Sometimes substance abuse can lead to a traumatic experience in life. We know that drug and alcohol use can lead to a range of risky behaviors, including unprotected sex, physical violence, and driving under the influence of alcohol. Whether it's a childhood experience or something you faced as an adult, these situations change the way you see the world and the way you see yourself. It's not uncommon to hear that someone who has suffered a traumatic experience is now struggling with addiction.
Too often, trauma leads to alcoholism or drug abuse. Sometimes, those who experience trauma get stuck in a loop, unable to overcome or process what has happened. This can cause a serious mental health disorder called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While this condition is commonly associated with veterans returning from war or combat, the same physiological fight-or-flight responses occur in people suffering from childhood trauma.
Some people may resort to drugs or alcohol to self-medicate and mask their feelings. Statistics so far have made it clear that trauma can create an environment in which addiction begins to take shape. But it's equally important to understand that substance abuse in any form can also put people at risk of secondary trauma. Simply put, trauma puts people at risk for substance abuse and substance abuse puts people at risk for trauma.
This may be directly due to addiction or the impact that substance abuse and addiction have on the brain's ability to cope with stress. Some studies have found that people who are already victims of substance abuse or addiction are less able to cope with trauma in a healthy way. Alcohol or drug abuse essentially affects a person's brain and body functions. Because of this, people who are already addicted or involved in substance abuse are less able to deal with the effects of a traumatic event.
According to a study, people diagnosed with a substance use disorder were twice as likely to develop PTSD after suffering trauma than people without a history of substance abuse. For example, stimulant drugs, such as cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin, increase the amount of dopamine in the brain. This connection between child abuse and drugs is due to the fact that childhood trauma and abuse can be the cause of abnormalities in the brain structure. It is within this context that adoptive and adoptive parents can empathize and support biological parents struggling with addiction and also help children heal from trauma and avoid the attraction of drugs and alcohol themselves.
There is no question which substance abuse is the answer; however, anyone who is physically dependent on alcohol, drugs, or harmful behaviors should find an effective treatment solution right away. Those who suffer a traumatic experience in their childhood are also at extremely high risk of developing a drug or alcohol addiction. While treating these two things simultaneously is essential in the case of a dual diagnosis, reaching the underlying trauma or triggers will be nearly impossible while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In other words, men and women often turn to drugs or alcohol to deal with the emotional, mental, and even physical impact of their PTSD.
In one sentence, self-medication with alcohol or drugs is an attempt to control the stress of trauma or the impact of PTSD through the use of these psychoactive substances. If you have post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD, as well as a drug or alcohol addiction, this is known as a dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder. More than that, the emotional and mental impact of trauma makes it more difficult to stop abusing drugs or alcohol. The strong association between cocaine dependence and PTSD symptoms may be partly due to the nature of the drug itself; as a stimulant, cocaine use may contribute to and improve symptoms of hyperexcitation in particular.
It is also true that people who abuse drugs or alcohol are less able to cope with traumatic events. While PTSD is not limited to people with a history of military service, it is known that between 35% and 75% of veterans with this condition abuse drugs and alcohol as a way to cope with their experiences. Although many turn to substance abuse as a solution to past pain, becoming addicted to alcohol or drugs can only harm one's present and future. They can cause the symptoms of another mental illness, or a mental illness caused by trauma can lead to drug abuse.
In turn, one in five young people in the United States (ages 12 to 1) actively abuses alcohol or illicit drugs. . .