“We can all help prevent suicide. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).”

Mental health conditions often coincide with substance use disorders and addiction. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating mental condition that leads to depression, intense anxiety, and intrusive memories that interfere with a person’s life. Many people develop PTSD from childhood abuse, military combat, natural disasters, or sexual assault. First responders are at risk of PTSD due to on-scene tragedies, accidents, and crimes.

People with PTSD often turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with the emotional pain. When addiction co-occurs with a mental illness, such as PTSD, a person is treated for a dual diagnosis – one from an impairing psychiatric disorder and the other from addiction. A person  who use more substances and more frequently increase the risk of developing a drug or alcohol addiction.

Treatment for a dual diagnosis

A person with a dual diagnosis needs to get treatment immediately for his or her mental condition and addiction simultaneously. Many drugs can worsen symptoms of PTSD and cause physical impairment, overdose, or death. Alcohol leads to organ failure and affects a person’s critical thinking, vision, speech, coordination, movement, and can cause overdose or death.

When a person is experiencing problems with both traumatic stress and alcohol or drug abuse, he or she will often have other psychological or physical problems. Approximately 50 percent of adults who suffer from substance use disorders and PTSD also have one or more other serious psychological or physical problem.

Traumatized people who use drugs or alcohol to cope are often troubled by anxiety disorders, mood disorders, disruptive behavior disorders or antisocial personality disorder, and multiple addictive behaviors. (International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies). A person with PTSD is at high risk of substance abuse but when treated, the risk is decreased. PTSD causes angry outbursts, feelings of helplessness, aggressive behavior, and restlessness. The stigma surrounding mental health disorders and substance use disorders can make a person reluctant to seek help.

There is hope in recovery

If you or a loved one is struggling with a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder, get help today. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Addiction is isolating and can make you feel hopeless but there is hope in recovery. Addiction is treatable and you are not alone.

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt

Cypress Lakes Lodge specializes in addiction treatment and is located in a serene, remote, lush-green, oxygen enriched environment. The program encompasses holistic addiction therapy and offers yoga and meditation for the mind, body, and soul. The focus is on physical, mental, and emotional well-being by generating the balance of life-enriching treatment, wellness, and healthy, sober, sustainable relationships. Call us to get started: 409-331-2204