Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Substance Abuse

Individuals, who have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) often, feel an increased internal activation of anger. The anger can become “fixed or stuck” as the normal level of arousal that can intensify the actual emotional and physical experience of anger. This often can cause men and women who suffer from PTSD to feel constantly on edge, hyped-up, or irritable and can cause individuals to be more easily provoked. It is common for traumatized individuals to seek out situations that require them to stay alert and defend against actual or potential danger.

Again, individuals may use substances like alcohol and drugs, food, binging and purging, exercise, sex, and self-harm to reduce and dispel overall internal tension.

Band-Aids/substance abuse has prolonged consequences within the brain that affect our normal brain circuits, including those involved in the “pleasure center” providing comfort and control affecting an individual’s motivation, learning, and memory, and inhibitory control over behaviors, feelings, thoughts, and sex.

Substance abuse disrupts so many aspects of a people’s life that the treatment is not simple. WD Recovery and Wellness treatment programs typically incorporate many treatment modalities, each directed toward healing. Substance treatments must help each person define abstinence, stop using substances, and reintegrate into many aspects of community living.