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How Does Alcoholism Affect PTSD?

Turning Point, Inc.

Even without post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), experiencing trauma can drive people to drink. Unfortunately, alcohol is not a healthy coping mechanism and can actually make matters worse. Sometimes, a drinking problem can even lead to the kinds of traumatic experiences that inspire PTSD.

Fortunately, when these disorders occur at the same time, treatment can help you work on both problems simultaneously, as well.

How Trauma Causes Alcoholism

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, up to 75% of people who survive abuse or violent traumatic events report drinking problems. People with PTSD are also at least twice as likely to have alcohol abuse or dependence problems.

Individuals experiencing PTSD may drink to self-medicate or “take the edge off,” but the symptoms of PTSD always return once the alcohol wears off, and sometimes they are more severe.

How Alcoholism Causes Trauma

People with alcohol use disorders tend to drink heavily, which can interfere with their ability to judge situations and make good decisions. As such, they may find themselves in traumatic situations. For example, if someone drives a motor vehicle after drinking, they could cause a serious and deeply traumatic car accident.

A Dangerous Cycle

Whether you are drinking to cope with trauma or experience trauma as a result of drinking, alcohol addiction and post-traumatic stress feed into one another and create a dangerous cycle. People with alcohol use disorders can quickly become tolerant of alcohol, which requires them to drink more and more to feel its effects. This may lead to alcohol poisoning or overdose. Similarly, individuals who are unable to drown out the symptoms of their PTSD are more susceptible to suicide.

Getting treatment can truly be the difference between life and death.

How Treatment Can Help

Both alcoholism and PTSD rewire your brain and affect your overall wellbeing. As such, holistic treatment is the best option for those with dual diagnoses or co-occurring disorders.

At Turning Point, we have been treating alcohol addiction since 1975. Our accredited treatment programs help people like you overcome co-occurring disorders without shame or stigma. Unlike other addiction treatment centers, Turning Point is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that is focused on helping the most vulnerable members of our society.

We believe everyone deserves physical, psychological, social, and spiritual wellbeing, and we give you the tools you need to achieve it. In addition to helping you cope with your addiction; we will teach you how to manage the ups and downs of everyday life.

Your individualized care plan will meet your unique needs and may include:

  • A traditional 12-step program
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Individual, group, and family counseling
  • Education
  • Motivational enhancement
  • Relapse prevention
  • And more

If you are ready to turn your life around and start your road to recovery with us, please call us at (973) 380-0905 today or contact us online.

Once you reach out, your journey begins within 24 hours.

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