Los Angeles, CA – Millions of adults in the US suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), an emotional condition caused by the lingering effects of physical or emotional trauma. Throughout June, which is PTSD Awareness Month, organizations dedicated to better mental and emotional health are spotlighting the importance of seeking help for this often-disabling condition.
Many who struggle with PTSD also are contending with substance abuse issues, which can develop as a coping mechanism to get through their trauma. Muse Treatment, an addiction treatment center in Southern California, is reaching out to those who suffer from both PTSD and at least one substance use disorder.
At any time in their lives, as many as 8% of the population will suffer from at least one incidence of PTSD, according to the National Center for PTSD, which has called for the month of awareness. While military veterans are the most commonly known population with PTSD, the condition affects people who’ve survived many forms of trauma, including sexual abuse, serious accidents, natural disasters or any trauma that causes a major disruption in normal life.
PTSD and substance abuse often co-occur, according to several national epidemiological studies. 46.4% of individuals with lifetime PTSD also met criteria for substance use disorder. 27.9% of women and 51.9% of men with lifetime PTSD also had substance use disorder. 74% of Vietnam veterans with PTSD had a co-occurring substance use disorder.
The relationship between the two disorders is a complex one, and the conditions are often intertwined. Some PTSD sufferers self-medicate with alcohol or drugs. In a similar way, people with problems controlling their drug or alcohol use are more likely to develop PTSD when traumatic incidents occur. For instance, an alcoholic may get into a serious drunk-driving accident that severely injures them and kills someone else. The alcoholic may begin drinking even more to “wash away” feelings of guilt and shame and to dull the physical pain of their injuries.
In cases of addiction, it’s important to realize that substance abuse may not be the primary disorder for which a person needs treatment. Substance abuse may only be a symptom of a larger problem of PTSD, depression, anxiety or other mental health struggle. Muse approaches co-occurring disorders – also known as dual diagnosis – as a combined condition rather than treating the substance disorder alone. It may be the more obvious of the two, but Muse believes that if only substance abuse is treated and the underlying mental health condition remains, the client may end up in relapse because the underlying cause of the substance disorder has not been resolved.
Because dual diagnosis is so complex, it offers a less positive outlook for recovery than single diagnoses. One reason could be that so few dually-diagnosed patients get proper treatment. Nearly 9 million American adults have co-occurring disorders, but fewer than 8% receive treatment for both disorders. Even more shocking, more than half receive absolutely no treatment whatsoever, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Muse offers an extensive treatment program for dual-diagnosis, beginning with detox to cleanse the body of chemical substances. This is followed by rehabilitation treatment, which includes counseling and multiple forms of therapy, depending on the client’s individual needs. Follow-up care continues after formal treatment ends, because Muse understands that true recovery is a long-term undertaking.
For more information on Muse’s dual-diagnosis programs or other treatments for alcohol and drug addiction, call 800-426-1818.
SOURCE: Press Advantage [Link]