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How Does PTSD Cause Substance Abuse For Veterans?

How Does PTSD Cause Substance Abuse For Veterans?

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 7 out of every 100 veterans will struggle with PTSD at some point in their lives. PTSD can be an extremely debilitating mental illness, especially if left untreated. From fracturing relationships with friends and family to harming your physical and mental health and well-being, PTSD can significantly impair your health and quality of life.

Unfortunately, some people may turn to drugs or alcohol as a means to cope with their PTSD, which can be a slippery slope towards developing a substance use disorder in addition to suffering from PTSD. If you are a veteran struggling with PTSD and/or addiction, you don’t have to suffer in silence– help is available. In this article, you’ll learn more about how PTSD causes substance abuse for veterans and the different treatment options available at a veterans’ PTSD drug rehab facility. 

At Calusa Recovery, we are a mental health and addiction treatment center in Southwest Flordia committed to helping people take back control over their lives. We offer a range of both addiction treatment and mental health treatment options so you can receive the most tailored treatment to best help you regain control over your life. Contact us today to learn how we can help you on your road to recovery. 

What Is PTSD?

PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) is a mental health disorder that occurs when a person experiences a traumatic event, or series of traumatic events or circumstances, that negatively affects their mental, physical, and/or social well-being. A range of traumatic events and circumstances can cause someone to develop PTSD. This can include singular events such as getting in a life-threatening car crash or experiencing long-term trauma from bullying or war.

Therefore, veterans are inevitably more likely to experience PTSD because they are exposed to violent and traumatic events on an ongoing basis when off at war. It can be extremely difficult for veterans not only to return to their “normal” daily life after deployment, but many veterans may be at risk for struggling with different mental health disorders, including PTSD.

How Does PTSD Cause Substance Abuse For Veterans?

Veterans have the potential to have been exposed to a range of emotionally or physically intense, harmful, and even life-threatening events or circumstances that can cause them to develop PTSD. War and combat, in general, can bring about many extremely intense negative events and emotions, from not only putting your own physical safety at risk but potentially seeing others struggle and even lose their lives during combat.

It’s important to note that while veterans are more likely than the average person to develop PTSD due to being exposed to more traumatic events, PTSD does not only occur in veterans. Anyone at any age can develop PTSD from a traumatic event. 

Because PTSD can bring about intense flashbacks, nightmares, and intense emotions like fear, sadness, and anger, many veterans can struggle to cope with PTSD, especially if left untreated. 

Unfortunately, this can lead to some veterans abusing certain drugs or alcohol as a means to cope with these intense negative emotions from their PTSD, and thus PTSD causes substance abuse for veterans. 

Veterans Substance Abuse Treatment Options

If you or someone you know is a veteran struggling with PTSD and addiction, it’s essential to seek dual diagnosis treatment for both your mental illness and your addiction. Otherwise, treating one condition but not the other increases your risk of relapsing. In other words, if you’ve been abusing substances to cope with your PTSD, you likely have a co-occurring disorder and need to receive both PTSD and addiction treatment simultaneously to help you maintain long-term sobriety.

There are a range of PTSD treatments for addiction so veterans can both receive veterans substance abuse treatment while safely overcoming their addiction. This may include treatment options like:

  • CBT 
  • Trauma-focused treatments
  • Group therapy
  • Medication
  • Alternative therapies (i.e., yoga or acupuncture)

Top-Rated Addiction and Mental Health Treatment Center 

PTSD can significantly impair your health and quality of life for the worse. Not to mention, there is the potential for PTSD to cause substance abuse in veterans. If you or someone you know is struggling with PTSD, substance abuse, or any type of mental illness, you don’t have to suffer in silence or feel ashamed for asking for help. 

At Calusa Recovery, we offer a range of comprehensive PTSD treatment options to best help you both better manage your PTSD symptoms and live a long-term life of sobriety. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you regain control over your life.

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