Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can occur after a traumatic event such as combat or a disaster. This anxiety problem can cause those affected to relive a traumatic event through flashbacks or memories. It can cause nightmares and extreme anxiety that were not present before the event occurred.
PTSD is quite common among veterans and can disrupt their everyday lives. Many have problems with substance abuse due to PTSD. Fortunately, Twin Lakes Recovery Center offers help for veterans suffering from PTSD and addiction.
Addiction & PTSD
There is a link between addiction and PTSD. According to the VA, anywhere from 11-20% of veterans suffer from PTSD. Trauma is a trigger for substance abuse related to PTSD. One in five veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder have a problem with addiction. Only one in three will get treatment for their addiction. The reason so many veterans have PTSD and addiction is that it often becomes unbearable to cope with the stress from returning home after being deployed. They are unable to recover from the trauma they experienced. The veteran may have been injured, suffered a loss of a limb, saw fellow soldiers killed, been sexually assaulted, or have depression.
Adjusting to a normal life after the military can be a difficult transition. Many may struggle with alcoholism or misuse prescription drugs. Trying to self-medicate to avoid the symptoms of PTSD is common among veterans and can often lead to addiction.
In addition to PTSD, the following can also put veterans at risk for developing a substance use disorder:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Chronic pain from injuries during deployment
- Having multiple deployments
- Having another mental health issue such as anxiety or depression
- Losing a friend in combat
- Little or no support from family members and friends
Signs of PTSD & Addiction in Veterans
There are many signs that a veteran may have PTSD and an addiction. Some signs to watch out for are:
- Irritability or hopelessness
- Feeling on guard or that others can not be trusted
- Trouble sleeping
- Nightmares about the traumatic event
- Inability to do daily tasks due to symptoms
- Withdrawal from social activities or family and friends
- Avoidance of situations that remind the person of the traumatic event
If these signs do not go away after a few weeks or months, or are progressively getting worse, it is time to talk to a professional and seek treatment.
Substance abuse can mask the symptoms of PTSD. Alcohol may be used to help with falling asleep, or drugs may be used to reduce pain.
Other problems can develop as the veteran’s substance abuse continues. The veteran may have:
- Increased risk of self-harm
- Impaired judgement
- Strained relationships
Overcoming the Stigma
Many veterans struggle with getting treatment for PTSD or addiction due to the stigmas surrounding seeking help. The stigma surrounding treatment makes veterans hesitant to talk about their issues and seek the treatment they need. Not only do they feel that needing help is a sign of weakness, but many are expected to handle their issues in silence on their own. A private treatment program at Twin Lakes can offer veterans immediate care and help. There is no need to struggle in silence when help is available.
Tactical Recovery Program
At Twin Lakes Recovery Center, we have partnered with the Department of Veterans Affairs Community Care Network and the educational nonprofit PsychArmor. These partnerships allow us to offer the Tactical Recovery Program to veterans, focusing on detox and residential treatments.
The Tactical Recovery Program is located on Twin Lakes’ 35-acre campus. The program focuses on veteran-specific needs and can offer the following to veterans as part of their care:
- Small group therapy
- Trauma-informed care
- 12-step program
- Animal-assisted and experiential therapies
- Sports such as basketball, volleyball, and fishing
Twin Lakes Recovery Center Welcomes You
Twin Lakes Recovery Center is a leading Atlanta-area addiction treatment center. We have professionals on staff to help you or your loved one with PTSD and addiction. Our center is approved to accept VA health benefits and can help create a treatment program to address your specific needs. Twin Lakes offers individual, group, and family programming, and through PsychArmor can focus specifically on veterans’ emotional, mental, and physical health needs.
Twin Lakes is able to provide affordable treatments for those who struggle with addiction and a disorder such as PTSD using a multidisciplinary approach. If you or a loved one is a veteran with PTSD and addiction, contact one of our admission specialists today. We are available 24/7 and can be reached at 877.958.0778. We can help you not only understand the root cause of your addiction but also create a solution for your recovery.