Call 888.483.6031 or contact us online today to learn more about our PTSD treatment program.

What Causes PTSD?

PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is a mental health condition that can be triggered by witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event. Some common causes of PTSD include:

  • Combat experiences
  • Natural disasters
  • Car accidents
  • Sexual assault or abuse

While many people who experience or witness these events do not end up with PTSD, for some people, the trauma is too much to handle on their own. When this happens, it’s important to seek professional help.

Recognizing PTSD

PTSD can cause a range of symptoms, including:

  • Flashbacks
  • Nightmares
  • Negative changes in mood and thought patterns
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Feeling on edge or irritable
  • Exaggerated startle response

Learning to spot the signs of PTSD can help you or a loved one get the treatment you need to recover.

How Does PTSD Influence Addiction?

Researchers believe that people with PTSD turn to substances like alcohol and drugs as a way to self-medicate and cope with their symptoms. This habit can create a dangerous cycle in which the person uses substances to cope with their symptoms, but the substances then cause additional problems and make the symptoms worse. It’s important to seek professional help to break this pattern.

The Importance of Dual Diagnosis Treatment

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction and has been diagnosed with PTSD, it’s important to seek dual diagnosis treatment. This type of treatment addresses both disorders at the same time. Without treating both conditions simultaneously, it’s difficult to effectively manage either one.

Dual diagnosis treatment usually begins with detoxification, during which the person withdrawing from substances is monitored by medical professionals in order to ensure their safety. After detox, the person will begin therapy sessions designed to help them manage their symptoms and start on the path toward recovery. Some common types of therapy used in dual diagnosis treatment include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Exposure therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy

What to Expect in Dual Diagnosis Treatment

When beginning dual diagnosis treatment, it’s important to have realistic expectations about the process. It’s also crucial to have a support system in place—whether that means friends, family members, or a support group for people with similar struggles. At Northpoint Seattle, we provide our patients with everything they need to succeed in treatment, including access to resources like 12-step meetings and ongoing support after they leave our facility.

Start Healing at Northpoint Seattle

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction and PTSD, we can help. At Northpoint Seattle, we offer comprehensive dual diagnosis treatment to help our patients heal. Contact us today by calling 888.483.6031 to learn more about our program and how we can help you or your loved one start on the path toward recovery.