When someone is diagnosed with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) the chances of them become addicted to a substance like morphine is highly likely. Due to the overwhelming facts from American Addiction Centers 50 to 66% of all patients that struggle with PTSD also battle with some form of substance abuse.
According to Clinical Psychology, those with PTSD are two to four times more likely to get addicted. The statistics show that PTSD will affect 7-8 people out of a group of 100 sometime in their lives. This means that those individuals suffering with traumatic experiences will eventually succumb to substance abuse.
The Link between Drug Use and PTSD
No matter which term you want to use, be it substance abuse, addiction or PTSD, they all share a common link. Those diagnosed with PTSD often has flashbacks of the experience, are on edge, and possibly easily startled. They also find themselves with distorted feelings ranging from guilt to depression. To escape these overwhelming triggers, PTSD patients turn to drugs to ‘mellow’ them out.
Because drugs increase the dopamine within the brain, and substances like morphine suppress the central nervous system, the high that one gets is a way to escape the pressures of PTSD. Unfortunately, when the drug is flushed out the person’s body, the stress levels rise once again, and the user is itching for another hit to be free from the restraints of their issues. This, in turn, leads to an addiction.
The Risks of Using
When a person becomes addicted to substances due to PTSD, they may not realize it until it is too late. With repeated use, it becomes harder for the brain to produce ample amounts of dopamine, and adrenaline naturally. This throws the body off and causes the user to need more to feel ‘normal.’
However, with chronic stress that comes with PTSD, a person cannot do normal everyday activities and they begin to self-medicate. But when a person self-medicates, they are not familiar with what their body’s need to get back on track. Instead, they find that they give their systems too much. In turn, they end up needing more and more to regulate their bodily functions.
But using meth to alleviate the stress and pain is never a good idea. Methamphetamines can mess with the brain and cause severe hallucinations, mood swings, and violent behavior. Also sa the side effects of meth use, over time, the body will break down causing the skin to become yellowish, teeth enamel to lessen, and the brain to not produce proper chemicals to regulate the other bodily functions.
Treating PTSD and Addiction
It is important to understand that you can’t simply deal with one or the other separately, but need to handle both problems at once. When a patient has PTSD, the withdrawal symptoms are heightened and often more extreme than those that are only battling addiction. Finding the right help is very important.
In some cases, therapy can help in dealing with both issues simultaneously. But the chances are that a clinic that offers in-patient care is the only way to go. If you or a loved one is suffering from PTSD and addiction, there are places you can go to get help. Don’t try to conquer this battle alone.