What Is The Relationship Between Trauma And Addiction?

When someone struggles with alcohol and drugs there is often an underlying trauma and/or mental health disorder that can be strongly linked to their destructive behavior. Self-medicating is a common reason why a person will abuse a substance. They seek to numb the pain, escape their reality, or elevate their mood. Sometimes drug or alcohol addiction can cause mental disorders and other times mental disorders lead to addiction. Trauma is something that can generally lead to addiction.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines trauma as an event or set of circumstances that a human is exposed to which they feel is life-threatening and will result in emotional and/or physical damage. What is considered traumatic ranges between people. Those events that one person views as traumatic, another may not be as impactful to another person. 

When trauma occurs it isn’t something that goes away overnight. It digs deep down into a person and affects their ability to healthily function socially, mentally, physically, spiritually, or emotionally for the long-term. The internal pain and strain that persist when traumas are not professionally dealt with tend to fester and continue to worsen over time. It makes sense for those suffering from trauma to care for themselves through the use of drugs or alcohol, but this behavior is not “care.”

What Is The Link Between Trauma And Substance Abuse?

Intense negative emotional trauma causes a person to feel like everyday life is overwhelmingly stressful for them. Every action feels harder every moment, tougher. It is an exhausting way to live while also not being a very pleasant way to survive. Unhealthy coping methods like drinking or using illicit drugs may feel like while being drunk or high the weight of their antagonizing feelings is eliminated.

Trauma can be any event, but most common life experiences that are highly associated with people being traumatized include sexual assault, domestic violence, combat, and natural disasters. Sadly, the majority of those who are seeking help report that they were the victim of trauma. Approximately 90% of those in a behavioral healthcare setting describes a rough experience that altered their lives.

Unfortunately, trauma may have been a root cause for a person to abuse drugs or alcohol, but it also plays a role in increasing the risk of future abuse and disturbing experiences. After such events, it is easy to understand why these individuals develop symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The use of alcohol or drugs may initially seem helpful in managing symptoms of PTSD including sleeplessness, depression, anxiety, hypersensitivity, or inability to react in social situations. Providers who offer specialized care for those who have experienced trauma can help these individuals recover and better handle themselves in a positive way.

Where Can You Find Treatment For Drugs Or Alcohol In Tennessee?

What Is The Relationship Between Trauma And AddictionThe medical detox and addiction alternative treatment center at Discovery Place in Tennessee has worked with many individuals who struggled with trauma or a mental health disorder. We know that detoxing off of drugs or alcohol is only one step in the road to recovery and long-term healing.

When you are struggling with addiction, your ability to become sober increases when you enter into a professional treatment program. The Burns detox alternative treatment center welcomes you and is here to help. Call our Tennessee detox alternative treatment center anytime at 1-800-725-0922.

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