How Does Trauma Lead to Addiction?

How Does Trauma Lead to Addiction?

Addiction following trauma is pretty common as a response to the impact of the events that occurred. Not everyone turns to addiction but it can happen before a person realizes it has occurred. A traumatic event is something that causes emotional, mental, or physical harm. It can lead to addiction, substance use disorder, or harmful behaviors. Learn more about how trauma leads to addiction and finding help and healing.

Common Connection

Development of an addiction after trauma is pretty common and a number of studies have proven this connection. One study was led by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. People who were polled during inpatient treatment programs either witnessed or experienced some trauma in childhood by half. Traumatic events occur to people and it can result in PTSD, mental illness, and addiction challenges. Dealing with the feelings of trauma can take years, decades even, as memories and thoughts emerge about the experiences.

Managing Emotions

People who experience any level of trauma often have difficulty coping with the aftermath. For man, trauma is often chronic and may occur over several years. People who engage in risky and harmful behaviors as a result of substance use are more likely to experience trauma as a result of the behaviors. Trauma may be an outcome of substance abuse. There are many reasons for this but the most common is that PTSD symptoms include social withdrawal, depression, and insomnia. Alcohol and drugs can help numb or keep pain from feeling overwhelming. The ‘cure’ becomes physically and emotionally damaging like the event itself.

Trauma-Informed Care

The best way to seek help for effects of trauma is through trauma-informed care. Both substance use and mental health issues from trauma must be treated with utmost care and respect. Trauma-informed care practitioners are educated and trained in trauma. They understand drugs or alcohol can be used as a method of coping or survival for trauma survivors. These professionals can assist in finding healthy coping mechanisms to deal with trauma and make survivors feel empowered and hopeful for recovery.

When seeking help, it is important to look at the type of therapies involved, and the skills of practitioners, to make sure they follow a trauma-informed approach. This holistic method of treatment for addiction and mental health issues supports an overall pathway towards finding hope in recovery.

The Palmetto Center is based on a Therapeutic Community model. We help people learn how to live free of addiction. Our community support provides structure while trained counselors offer life skills training and therapeutic techniques to help you move past addiction. Our program provides special focus for professionals including chiropractors, nurses, doctors, lawyers, and more who need help with addiction recovery. Call us to find out more: 866-848-3001.