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Bringing about recovery with evidence-based substance use treatment.

Trauma’s Role in Addiction

a woman comforts a friend as they discuss the combination of trauma and addiction

Trauma changes the way a person sees the world around them. It impacts relationships, self-esteem, and physical health. Yet, one of the most profound ways it impacts a person is through the use of substance abuse disorder development. Trauma and addiction can occur together, and when it does, treatment needs to address both conditions equally. That’s where a dual diagnosis program can offer help. At Silicon Beach Treatment Center, our experienced counselors can help a person overcome both conditions with confidence. Contact our PTSD and trauma treatment program today at 213.460.1706 to learn more.

How Does Trauma and Addiction Happen Together?

Trauma is some type of negative, significant event. It may be physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. It may stem from watching a loved one die, a natural disaster, or engaging in wartime activities. Whatever happens, creates a significant change in a person’s perception of the world around them. The problem is, the brain does not properly deal with that trauma in a healthy manner. As a result, the trauma forms in the brain and remains there long-term, creating symptoms.

Some common symptoms of trauma include:

  • Experiencing intense visuals called flashbacks of the traumatic event
  • Intrusive thoughts or images that impact life
  • Experiencing nightmares frequently
  • Intense distress when reminded of the event
  • Feelings of panic when thinking about the event
  • Withdrawal from life as a result of fear of the past event

Another big symptom of trauma is addiction. A person with trauma is more likely to use drugs and alcohol as a way to stop thinking about the pain. They may use these substances as a type of self-medication. It may work for a short amount of time, but soon addiction forms, and the drugs are no longer enough.

Are You Self-Medicating?

When a person is self-medicating for trauma, they are often unable to control how much of the substance they are using. They do whatever they can to stop thinking, feeling, or experiencing the trauma. In some cases, they may not feel as though they can get through the day without using substances to help them to do so. If this sounds like what you are going through, it’s time to get help.

Without treatment for the trauma and addiction, substances will begin to fail to work, which causes the risk of overdose to increase. The complications from addiction on physical health may worsen. Some people also experience intense depression, and their quality of life falters. In all of these situations, treatment can help.

How to Get Help for Self-Medicating from Trauma and Addiction

When you’re facing trauma in your life, you don’t want to relive it in therapy. You do not have to do that. Through proper treatment programs, it is possible to stop using drugs and alcohol and to work to reduce the impact the trauma has on your life. This is done through a series of therapies, each uniquely designed to help break that connection to the past trauma.

Some of the therapies and programs we offer that may help you achieve improvement include:

  • EMDR therapy program
  • Dual diagnosis treatment
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Partial hospitalization program
  • Dialectical behavior therapy

Trauma therapy can give you back your confidence and your ability to live without intrusive thoughts and painful memories impacting your life. There is no way to take back what happened, but treatment for trauma can help you move on.

Call Silicon Beach Treatment Center for the Support You Need to Heal

When you’re battling trauma and addiction, you feel alone and overwhelmed. With treatment, you can live a life that you love, one that is full of promise and healing. To get to that point, reach out to Silicon Beach Treatment Center. Our compassionate counselors want to help you see the improvement you need. Call us at 213.460.1706 or connect with our team online for support.