Break the Link Between Traumatic Events and Addiction

Break the Link Between Traumatic Events and Addiction

One of the most widely accepted myths about traumatic events is that they result in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). But, in fact, the opposite is usually true. Traumatic events can occur to all people at different phases in their life. An estimated 60% of men and 50% of women experience at least one trauma over the course of their lives. Only a marginal percent (3.5%) are diagnosed with PTSD.[1] People often connect traumatic events and addiction as a subconscious way of dealing with distressing life events. This can be due to the pressure of societal norms, suppressing their feelings, or minimizing life-changing events in their mind.

How Are Traumatic Events and Addiction Connected?

Traumatic events aren’t isolated to a particular age.[2] An estimated one in four children in the United States will experience at least one traumatic event in their life before the age of 16, according to data from the National Survey of Adolescents. Often, these traumatic events are never spoken of or acknowledged as such by adults in the child’s life. Many teens turn to drugs or alcohol to deal with the unearthed emotions of fear, anxiety, and depression.

Approximately 29% of adolescents have experimented with illegal drugs by the time they finish 8th grade.[3] An estimated 41% have consumed alcohol.[4] “Epidemiological evidence suggests that people who begin experimenting with drugs of abuse during early adolescence are more likely to develop substance use disorders,” according to research conducted at Duke University.[5] Each year, an estimated one in five American adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 develop an abusive or dependent relationship with illicit drugs or alcohol.

Unfortunately, traumatic events occur regularly in the lives of American adolescents each year. And with the easy access these young people have to drugs and alcohol, it’s not difficult to understand how traumatic events and addiction are connected. With the desire to suppress negative feelings or forget a painful experience, adolescents are turning to substance dependency.

Treating the Substance Use and Mental Health Challenge

To properly understand why traumatic events in someone’s life has led to substance use disorder, a thorough examination for dual diagnosis must be performed.[6] According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 9.2 million U.S. adults experienced both mental illness and a substance use disorder. It’s crucial for a drug specialist to understand what causes mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders before developing a drug or alcohol treatment plan for a patient.

Customized substance use disorder treatment plans are what set Clear Life Recovery apart from other California drug rehab centers. Clear Life Recovery forms a dual diagnosis treatment plan to determine the mental health challenges as well as substance use issues.

Dual diagnosis is the key to building a life of sobriety. Without understanding how these traumatic events have impacted your mental health, relationships with others, and self-perception, no drug or alcohol rehab program will have lasting effects. Unfortunately, when either substance use disorder or mental health illness goes undiagnosed, the dependency on illicit drugs can strengthen.[7] The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recognizes that “mental and substance use disorders share some underlying causes. These include changes in brain composition, genetic vulnerabilities, and early exposure to stress or trauma.”

Get Help Today with Clear Life Recovery

Clear Life Recovery works to treat the mental illness at its core through dual diagnosis. Then we treat the patient’s substance use disorder. We prepare each client with a personalized plan to help them overcome their specific challenges.

Contact Clear Life Recovery today to learn how our extensive dual diagnosis treatment can help you build a life of sobriety.