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National Trauma Survivor’s Day: Beware, traumatic experiences can trigger addiction
Posted in Dual diagnosis

Disturbing events can have a lasting impact on one’s life. In such a situation, support from family members, along with therapeutic interventions, can help get rid of the pain and anguish. However, there are some who get adversely affected by the trauma that can lead to other complications. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), “Trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, rape or natural disaster. Immediately after the event, shock and denial are typical. Longer term reactions include unpredictable emotions, flashbacks, strained relationships and even physical symptoms like headaches or nausea. While these feelings are normal, some people have difficulty moving on with their lives.”

Reasons and effects of trauma are myriad. Traumatic events are common and affect thousands of people in the U.S. in any given year. To make available necessary support to trauma survivors and their caregivers, “National Trauma Survivor’s Day” is observed in the United States every year on May 17. Sponsored by the American Trauma Society, this year’s theme is “Stop the Bleed.” Various quarters like voluntary community organizations and federal agencies come together on this day to empower and inspire trauma survivors and their caregivers so that they seek timely treatment.

How trauma triggers addiction?

At times, dealing with trauma can get difficult and the victim might resort to substance abuse to deal with the agony resulting from traumatic experiences. It is common for victims of trauma to find relief in illicit substances like alcohol and drugs. While initial use may bring in some amount of respite from the constant reminiscences of traumatic experiences, continuous use may result in unwarranted addiction to the substance. Rampant substance use may result in substance use disorder and even aggravate signs of trauma apart from creating new kinds of problems that may mostly remain undetected and hence untreated.

For those struggling with both trauma and issues pertaining to substance abuse, it is necessary that they take the following steps for faster recovery:

  • Seek comprehensive treatment: Patients exhibiting symptoms of trauma must not be ignored as incessant misuse of substances may result in co-occurring mental health problems and addictive habits which is known as dual diagnosis. Such a situation calls for a comprehensive treatment of the problem that would look into both the conditions of trauma and addiction. Specialists dealing with dual diagnosis focus not only on the addiction problem but also on underlying issues that had led them to try substances in a bid to find relief.
  • Timely treatment: Trauma may have its roots in various experiences, including rape, domestic violence, grievous illnesses or injuries, natural disasters, loss of a loved one due to death or witnessing acts of violence. Comprehensive treatment helps explore the overlapping problems of addiction and abuse. Availing timely treatment relieves patients of their cravings for drugs or alcohol while allowing them to focus on positive aspects of life.
  • Share problems: People suffering from trauma tend to keep their problems to themselves for fear of being branded as mentally disoriented. It is necessary that the affected try to reach out to their loved ones to share their emotional turmoil. In most of the cases, guardians and caregivers are ignorant of what their wards are going through, thus, inadvertently delay the treatment process. Trauma survivors must be convinced that they are not alone in their struggle.
  • Connect today: Delaying the treatment or waiting for the right time to seek expert advice may result in exacerbation of both the problems of addiction and trauma. Timely treatment allows patients to get rid of their dependence on drugs and their behavioral problems they may be facing because of accompanying trauma. It is necessary to expedite the healing process so that patients achieve a balance while recovering from the comorbidity of disorders ruining their lives.

Recovery near you

Trauma patients tend to overlook recovery options partly fearing the stigma they and their families may be subjected to. In cases where patients are suffering from co-occurring mental health problems along with addiction, it is best to approach centers specializing in dual diagnosis.

Sovereign Health of El Paso, Texas specializes in treating all kinds of co-occurring conditions. The dual diagnosis treatment centers in Texas help in the quick recovery of patients availing necessary treatment. Call our 24/7 helpline or chat online for more information about residential dual diagnosis treatment centers in the U.S.

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