Traumatic Experiences and Substance Abuse
The U.S. National Library of Medicine defines a traumatic experience as “an experience that causes physical, emotional, psychological distress, or harm. It is an event that is perceived and experienced as a threat to one’s safety or to the stability of one’s world.” (MedlinePlus)
These experiences can include but are not limited to divorce, war, death of a family member, parental abandonment, moving, physical pain, being betrayed, and so on. Experiencing trauma is so individualized. It can be so frightening and foreign that many turn to substances to self-medicate as opposed to turning to professionals or family members for help.
Turning to substances in order to manage traumatic experiences and the feelings they bring on is a dangerous cycle that can numb pain – but only temporarily. When we self-medicate with a substance, it will only compound the actual problem. In terms of traumatic experiences and substance abuse, self-medication can lead to further psychiatric issues and a devastating addiction problem.
If an individual is dealing with a traumatic experiences and substance abuse concurrently, it is referred to as a dual diagnosis. “Dual” because these are two different diagnosis but they have a relationship to one another. These diagnoses tend to feed off each other, making one worse than the other and vice versa, resulting in emotional and mental confusion for the individual suffering.
If you or someone you know is trying to manage traumatic experiences and substance abuse, please know you are not alone. We can help. There are thousands of people who have recovered from traumatic experiences and drug abuse and are living life with a clear frame of mind and sobriety.
Let us help. Contact us anytime at 337.456.9111.
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