Is there a link between substance use problems such as alcoholism and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)? Many people want to know the answer to this question. What they may not realize is that there’s already an answer. Yes, there’s a link between alcoholism and PTSD.
What Is PTSD?
Most people know that alcoholism refers to people who have an alcohol addiction. However, what is PTSD? It’s important for people to understand both of these conditions before they learn about the link between them.
PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that causes distress in people who have witnessed traumatic events. For example, it’s common for people who experience the horrors of war to return home with PTSD. However, witnessing violent acts isn’t the only way that people develop this condition. Some other examples of PTSD-causing incidents include:
- Sexual assault
- Natural disasters
- Serious accidents
- Physical assault
Why Does PTSD Occur?
Why do some people experience PTSD but not others? After all, nearly everyone experiences traumatic events at some point in their lives. The reason has to do with the trauma-coping mechanism in the brain.
It has the ability to deal with stress and trauma naturally, but it doesn’t always process trauma the right way. When that happens, the brain copes with incidents in unhealthy ways, which causes PTSD.
The Link Between Alcoholism and PTSD
What’s the link between alcoholism and PTSD? Why do some people with PTSD develop a drinking problem but others don’t? The reason depends on if people get help for PTSD.
When they don’t get help, they look for ways to deal with the symptoms themselves. Unfortunately, they often self-medicate with harmful substances such as alcohol. The relief that the alcohol provides is only temporary, so they have to keep drinking to maintain it.
Once people develop alcohol addiction and PTSD, they need to treat both. To do that, they must look for addiction therapy services that also include mental health treatment. Rehab centers typically refer to this as dual diagnosis treatment.
Can Both Men and Women Have PTSD?
Yes, both men and women can develop PTSD. With that said, studies show that PTSD is slightly more common in men. To make matters worse, men are more likely to self-medicate too. For that reason, they’re more likely to suffer from both alcoholism and PTSD.
When people search for treatment, they need to look for addiction treatment programs that focus on their gender-specific needs. Men and women have different needs regarding overcoming personal challenges. It’s up to rehab centers to meet these needs.
Let Us Provide the Help That You Need
At Red Oak Recovery, we provide gender-specific rehab treatment for young men. We can help you overcome both alcohol addiction and PTSD with our dual diagnosis program. Some of the services that we offer include:
- Individual and group therapies
- Trauma therapy
- Family therapy
- Holistic treatment
Don’t wait to get treatment for alcoholism and PTSD. Let us help you get over your addiction. Reach out to us today at 828.382.9699 for more information.